Weirdest Beauty Trends Throughout History
Beauty is a complicated thing. What one culture sees as nothing more than an average feature, others might worship the more prominent that it is. With such a diversity of cultures in existence, is it any surprise that ‘beauty trends’ sometimes go from eccentric to downright odd? Here are a couple of the weirdest and grossest:
1. Goat hair Unibrows
We all know that every human if it hasn’t already been burned off, has two eyebrows. And unibrows are usually a result of overactive hair follicles or general lack of desire to remove the hair from the center of the brow.
For the ancient Greeks, a unibrow was a sign of intelligence and beauty in women. Some women would even use cosmetics to give the illusion of a unibrow.
It was such a popular beauty trend in Greece, that women made special unibrows using tree resin and goat’s hair. Just think of it as the forefather to fake lashes and it might be a little less gross.
2. Black Teeth
Okay, so for most people, white teeth is a great sign of wonderful dental health and hygiene. Toothpaste and mouthwash to keep those ivories nice and shiny are marketed on television, radio, and billboards.
To the great surprise of many, and pretty much expected by those in the know, this particular trend was popular during the Meiji era in Japan. To gain this black smile, women drank “an iron-based black dye tempered with cinnamon and other aromatic spices,” according to one blog.
And although blackened teeth seemed to last a little longer, black teeth was nothing more than a symbol of a woman’s submission to man.
3. That’s Not Mouthwash
Mouthwash in the modern day has a number of flavors that allow us to tolerate having it in our mouths. Without that flavor, most of us couldn’t stand swishing the liquid around for more than a few seconds. Be glad that modern society places such an importance on mouthwash, because ancient Rome was not the place for it.
Back in the days of ancient Rome, their society believed that to have the whitest teeth, it was important to rinse out your mouth with urine. Yeah, they put it in their mouths and ‘cleaned’ their teeth with it.
That’s not even the craziest part, surprisingly. Romans were partial to a urine from a very specific culture. They shipped jars of Portuguese urine into Rome because it was supposedly the strongest.
It sounds absolutely disgusting, but the ammonia content in urine was an effective disinfectant.
4. Lardy Wigs
Wigs are super expensive as it is. They’re likely cheaper now than they were during the 18th century in England. The only thing more ridiculous than the towering wigs that women wore was what they were made of.
First, a frame was constructed in a specific shape. Hair was then draped over, and the glue to keep it in place? It had a lard base. It did help the wig stay in the shape it needed to, but it also managed to attract rats. If you weren’t wearing a wig, rats were probably living in it.
Has your hair ever been referred to as a ‘rat’s nest?’ This is where that phrase comes from.
5. Foot Binding
This is an old tradition that some people in China still practice today. To bind one’s feet was a show of wealth because women could then not really walk or do any physically demanding activities.
It started at a young age where girls would have their feet bathed in vinegar and then bound to a point. The tight bindings caused the feet to form in a way that was irreparable once the bones grew completely.
It’s unfortunate that anyone was forced to participate in this practice
6. Rodent brows
The widespread use of lead-based makeup throughout history caused severe hair loss in the facial area, driving some to come up with new ways to fashion eyebrows.
In the modern day, a person with no eyebrows would normally just draw them on. When some women lost their eyebrows, they would fashion fakes out of mouse pelts. That’s right, people would catch rodents, skin them, and then glue that to their face in the name of beauty.