15 Weird Things Women Did For Beauty In History That Would Make No Sense Today

Women and beauty are quite synonymous terms. Since time immemorial, women have been obsessed with looking beautiful and done things that would add a glint of admiration to them.It has been with women since their evolution and still been changing. What we see beautiful today was nowhere in the dictionary of beauty in the past and what was beautiful to the history would look utterly weird and useless today. Just like these 15 beauty standards that would make no sense today.

1. Receding Hairlines

While hairstyles these days resemble walking raccoons, the renaissance period saw the age of receding hairlines. Large foreheads were considered beautiful and women would pluck all their hair from the front to keep their tightly tucked in hair as receded as possible.

2. Painted Legs Without Pantyhose

During the World War 2, women saw a dip in the availability of pantyhose and sheer stockings. But to keep the tan look going, women started painting their legs with a warm brown skin tone paint to mimic nylon stockings. Some women even used gravy to paint their legs. By 1942, this was quite a trend.

3. Skull Shaping

By 1000 BC, Germanic tribes like the Huns, Hawaiians, Tahitians, Incas, and the Chinook and Choctaw tribes in North America would strap a child’s skull to implements causing it to grow in a malformed way. This was done only for the sole purpose of beauty standards.

4. Small Feet

Incredibly small feet were an important beauty mark in China leading to foot binding becoming an important beauty practice. In the 13th century, girls at the age of five to six years were made to have their foot tightly bandaged, causing the bones to break, toes to bend back to the sole. All of this for the sexual and aesthetic appeal.

5. Long Fingernails

By long, we do not mean the usual length we find today. For the  Qing Dynasty of China, long meant keeping nails to about 8-10 inches and not giving a care in the world! It was also a symbol of aristocracy showing that they didn’t need to anything during the day. Even basic chores like eating and dressing were done by the servants.

6. No Eyelashes

What might be a daily mascara chore to you wasn’t something that beautiful girls had. Middle age and the Renaissance period was a no hair period for most of the women, including plucking away the eyelashes as well!

7. Black Teeth

Women in Japan for a very long time remained highly appreciative of black teeth, painting them black after their marriage, the tradition known as Ohaguro. This, in fact, was a symbol of beauty and marital status throughout the 19th century.

8. Pale Skin and deep cleavages

The 17th century England saw a surge in pale skinned women who would often put powder on their skin and cleavage, drawing blue veins with ink to show how pale and transparent the skin was. This was done in aristocrats showing the life away from sunlight. Also, during this time cleavages became a thing with deep necks a given in portraits.

9. Separated Breasts

Once cleavages came into the picture, separated breasts made their way with ‘divorce corsets’ bringing in the new beauty standard through the 19th century. Gone were the days of tight cleavages, women now wanted to flaunt huge gaps between their breasts.

10. Unibrows

Much before Padmavati made the unibrow a blast from the past, Greeks were a huge fan of the unibrows. Great! No threading issues.

11. Beauty Patches

Back in the 17th century, a new trend to take care of scars and pimples took over. Beauty patches were used to cover up any unwanted blot on the skin. Made from pricey fabrics like silk or velvet and coated in a gum adhesive to hold them in place, beauty patches (known as mouches, or flies, in France) came in a variety of decorative shapes including crescents, hearts, and stars.

12. Painted Eyebrows

Women of the Tang dynasty in China would paint their eyebrows in different colors and shapes. Between the brows, there was a colourful decoration called hua dian, which was made of specks of gold, silver and emerald feather.

13. Short Teeth

During the renaissance period, short teeth were a trend.

14. Narrow Corseted Waists

The 16th century saw the corset age when narrow corseted waists became a beauty trend. Corsets were tight enough to make breathing difficult, but nevertheless, gave a tiny waist and an hourglass shape that was the much-desired thing back then.

14. Sway-Backed Look

As waists got tinier, swayed-back look with broad backs came into fashion during the Edwardian age. S corsets that took the weight off breasts and rather arched the hips back in an exaggerated manner. The lasting impact on the spines of women and their walking style was never given attention.

15. Big Cheeks

The Tang dynasty was in love with big plump cheeks and there was no room for contouring like we have today.

Hats off to women who had the time and patience to go through all these beauty trends! Guess, things have only changed for good.

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Shaista Singh

You might find me chalking out posts, basking in the world of expression at work. In love with blogging and the world of SEO! I am happy finding my balance in expression and the way google works.

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