Beauty, Youth, and the Kore Archetype

Tetiana Danylova


Beauty, traditionally considered one of the highest values along with truth, goodness, and justice, is one of the most ancient and controversial topics in the discourse of the humanity. In the 21st century, it is actively discussed by the representatives of different fields of knowledge. While some researchers consider beauty to be a social construct, others argue that beauty in terms of contemporary beauty ideal is deeply rooted in human nature and is based on our genetic inheritance. Youth is the gold standard of feminine beauty in the modern world, and beauty itself is seen as a social capital and a means of reaching certain privileges. Advertising and beauty industry have a huge impact on women and their self-perception. Unrealistic beauty images lead to the deterioration of women’s psychosomatic health. Interiorization of the modern standards of female beauty as an image of a young girl impedes the psychological development of a woman and leads to disintegration, which disrupts the interconnection of all elements of the psychological system and creates deep contradictions. In the Jungian pantheon of archetypes, a young girl is represented by Kore. In the absence of maturity transformations, Kore’s image, being so attractive to the modern world, indicates an undeveloped part of the personality and can lead to dangerous consequences in the second half of life, such as inhibition of inner growth, inability to live a full life, frustration, deep psychological crisis, loss of meanings. Fixation on Kore’s image makes a woman an ideal object of manipulation and deprives her of ability to think critically. This state of eternal girl is also supported by the men’s unconscious. Only by overcoming the psychological threshold of adulthood, resulting in experience and inner growth, a woman can reveal Kore’s other aspect – the Mistress of the underworld with a great spiritual experience, who has lost her fear of ageing and death. A woman does not lose her beauty in the process of age-related psychological metamorphoses; on the contrary, her beauty becomes multifaceted and reflects all aspects of her true personality. The paper aims to analyze the modern standards of feminine beauty and the psychological consequences of interiorization of these standards through the lens of the Jungian archetype of Kore.


beauty; youth; beauty standards; C.G. Jung; Kore; Demeter; Hecate


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