Though Western beauty standards may be taking the world by storm, they still aren’t the norm everywhere. There are some cultures that take their beauty standards seriously, and sometimes it can seem a bit brutal! From scarification rituals, to putting 20 cm plates in their lips, these are 10 Unusual Women Beauty Standards Around The World!
When it comes to beauty standards around the world, most cultures agree that noses are important. But, none of them take it as far as women in Iran, which has now become the nose job capital of the world. Iranian women are born with what they believe are unflattering noses, so when women are old enough they get them fixed. To them wearing their surgical bandages from their nose jobs are like wearing a badge of honour. Women will even fake getting nose jobs and wear fake surgical bandages, all for the sake of being desired.
The ancient ritual of scarification in Ethiopia’s Karo tribe seems a bit brutal, but is still practiced today. It is a long painful process that includes women cutting patterns into their faces and chests with sharp objects like glass or knives. Once the wounds are open, the women rub charcoal or gunpowder into the openings, so that the wounds will form keloids once they heal. Over a period of time, women can add more and more scars to themselves. They think of the scars as artwork, and admit that the only reason they still perform scarification is to attract men.
The Himba people of northern Namibia slather themselves head to toe in a thick clay called “Otjize.” The “Otjize” is made from ochre, fat, and aromatic resin. When applied to the hair and body, it turns everything into an orange-ish red, which is supposed to symbolize blood. To the Himba people, blood is the essence of life. While this is a beauty standard, it actually serves a second purpose. The “Otjize” also helps protect their skin from the sun and heat!
When a girl is becoming a woman in this Southern Ethiopian tribe, they will start the lip stretching or lip plating process. For the women of this tribe it is a very exciting time as it shows she is becoming a woman. Over a period of time she and her family will keep stretching her lip until it is about 8–20 cm in diameter. At that point, the woman will put a plate in her lip, which she takes great pride in decorating. The process is also important, as it is part of wedding rituals in their culture.
Most of the time, when people have crooked teeth in Western cultures, they pay thousands of dollars to get them fixed. The exact opposite is true in Japan, where women pay to have their teeth crooked. This beauty standard is known as “Yaeba” which translates into “double tooth” in Japanese. The trend started with Japanese pop stars, but women with crooked teeth have been thought to be alluring in Japan for a while. The whole trend defies normal beauty standards, and celebrates the beauty in having flaws.
From the time they are 4-years-old the women of the Kayan tribe in Northern Thailand start putting brass coils around their neck. As the woman ages, she gets more and more coils. Eventually the coils elongate their neck, which is considered beautiful in their culture. Though it seems like they are growing long necks, it’s actually the weight of the coils pushing their shoulders down that gives the illusion of the desirable long necks.
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