In the past women used to follow all kinds of strange beauty trends to look beautiful. Some shaved off their eyebrows while others had their ribs removed in order to look extra slim. The women of some past generations went a little overboard and started following fashion trends that might seem absurd to us but they were considered normal back then. Women have always chased beauty and followed rather unusual and painful practices to achieve seemingly high standards of beauty and youthfulness. Once the women of the upper class started following these trends, every other woman in the country followed! Here are some absurd fashion trends and traditions followed by women in the past:
This strange tradition was followed by the women of China for a long time. They’d coat their feet in vinegar and bind them tightly until their feet were small and pointy. This process would take years and deform their toes ultimately rendering these women unable to walk. This trend was set by a Chinese courtier and women all over China started binding their feet for years to come. Small feet were considered a sign of beauty back then and apparently, it would attract a lot of suitors for them. This strange practice affected their feet and made them gangrenous and 10% of the women who participated in this practice died of infections.
Some women chose to have their floating ribs removed because according to them this practice made them look thinner. They can fit into tightly fitted dresses and even corsets that would otherwise have suffocated them. Victorians loved small waists and all preferred to be extremely tiny. Removing your ribs can sometimes lead to gastrointestinal problems which causes a lot of damage in the long run and may even leave you malnourished.
The medieval women of the Japanese Meiji Era used to cover their teeth with black lacquer for a long, long time until this practice was finally banned in 1870s when an Empress digressed from the society and decided to sport white teeth instead. This custom was called Ohaguro and women achieved black teeth by drinking an iron-based black dye mixed with cinnamon and other aromatic spices and herbs for flavor. This dye didn’t last long, so they had to keep drinking it in order to keep their teeth dyed. Though it tasted okay, it smelled awful. Apparently, this absurd trend was a status symbol at the time and women with white faces and blackened teeth attracted many suitors! This trend also kept their teeth infection free and healthy.
Fashion trends keep evolving and people’s preferences keep changing when it comes to beauty standards. In the past women used to drink the arsenic to make their skin look pale and beautiful. If they stopped drinking it their skin would seem worse, which is why they’d have to keep drinking it. Which certainly meant more poisoning. Their eyebrows and eventually their hair would fall off and they’d develop cancer in the years to follow. Even today women in the US use tanning lotions, machines and serums in order to get tanned and this is why skin cancer is the highest form of cancer being diagnosed in the US.
In Thailand, the Kayan women used to insert metallic rings in their necks starting at a very early age, to elongate their necks. This practice would make their necks exceptionally long, but this was a very slow and painful procedure. This would increase their beauty according to Thai beliefs and they would become more appealing. These women became such an object of attraction that there came a point when people starting imprisoning them in human zoos for tourists to come and see. Unfortunately, this practice is still active in some parts of Thailand and hasn’t stopped.
These are some strange trends and traditions that were followed by women in the past to look more beautiful. We are glad that things have changed now and we don’t follow such absurd trends anymore! Good riddance!