When You Suffer, You Get Beautiful

beauty suffering

“L’un doit souffrir pour être beau”—-> One must suffer to look beautiful

This French saying is especially true when you hear the lengths women can go to for looking beautiful. For centuries, women have subjected themselves to weird, crazy, and even downright dangerous practices to fit into the ideals of that particular era. They have mauled, manipulated, and perilously altered practically every part of their body – eyes, hair, lips, teeth, foreheads, stomachs, waists, feet, or breasts – to look WOW!

Head- During the Renaissance, women with well-rounded foreheads were considered beautiful. Many would pluck their hair, one-by-one, uptil their crown to achieve the effect. So much for receding hairlines!

Eyes- To get a glittering, constantly interested, dewy look in the eyes, the women of Ancient Egypt, Rome and Persia would use drops of antimony sulfide to dilate the pupils. Surprised anyone? Around the 16th and the 17th century, women would use drops of the Deadly Nightshade. This often led to drying up of the tear ducts, glaucoma, and sometimes-even blindness!

Face- Looking fair never really went out of style! Women as early as the Elizabethan era would use Ceruse to paint the face – a deadly combo of lead and vinegar – to whiten the skin for a porcelain effect. Eventually, the face-painting fad died only for a more dangerous practice to emerge. Women then resorted to consuming potions of vinegar, chalk, or arsenic to look ‘naturally’ porcelain. While Ceruse would corrode the skin, the arsenic potions were poisonous.

Mouth- In Senegal, women tattoo their gums with a type of black ink made from oil and Shea butter residue to make their gum appear black, to enhance the smiles of these women. Some tribes in Africa, insert plates into the lips of women to enlarge them, while in the tribes of Indonesia the painful procedure of teeth-filing is common even today to look beautiful. Bit your tongue?

Body-Corsets are commonly used for fashion today; however, earlier corsets were used to obtain an hourglass figure. These were so tight, that many women fainted. Some women even had their ribs surgically removed to fit the corsets even tighter. Ancient Grecian women had their breasts bound with leather from puberty, as a flat torso was the ideal figure!

Even today, women go to lengths in the name of beauty. Vampire facials, fire facials, urine drinking, and even resorting to ingesting tapeworms to lose weight. All in the name of beauty!

Would you dare to go to the extreme to look good?

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