BEAUTY, Female. “The maiden, whose loveliness inspires the most impassioned expression in Arabic poetry and prose, is celebrated for her slender figure she is like the cane among plants, and is elegant…
Female. “The maiden, whose loveliness inspires the most impassioned expression in Arabic poetry and prose, is celebrated for her slender figure she is like the cane among plants, and is elegant as the twig of the oriental willow. Her face is like the full moon, presenting the strongest contrast to the colour of her hair, which (to preserve the nature of the simile just employed) is of the deepest hue of night, and descends to the middle of her back. A rosy blush overspreads the centre of each cheek; and a mole is considered an additional charm. The Arabs, indeed, are particularly extravagant in their admiration of this natural beauty spot, which, according to its place is compared to a globule of ambergris upon a dish of alabaster, or upon the surface of a ruby. The eyes of the Arab beauty are intensely black, large, and long, of the form of an almond they are full of brilliancy but this is softened by a lid slightly depressed, and by long silken lashes, giving a tender and languid expression, which is full of enchantment, and scarcely to be improved by the adventitious aid of the black border of the kuhl; for this the lovely maiden adds rather for the sake of fashion than necessity, having what the Arabs term natural kuhl. The eye-brows are thin and arched, the forehead is wide, and fair as ivory, the nose straight, the mouth small the lips are of a brilliant red, and the teeth “like pearls set in coral.” The forms of the bosom are compared to two pomegranates; the waist is slender; the hips are wide and large; the feet and hands small; the fingers tapering, and their extremities dyed with the deep orange-red tint imparted by the 1eaves of hinna.
The following is the meet complete analysis of Arabian beauty given by an unknown author, quoted by Al-Ishaqi:-
“Four things in a woman should be black: the hair of the head, the eye-brows, the eye lashes, and the dark part of the eyes; four white: the complexion of the skin, the white of the eyes, the teeth, and the legs; four red: the tongue, the lips, the middle of the cheeks, and the gums; four round: the head, the neck, the fore-arms, and the ankles; four long the back, the fingers, the arms, and the legs four wide: the forehead, the eyes, the bosom, and the hips; four fine: the eye-brows the nose, the lips, and the fingers; four small: the lower part of the back, the thighs, the calves of the legs, and the knees; four small: the ears, the breasts, the hands, and the feet.” (Lanes Arabian Nights. vol. i, p.25.)
Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam