'100 Years Of Hawaiian Beauty' Celebrates The Culture, While Giving Us A History Lesson, Too

Hawaiian people have always been beautiful, but this video shows how their styles have evolved in the past century.

Cut Video has released yet another episode in their of 100 Years of Beauty series, a project that explores how beauty and style has evolved in various cultures over time. Each episode in the series is not only fun to watch, but highlights the importance of celebrating different cultures and styles, while giving us a history lesson in the process. 

For their latest installment, Cut Video explores how trends and traditions have developed in Hawaii in the past century. Model Misty Ma'a dresses up in various styles of hair, makeup, and accessories to showcase popular styles from the 1910s to the 2010s. Of course, each look doesn't represent the only styles celebrated in Hawaii at the time, but each one does tell a story about the region's history. 

"We explore how the Hawai'i national consciousness survives in the form of beauty — despite occupation and annexation by the United States at the turn of the 20th century," the creators of the video wrote on their Pinterest page. "By the end, we'll see that a sovereign Hawai'i nation has actually flourished the entire time." 

Princess Kaiulani helped to inspire the look Cut Video chose for the 1910s. She was the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii and the woman who held the title of Crown Princess. "Kaiulani became known throughout the world for her intelligence, beauty and determination," the creators wrote. 

Misty wears her hair up, with very little makeup, and a set of pearls around her neck to represent this decade. 


By the 1920s, the look is completely different. She wears her hair down in curls, with a lei around her neck, and bright orange headwear.

"Under rule of the United States, women in Hawai'i win the right to vote while the Federal Bureau of Education pressures the territorial government into segregating public schools on the basis of English," the creators wrote. "Meanwhile, images like this circulate around the continental United States on postcards and other memorabilia, garnering interest and attention towards the islands. The model wears a pikake lei — the flower named after Princess Kaiulani's own peacocks." 

In 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor which caused Hawaii to be placed under martial law until 1945. 

"Its strategic position sends circulating thousands of Americans through the islands and amongst local communities on Oahu," the creators wrote. "Iolani Luahine opened her home to visitors from the mainland as a practitioner and teacher of the ancient hula tradition. These visitors would then return home, turning hula into the emblem of the Hawai'ian Islands in the American imagination."

Once Misty gets to the 1990s, her style is influenced less by politics and more by music. Her look is modeled after NA LEO PILIMEHANA, a musical group made up of Hawaiian women.

"The members of Na Leo met as high schoolers when they first broke out onto the Hawaiian music scene. They were the first female Hawaiian group to make national charts in the U.S. — all this at the same time Hawaiians observe the centennial of the end of the Hawaiian monarchy's reign over the islands," the creators wrote. 

The model is seen with choppy bangs, bold lipstick, and a thin bracelet. The look is finished off with a single flower tucked in her hair.

In the 2010s, Misty wears her hair in loose waves and dons a hoodie, dark eyeliner, and a soft pink lip. 

"Controversy erupts when the University of Hawaii Manoa and an international consortium of astronomers plan the construction of the TMT, a telescope sited on the sacred native site at Mauna Kea," the creators wrote. "For protestors or 'protectors,; the dispute — between the state's university and indigenous claims to the land — reveals another dimension to claims to Hawai'ian sovereignty." 

The look they chose to present this decade was inspired by Nicole Scherzinger, a pop musician from Honolulu. The protest spread across social media using the hashtag #WeAreMaunaKea, which is why you see that written across the model's hand. 

You can watch more of the transitions in the video below:


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