“If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.” Anatole France
In a world where the perception of what is truly beautiful varies, it comes as no surprise that the methods of achieving beauty also vary greatly. In the West, we have become accustomed to thinking that practices such as sucking fat from the body (liposuction), injecting poison into the skin (Botox®) and subjecting the skin to lasers (Dermabrasion) are normal. We never consider how bizarre these practices must seem to other cultures with different standards of beauty. So, which beauty practices in other cultures seem equally strange to us? Here are a few beauty practices that should make you marvel at the differences that exist in other cultures.
- Snail slime facial: In Chile and other South American countries, it is not uncommon for women to apply snail slime to their faces. Women there believe that, among other things, it provides protection against pollution and ultraviolet radiation. Our anti-aging moisturizer and anti-aging face cream must seem relatively tame to them.
- Fish foot exfoliation: In Turkey and Japan, women believe that placing their feet into a pool filled with small fish and allowing the creatures to nipple at them is an effective method of exfoliation.
- Beer bath: In Germany beer is practically the national drink. It should come as no surprise then that some women bath in a tub of beer as a beauty treatment. This practice is believed to naturally soothe the skin. We think most Americans would prefer taking beer internally.
- Bird poop facial: In Japan nightingale-dropping facials are becoming more and more common. This is the practice of applying nightingale poop to your face as a way to remove dead skin cells.
- Neck rings: Some cultures very much appreciate a long, graceful neck. In certain African and Asian cultures neck rings are applied to women to give the appearance of a long, elegant neck. The practice begins in childhood when rings are first added and then, as young girl’s age, more and more rings are added.
· Bull sperm conditioner: Bull sperm? No thanks. In England a popular beauty treatment is to add bull semen combined with an Iranian plant called Katera root to damaged hair. This supposedly makes it less frizzy.
Finally, these are just a few examples of how the standards and practices of beauty vary. Our methods and standards may indeed seem odd to these cultures but they are what makes our culture unique. The important thing to remember is to adhere to a beauty routine that fits your skin type, your schedule, etc.