Beauty rituals throughout history have tip toed between the traditional to most bizarre. Perceptions of beauty have changed significantly and with the trends come beauty rituals that promise to deliver the most physically attractive version of you. There have also been many macabre and dangerous practices that people have undergone in order to be considered “beautiful”. Let’s take a look at history’s most bizarre beauty rituals.
Beauty Rituals: History’s Most Bizarre
Wigs, Held Together by Animal Fat
Although people today also use wigs for both aesthetic and medical reasons, they have certainly improved a lot over the years. For example, in the Victorian age, bigger hairstyles were very popular.
To save time, the wigs would have wooden frames that required animal fat to stick together. Vermin loved the taste of animal fat and would make nests out of the wigs whenever possible; so many women who put on a wig had to shake it to get rid of vermin and their droppings beforehand.
Tapeworms for Weight Loss
Tapeworms are a parasite that feeds off of its host, so eventually a person could eat all day and continue to lose weight. Therefore, in the 1800’s women would voluntarily swallow a live tapeworm, so they could eat whatever they wanted and still maintain slim figures.
Tapeworms can live up to 20 years and have been known to grow up to 30 feet long, so using them in lieu of other beauty rituals was a long-term commitment.
Arsenic for a Pale, Thin Appearance
Back during the Edwardian days in England, women also chose to take small amounts of arsenic to increase their delicate appearance. While it probably worked, since they were slowly poisoning themselves, it hardly seems worth dying a slow death.
The Worst Breast Implants
In the 1800’s, just like today, many women wanted bigger breasts. While today silicone and saline are available, women of that time could choose from rubber, glass or ivory to increase their bust line.
Achieving Red Hair through Blood, Pain and Nausea
Elizabeth I, ruler of England for more than 40 years, was often known for her red hair. Unfortunately, she got that hair through the strategic use of lead, sulfur, quick slime and of course, water.
She apparently truly believed in the phrase of “Beauty is Pain”, since her hair color resulted in headaches, nausea and a frequent bloody nose.
When They Needed a Great Hair Day
Although today, mousse, gel and hairspray may only keep a style unmoving for a few hours or a day, ancient Egyptians knew the secret to maintaining a hair style for as long as 3,000 years. To mimic it, just liberally apply animal fat throughout your hair.
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