Good day my well groomed gentry,
For this weeks post, I was tasked with tackling the topic of the pains of beauty we as humans experience.
In my own beauty routine I endure the eye watering pain of having my eyebrows threaded (anyone who also has this done will surely agree with me), the tickle inducing tragedy of having regular pedicures and i also endure the sweet and sour sensation of having the occasional facial.
But this got me thinking about what pain or torture other cultures and traditions go through in that never ending quest to be deemed beautiful to their suitors. I have selected the more extreme of the customs below.
In Asia two of the most well known customs that woman subject themselves to, to be considered as being beautiful are to have tiny feet and pale alabaster skin. Women in China would bind their young daughters feet every morning and force their feet into tiny slippers as a means to display social status. They were so uncomfortable the only way to walk was to shuffle along with small steps. Once the binding was removed the shape of their feet was so grotesque. After the anti bind law was introduced it is now not very common in China although only a few elderly women still survive today with disabilities related to their bound feet. In Japan, the women believed the traditional look of a geisha with white skin and bright lips was desirable to men as an old Japanese proverb states a fair skin complexion is thought of as beautiful even if her features are not attractive. They painted their faces and carried umbrellas to protect their skin. This was incredibly dangerous as the paint was lead based and the effects of skin bleaching over long periods can cause catastrophic problems for these women in the future.
In Africa it used to be very common for women to put copper or brass rings around their necks to elongate them as this was seen as attractive in their culture. Young women would start with one ring and add more as they grow older making their necks longer and longer. In some tribes they are worn as a sign of wealth and status. The process is so painful for these women though that they would start adding them to girls as young as five as by the time they are 12 it is twice as uncomfortable. Can you imagine what it must have been like when they were showering or trying to sleep!
Researching the above few extreme methods of trying to make ourselves more beautiful makes my small short term painful ones seem irrelevant or trivial. It does make me think twice before complaining when a new pair of shoes give me blisters or having my eyebrows sting for a few hours after having them done!
I think the main message though is all around the world and in different time periods there are so many traditions and customs which were carried out by women to be deemed more beautiful which is why in my eyes beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Even if one person does not find you attractive, there maybe five more who think you are the most enchanting person in all of the lands! As long as you are happy within yourself, that is what matters and will make your natural glow radiate from within 😀
Until next week, take care