Remember the old saying, “Pain is beauty and beauty is pain”?
Beauty is a driving force in every woman. In this modern generation, we have a wide variety of options to maintain a beautiful appearance such as the skincare products, plastic surgeries, body spas, waxing centres, manicure and pedicure centres, traditional beauty parlours, and the list just goes on and on and on!
Here’s a fun fact to ponder about. The word ‘beautiful’ has been redefined over and over again throughout the ages and many women succumb to different ideas to do justice to what ‘beautiful’ actually means at that time. So, if you’re caught on…no one is gonna reach the level of ‘beauty perfection’.
Throughout many centuries, women did all sorts of things to maintain and enhance a beautiful physical appearance. So, buckle up girls…this is going to be a painful ride.
#Elongating The Neck
Source: Daily Mail
These neck rings are considered a beauty trend among the Padung women of the Kayan people in Myanmar and Thailand. This is actually a cultural practice to signify beauty in women and this practice starts at a young age! These rings are added as they grow older till it reaches about 20 rings around their neck.
Here’s the beauty trick to this method. It creates a long neck illusion for everyone who sees but what it actually does is that the weight of the rings pushes the clavicles down and compresses the rib cage.
Ladies, if you’re one of those who is constantly bothered by the size of your feet…well that changes today.
We’re all familiar with the saying “looks can be deceiving”, right? As cute as those shoes make look, it turns feet into a living nightmare. Foot binding happened to be a common practice many, many years ago in parts of China that represents the status of a woman and to gain attraction from men. Many who went through this agonized over the years not only because of physical pain but also the disability that holds them from doing any labour.
There's more bizarre info right here in the video below. Check it out!
#Weight Loss Tapeworms
Dieting for weight loss by just adding tapeworm pills to your food pyramid. REALLY?!
The captivating tapeworm diets were very popular at the time and also led women to have some major side effects and health issues. Apart from the vomiting and diarrhea as one of the symptoms of weight loss, women then need to excrete the tapeworm, which could lead to serious abdominal and rectal trouble. On top of that, there are other troubles like headaches and eye issues to epilepsy, meningitis, and even dementia.
In today’s modern era, nothing says about a beautiful smile than having wonderfully clean and bright, white teeth. It doesn’t seem to be the case in Japan during the Meji period. Guess what…this is one trend that went on for hundreds of years. “Ohaguro” which is also known as teeth blackening was performed by women to prevent tooth decay at an old age. This beauty practice requires multiple applications of dangerous chemicals onto a child’s teeth every day.
Pheewww, lucky we know that this method was already banned in 1870 by the Japanese government.
Source: The Guardian
In the 19th century, arsenic was consumed to produce a blooming complexion, a brilliant eye, and an appearance of embonpoint" (aka busty). The downside that women may be ignorant about would be the arsenic poisoning and symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting, bloody pee, cramping muscles, hair loss, stomach pain, and convulsions. The harsh reality about this is that if you survive consuming it, you will die if you stopped.
I know, I know…tattoos are like a norm nowadays. What’s the big deal?
Back in the day in Sarawak, tattoos meant a lot more than just a design on skin. Both men and women would get tattooed for different reasons because every tattoo symbolises something different. Traditionally, men from the ‘Iban’ tribe have tattoos such as the Bunga Terung (eggplant flower) to indicate the coming of age in being a man and also to represent their ability to balance life.
Women from the ‘Kayan’ and ‘Kenyah’ tribe have tattoos from their fingers to the upper parts of their arms and even on their ankles to the upper parts of their legs. This mainly signifies social status and beauty. For example, if the woman is from the higher class (a.k.a rich family), she is likely to have more tattoos and if the woman is from a lower class, she will have less tattoos.
FYI, these tattoos are hand-tapped. Check out the video below to see how the tattoo is actually engraved on a person and make a guess how painful it would be.
These are just a few of the many, many bizarre historical beauty practices. Ladies, we now know the long-term agony that may be possible just by wanting to look beautiful for a moment. Yes, each one has their own beauty purposes and we respect that…but let’s also not cross the line and damage what is already naturally beautiful.
As this wise saying goes,
“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful” - Amy Bloom
So, you must be in great shock and probably questioning your beauty choices. Well, don’t let it get to you. How? Watch this episode of What's The Feed where they discuss beauty that would lighten up the mood.