10 of the Most Extreme Beauty Trends Throughout History

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Beauty has always been an issue of importance to society. Appearance plays a vital role in how others perceive us, as well as social status, especially in the past. However, these beauty standards are transitory and sometimes taken to the limit. These are trends that have occurred throughout history, leaving us thinking that beauty is not something we can easily obtain.

1. Tiny feet

Known as the Golden Lotus, this beauty trend in China emerged during the thirteenth century. The most desirable bride was expected to possess a 3-inch foot. From a very young age, girls would bind their feet to transform their natural shape and grow their toes downward to achieve the look of a lotus shoe.

If you are curious about what other practices are unusual from one country to another, check out this article.

2. Goat hair unibrows

In Ancient Greece, people used to think that women with unibrows were attractive. So, to achieve this look, women who did not have a natural unibrow glued together goat hair with tree resin and dyed it black in the middle of their brows.

3. Eating tapeworm pills to lose weight

Throughout history, dietary culture has always been a trend. In the early 1900s, the dietary trend that everyone was aware of was the tapeworm diet. It consisted of swallowing tapeworm cysts in pill form. The logic behind this was that the tapeworms would grow in the intestines and absorb the food, causing weight loss. Once the person achieved their goals, they would take an antiparasitic pill to eliminate the tapeworms.

However, it was a hazardous practice, as the tapeworm could possibly grow up to 30 feet and cause side effects such as epilepsy and dementia.

4. Achieving the tuberculosis look

One of the most extreme beauty practices during the Victorian era was the tuberculosis look. Women loved the look this disease caused, which included pale skin, red lips, and slim waists. This spawned a movement of women getting tuberculosis on purpose, reddening their lips, and making their skin appear lighter.

This was just one of the most extreme weight trends — women would also wear tight corsets, which caused several health issues.

5. Belladona eyes

During the Renaissance era in Italy, women would spray poison from the belladonna plant into their eyes to achieve an aroused look. This was considered a beauty trait that only beautiful ladies had, even though pouring too much substance into the eyes was risky, as there was a chance of going blind. But it also had side effects, like blurred vision and accelerated heart rate.

The Renaissance was an important period of history with a peculiar beauty style. Here, you can find what your favorite celebrity would like like if they were born in this era.

6. Eye makeup made from dangerous chemicals

The ancient Egyptians are known for their bold eye makeup. At the time, liquid eyeliner, as we know it today, was not a thing. Instead, they used to prepare a mixture of green copper ore, lead sulfide, and lead-based kohl to create their heavy dark cosmetics. We can’t deny that the result was an empowering smokey eye look, but all the ingredients used were extremely dangerous.

7. Pigeon droppings as an anti-baldness solution

Baldness has always been a concern for people, especially men. But the practices used in the past have been undoubtedly extreme. To reverse baldness, the ancient Greeks created a paste made of cumin, pigeon droppings, horseradish, and nettles. The bad news was that the peculiar mixture did not work.

8. A dimple stamper machine

Dimples were quite popular, and people were convinced they could get them one way or another. Then, in 1936, Isabella Gilbert invented the ultimate dimple machine, which consisted of a face-fitting spring carrying 2 tapered nubs pressed against the cheeks, taking the trend of dimples to a whole new level.

9. No brows and a higher hairline

Considered a symbol of high intelligence, during the monarchy of Queen Elizabeth I, women preferred higher hairlines and nearly non-existent brows. They used walnut oil and bandages soaked in ammonia and vinegar to remove excess hair to achieve this look.

As it turns out, this trend is making a comeback! These are some other trends from medieval times that are also finding their way back into our lives.

10. Black teeth

In Vietnam, blackening your teeth was once considered a beauty ritual, but it also had a deeper meaning. Associated with more spiritual beliefs, black teeth were intended to protect a person from bad energy. However, getting them black was not easy and required professional assistance. The process was long, and the tradition dictated that girls should get them at age 13 as a sign of natural beauty.

If you want to keep reading more about extreme beauty trends throughout history, continue reading here.


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