We’re running a photo series this week called “Beauty Talks” by Nicole Chan — exploring the shifting standards of female beauty in a rapidly changing China.

1920s/1930s Shanghai is heavily romanticized and glamorized, but income inequality between rural and urban areas worsened during this time period due to natural disasters and ineffective government provisions. “Calendar girls” were heralded as progressive indicators of improving societal visibility of women, but alternatively demonstrate the emergence women being objectified for advertising purposes. Shanghai became a sin city overrun with mobsters, prostitutes, opium dens, and gambling houses as warlordism reigned over the country.

Model: Zhou Yu (Yvonne)

Photo Assistants: Dana Meyers, Zhang Zhan