As the saying goes” beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, it’s evident that beauty is in fact in the eyes of the beholder. And this, even when some of the beauty practices will seem rather odd to Americans. The fact is a woman is beautiful to that man who thinks she’s the prettiest creature ever.
With this in mind, here’s a look at ten standards of beauty from around the world.
These are often seen in Mursi women in Africa. They have their lips stretched out using small clay plates which are eventually swapped for bigger ones as a woman grows older. It’s considered as a mark of beauty and their identity, and most women till manage to sing and dance gracefully during festivals – though with slight alterations to their pronunciation. The lip-plates don’t interfere with their day-to-day lives other than when eating or drinking which gets more difficult.
2. Using Henna to accessorize for special occasions
In India, women wear bindis, nose rings, and henna to look more attractive, particularly on important occasions like weddings and festivals. Like in other countries, women in India choose to get lighter skin and end up spending lots of money on skin-lightening creams.
3. Brass Necks
In Myanmar, the Kayan women have been known to wear neck rings to achieve beauty – most start as young girls from ages 8 by wearing 5 coil rings. They then gradually add on to these numbers as they continue to grow older. To Debunk popular belief, these neck rings only create an illusion of their necks getting longer, and they are able to remove the coil rings without the necks flopping under them.
4. Open Dimples
Thailand is rich in a number of traditional practices for enhancing beauty. One such practice is cheek piercing, which seems horrifying to anyone living outside Thailand. And this is because of the enormous pain suffered during the whole process. However, for Thai people, this is devotion to themselves, as well as a procedure they believe helps chase evil spirits away from their lives.
5. Chalk Covered Bodies
The Karo tribe of Ethiopia use intricate patterns lines on their bodies – the patterns are smeared with white chalk though it’s at times mixed with red ochre. The spiraling motifs are seen as a form of visual art and beauty. It’s practiced by both men and women. The tribesmen often will use these marks as a defense mechanism – for intimidating their enemies and rivals alike. Body scarring is also common, as it’s considered as courageous acts plus traditionally these are recognized as attractive.
6. Small Feet
For centuries, having small feet is associated with beauty and femininity. The Chinese indulge in foot binding practices that have endured for many years dating back to the 10th century. Young girls feet will typically be broken and then bound to make them tiny, and so attractive. In reality, this cripples them permanently, and they aren’t able to walk comfortably ever again.
7. Stretched Earlobes
decked out in colorful clothes and shawls, the Maasai women of southern Kenya do sport rather unique accessories: earrings dangling from their stretched earlobes. They normally will use nature’s heavy objects like stones, tusks, and wood for expanding their earhole. This gradually increases the size to create the drooping earlobes. Considered a mark of beauty, the Maasai women will often pair the earrings with matching intricate handmade accessories to enhance their beauty.
8. Fuller Figures For Women
In Mauritania, a heavier woman was so desirable that as young as seven-year-old girls were sent to the fat farms. Here they were encouraged to eat so as to put on weight. According to the BBC News, some of the girls at the fat-farms could over time weigh between 130 – 220 pounds. Luckily, this practice has in the recent past started to be discarded.
9. Skin Deep
Tattoos for many cultures of the world, continue to carry enormous cultural importance. For instance in New Zealand, the Maori have for centuries decorated their lips and faces using distinctive black as well as dark blue patterns known as Ta-Mako. Often times, the women will tattoo their lips using blue hue, and also tattoo Ta-Mako designs on the chin – as a sign of true beauty for the Maori.
10. Crooked Teeth
Typically in dental beauty, straight teeth and that perfect smile are considered the ultimate standard. However, in Japan young women have, in the recent past been engaging in a unique practice locally known as “yaeba”. This literally translates as “double tooth,”. Yaeba involves the women getting the same orthodontic work, only that in this case, they get braces configured to make their teeth a little more crooked.
Re-consider your idea of beauty
By exploring different parts of the world, you will have an appreciation of the ancient lifestyles which guarded the idea of beauty for centuries. Although some may not be to our liking, this is an eye-opening experience. And you get to speak to the people to understand why they still follow the said practices.