by Tatiana  

The word красавица, which means “beautiful girl,” has the same root as «красивый», “beautiful or handsome”, «красота» “beauty” and «красный» “red.” Sometimes it can be translated as “beauty” as in the name of the famous fairy tales, «Спящая красавица» “Sleeping Beauty” and «Красавица и чудовище» “Beauty and the Beast.”

When I think of красавица, I imagine a pretty girl from the Russian countryside of Gogol’s time. She is wearing a colorful dress and a kokoshnik-tiara. Her hair is neatly braided in one long thick braid, and her big brown eyes are coyly cast down. She is the classic «русская красавица» “Russian beauty” that has been praised by so many literary masters.

Какая же ты красавица! Тебе так идёт зелёный! "You are such a beauty! Green looks so good on you!"
— Вы видели невесту? Такая красавица!
— Да, жених наверное себя самым счастливым чувствует!
“Did you see the bride? Such a beautiful girl!!”
“Yes, the groom probably feels that he is the luckiest!”

The masculine form of this word is красавец “stud.” In day-to-day speech we sometimes use «красавец» or «красавчик» to express our approval or when we are pleasantly surprised with someone’s behavior:

Ну, ты, конечно, красавчик! Ты пригласил её на свидание у всех на глазах! Wow, you are the man! You asked her out in front of everybody!

«Красавица» can be used in a similar way as well:

Ты — красавица! Совсем не готовилась к экзамену и сдала с первого раза! You go, girl! You didn’t study at all for the exam and yet passed it on the first try!

I have a personal history with this particular word. When I was a little girl, I could not pronounce some letters. The letter “r” gave me the most trouble. My mom would make me read and do various exercises for at least thirty minutes a day before I could go play with my friends. Needless to say, I really wanted to break this vicious cycle and learn to say the “r” right so I could finally go run around the yard. One day I was home alone, playing with my dolls. For some reason I decided to practice my “r’s”, using the word красавица. It came out so perfectly clear; I could not believe I had nobody home to brag about it to! I remember saying it over and over again, worried that I would lose it… but I never have. When I think about it, it is very neat that it was this word, красавица "beauty", that made my speech more beautiful!


Comment from: Martin [Visitor]

I also disagree. What about Nastja from Morozko? She is as skiny as the girl on the picture.

02/26/10 @ 03:53
Comment from: Tatiana [Member]

I disagree! Russian красавица’s come in many different shapes and forms! :)

02/12/10 @ 23:50
Comment from: Andrey [Visitor]

The girl on the second photo is too skinny to be a Russian красавица :)

02/12/10 @ 00:55

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