We know the famous saying ‘beauty’s in the eye of the beholder, but there’s always an exception to the rules. For different eras and cultures, the definition of ‘beauty’ is wildly diverse. Among them, some could be considered crazy and frightening when judging from the Western eyes. Let’s take a look at some of the wildest beauty trends that ever existed!
Victorians and Their Piercings
Named after Queen Victoria, the Victorian era was all about repression. Whenever someone mentioned this period, we could imagine strait-laced primness and fully clothes. It seems like their most crucial mission is to avoid showing skins as much as possible.
However, one of the wildest beauty trends from this age is something you couldn’t see easily. Based on many pieces of research, wealthy Victorian women shared a secret: they tend to have nipple piercing, sometimes even connected with a chain – meanwhile, most males dorn a “Prince Albert” (a genital piercing).
The Indonesia Who Sharpen Their Teeth
Don’t show this to your dentists, or they might break down. Here is a photo of Mentawai women of Indonesia with unique sharpened teeth. Moreover, they undergo the process without any anesthesia. Based on their beliefs, their body and souls are separate. If the soul is not happy with the latter, it could escape.
As a result, the hunter-gatherers sharpen their teeth to appear beautiful. While this custom is still carried on, it has become uncommon. They have switched to using a sharp chisel and blunt instrument to deal with the teeth. However, they still didn’t use anesthetic but preferred to dull the pain with green bananas.
Ancient Japanese Bird Poop Facial
If Americans are crazy about spray-on tans, Japanese women have another idea. In their eyes, light skins are top of the beauty trends. They have developed many methods to archive this, including some extreme ways like bleaching with toxins. There is also a more traditional technique that even Victoria Beckham is obsessed with.
In this case, we are talking about an ancient facial that requires a distinctive ingredient: nightingale droppings. They will ground the bird poop into powder and then mix it with water to create a wash face mixture. Many countries’ beauty spas have adopted the method in their service, but it comes with an expensive price tag.
Ancient Greeks and Bushy Black Unibrow
Everyone has different eyebrows, and various countries have a beauty standard for this feature. Even when we scroll back in history, “beautiful eyebrows” come in diverse designs. In the 2000s, all we saw was the thin and plucked eyebrows. However, the trend has evolved to bushy eyebrows that we have seen on Cara Delevingne and Emilia Clarke.
However, things might be very distinguishable thousand years ago. For ancient Greeks, they mostly prefer unibrows. If a woman has this feature, they are often linked to intelligence and purity. Moreover, some people even try to make it bolder with kohl (a type of black powder).
Japanese Aristocrats With Blackened Teeth
Nowadays, nobody wants to see a mouth full of blackened teeth. Just imagine one black tooth is enough for someone to puke. The stake for healthy dental hygiene is higher than ever. However, there was some period where people chose to have black teeth.
Among the countries, Japan was most popular with this method. For years before the 20th century, Japanese aristocrats (male and female) often blacked their teeth when they reached puberty. Luckily, the custom has become uncommon over the years. Only married women, spinsters, or geishas continued to practice this tradition.
Secret Messages in Facial Beauty Patches
In 16th-century France, beauty patches have become a standard item in their beauty trends. Aside from acting like adornments, they do serve another essential function. Many European Nobles used them to hide scars and pockmarks. They took off in the 18th century.
As porcelain white skin was THE trend back in the days, black patches helped them stand out from the crowd. The item came in various materials and shapes. Moreover, there was a secret behind its positions. The corner of the lips means flirtatious, while having it on the left cheek means she’s engaged.
Padaung Women and their Unique rings
This custom was first widely known as a myth. You must have scrolled past a photo of Padaung woman before. One of their most distinguishing features was the long neck and large brass rings. However, there is an explanation behind this practice. Firstly, they don’t use this method to elongate their necks. Many people speculated that the Burma women do this to make themselves less attractive to slavers.
Most Padaung girls began wearing the coils at a young age, and they often started with five or six rings. As they pushed down their shoulder and compressed the rib cage, it made their neck looks much longer.
Chinese Noblewomen With Super Long Nails
If you have seen a movie about imperial Chinese, especially the Qing dynasty, you must have seen this practice reenacted in some scenes. Many noble birth males and females chose to grow their nails out during this period. We are talking about eight or even ten inches long nails in this case.
One of the reasons behind such a custom is that they believe long nails signify status and wealth. If you have such long nails, it means you don’t have to lift a hand to do anything. Many women also have special nail guards to protect their nails.
Mursi Tribe Women Who Stretch Their Lips
The image comes from the Mursi tribe, Ethiopia’s most isolated region. Up until now, their population stayed at mere 11,500 people. Moreover, they are also the last African tribespeople who still practice this method of lip plating.
This custom dates back to 6,000 BCE, where women did this to prepare for their marriage. They started at the early age of 13, where they had their lips pierced and later stretched with more extensive and heavier clay plates. These items were also crafted and decorated by them.