Beauty standards vary from country to country and from culture to culture. While some may prioritize fair skin or symmetrical features, others may value unique features that are unconventional by Western standards. From nose plugs in India to sharp teeth in Indonesia, the beauty standards in different parts of the world can be truly bizarre to those who are not familiar with them. So, buckle up and get ready to experience the beauty of the world like never before!
In certain rural areas of China, blackened teeth are considered a sign of beauty and social status. Some tribes in China use natural dyes made from plants to darken their teeth, and this practice has been around for centuries. Women with blackened teeth are seen as more attractive and desirable, as it signifies their maturity and marital status. In some cases, it is also believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck. Interestingly, the tradition of blackened teeth is not limited to rural areas, as it was once a common practice among the upper class in China’s imperial era. The practice gradually faded out as Western beauty standards became more prevalent, but it still persists in some regions of China.
Stick piercings are a unique beauty trend that can be found in the Yanomami clans of the Brazilian rainforest. Women in this tribe pierce their skin with multiple sticks that protrude from their mouth area. While this might seem unusual to those who are not familiar with this practice, it is considered a beautiful trait among the Yanomami people. This trend is similar to the cheek piercing in Thailand, but with a different type of jewelry. It is not clear whether the sticks are purely decorative or if they have cultural or religious significance. Despite the potential discomfort, these piercings are valued as a sign of beauty in this indigenous community.
The beauty standards of the Karen tribe in Thailand are both unique and intriguing. Women of this tribe wear brass rings around their necks, starting at a young age, in order to create the illusion of a longer neck. This practice is thought to have originated as a form of protection against tiger attacks, as tigers often target the necks of their prey. However, over time it has become a cultural tradition and a symbol of beauty. The rings are added gradually, over a period of years, causing the neck to appear elongated.
Tattoos have become a popular form of self-expression all around the world. While the placement and designs of tattoos can vary from culture to culture, it’s safe to say that getting inked on the gums is a unique trend found only in Senegal. In this West African country, women opt to have intricate designs tattooed on their gums to create a more unique and attractive smile. This unconventional practice is believed to enhance the beauty of the teeth and gums, and it has become a common tradition. While the idea of getting a gum tattoo may seem painful, the women who choose to have this done often consider it a badge of honor.
Foot binding, also known as “lotus feet,” was a traditional practice in China that started over a millennium ago, which involved compressing women’s feet to make them smaller. It was a painful and cruel practice that was believed to enhance a woman’s beauty, femininity, and overall status in society. The practice was most common among wealthy families, where the women would have their toes bent under their feet and wrapped tightly. This prevented growth and was so painful that many women were left unable to walk normally. Foot binding became a symbol of beauty and social class in China and lasted for over a thousand years until it was officially banned in the early 20th century.
Scarification is a traditional practice deeply rooted in Ethiopian culture. It is a process where the skin is intentionally cut and manipulated to create intricate designs or patterns. The practice is considered beautiful. It often represents cultural identity and personal expression. The scars are seen as symbols of bravery, endurance, and spiritual strength. Scarification is performed using a sharp instrument, usually a razor blade, and a paste made of dried herbs and ash. The cuts are made on various parts of the body, such as the face, arms, and chest, and the resulting scars vary in size and shape. Ethiopians believe that the more scars and patterns a person has, the more attractive they appear.
Having pale or fair skin has become a widespread beauty standard in many Asian cultures, with women often feeling societal pressure to conform to this standard. This preference for lighter skin is rooted in historical and cultural factors, where it was traditionally associated with wealth, social status, and a life of leisure indoors. In many Asian countries, women go to extreme lengths to achieve fair skin, including using skin-whitening creams, face masks, and other products. There have been campaigns to encourage inclusivity and promote all skin tones as beautiful, but the cultural bias towards fair skin persists.
In the Mursi tribe of Ethiopia, women are considered more attractive if they have a larger forehead and wear lip plates. Lip plates are a form of body modification in which a disc or plate is inserted into a pierced hole in the lower lip, creating a stretching effect over time. This practice is common among Mursi women, and it is believed to symbolize a woman’s strength and fertility. The Mursi tribe has a unique culture and beauty standard that differs significantly from the Western world’s standard of beauty. The practice of lip plates and large foreheads is also deeply rooted in their cultural identity, and it is not just about aesthetics.
Long nails are a beauty standard in some African countries, and women grow their nails long and decorate them with intricate designs. This practice is prevalent in countries like Nigeria, Kenya, and Tanzania, where long nails are considered a sign of wealth and status. Women adorn their nails with intricate designs and patterns using henna or other natural dyes, creating beautiful and unique nail art. The tradition of growing long nails and decorating them is deeply ingrained in the African culture, and it has been passed down from generation to generation. Long nails are also believed to signify good health and fertility, and they are viewed as a symbol of femininity.
In South Korea, the pursuit of perfect skin has taken on a new level with the trend for “glass skin.” This term refers to the most flawless version of skin that appears shiny and translucent, much like glass. Achieving glass skin requires a rigorous ten-step skincare routine that involves multiple layers of products, such as cleansers, toners, essences, serums, masks, and moisturizers. Women (and men) in South Korea value skincare immensely, and glass skin is seen as the ultimate beauty standard. The process can be expensive and time-consuming, but many people believe that the results are worth it. In South Korea, glass skin is considered a sign of health, youthfulness, and beauty.
The Maori people of New Zealand have traditionally adorned their faces with tattoos, which are seen as a sign of strength and beauty. The art of Maori facial tattoos, or moko, is a sacred and spiritual practice that dates back centuries. Maori men and women wear tattoos on their faces, and each tattoo carries a unique meaning that reflects their family history and lineage. Maori facial tattoos are a symbol of pride and identity, and they are highly respected within the Maori community. The practice of facial tattoos has been passed down from generation to generation, and it remains an important part of Maori culture today.
In many South American countries, curvy bodies are considered attractive, and women are encouraged to embrace their curves. While thinness is often associated with beauty in Western culture, South Americans value a curvy body type, which is seen as a sign of health and fertility. The beauty standard in South America celebrates the hourglass figure, and women are encouraged to embrace their curves and accentuate their natural shape. The trend has led to an increase in the popularity of shapewear and clothing that flatters the figure.
Full lips have become a beauty standard in many Western countries, particularly in the United States. Celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Kylie Jenner have popularized the look, and many women now use makeup or undergo lip augmentation procedures to achieve fuller lips. While full lips have always been considered attractive, the recent trend towards lip augmentation has made it more accessible for women to achieve this look.
High cheekbones are considered attractive in many Eastern European countries, such as Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. Women often use makeup to enhance their cheekbones, using techniques like contouring to create a more defined and sculpted look. The emphasis on high cheekbones in Eastern Europe is rooted in the region’s history and cultural identity. The Slavic beauty standard celebrates sharp features, and high cheekbones are seen as a sign of beauty and youthfulness.
In many Western countries, having a tan is considered attractive, and people will often use tanning beds or spray tans to achieve this look. The desire for a tan is often associated with a healthy, active lifestyle, and it’s seen as a way to enhance one’s appearance. However, it’s important to note that tanning can be harmfu
l to the skin and increase the risk of skin cancer. It’s important to practice safe sun exposure, such as wearing sunscreen and protective clothing, and avoid excessive tanning practices.
In India, both men and women often thread their eyebrows to create a precise shape that is considered beautiful. Threading is a technique in which a thin thread is twisted and rolled over the unwanted hairs, removing them at the follicle level. Eyebrow threading is deeply rooted in Indian culture and has been practiced for centuries. The technique is fast, precise, and affordable, making it a popular choice for women in India and around the world. The emphasis on well-groomed eyebrows reflects the importance of facial symmetry and beauty in Indian culture.
Long hair has been celebrated as a symbol of beauty and femininity in various cultures for centuries. In Native American culture, long hair is believed to represent a person’s connection to nature, and it is seen as a sign of strength and power. Chinese and Japanese cultures have also placed great importance on long hair as a symbol of beauty and elegance. Traditional hairstyles often incorporate long, flowing locks, and women are encouraged to take good care of their hair to maintain its length and shine. While beauty standards may vary across cultures, the appreciation of long hair as a symbol of beauty and femininity is a common thread that connects many different societies and time periods.
The popularity of a chiseled jawline can be seen in popular culture in many Western countries. As several male actors and models possess this look, this has led to an increasing number of men seeking ways to enhance their jawlines. They do it through makeup techniques or even surgical procedures. In recent years, non-invasive treatments such as injectable fillers have also become popular for achieving this look. The desire for a chiseled jawline is not limited to men. Women, too, are increasingly interested in enhancing their jawlines through makeup or cosmetic procedures. This trend is a departure from previous beauty standards where softer, more rounded features were considered attractive.
In Thailand and South Korea, the prominence of the Adam’s apple is considered an attractive physical trait for men. This belief is closely tied to traditional gender roles and ideals of masculinity that are highly valued in Thai culture. For example, in Thai dance and theatre performances, male performers often accentuate their Adam’s apples by tilting their heads back, which enhances their masculine appearance. This standard of beauty is also reflected in Thai and Korean media and entertainment industries, where male actors and models with prominent Adam’s apples are highly sought after.
The Korean beauty standard places great emphasis on facial symmetry and proportion, with a high forehead, considered an essential element of this ideal. As a result, women in Korea often style their hair to accentuate their foreheads, sometimes even using makeup techniques to make their foreheads appear higher. This preference for a high forehead can be seen in Korean media and entertainment industries, where actresses and models with prominent foreheads are highly sought after. For example, the popular South Korean actress Jun Ji-Hyun is known for her elegant and symmetrical facial features, including her high forehead.
Piercings have been a popular form of self-expression for centuries and are deeply rooted in different cultures around the world. In India, nose piercings are considered a traditional part of Hindu culture and are often worn by women as a symbol of marriage or a sign of femininity. In contrast, Western societies often associate ear and eyebrow piercings with fashion and personal style. Modern piercings come in a variety of styles and designs, from minimalist studs to intricate hoops and chains. Some piercings are even associated with specific subcultures, such as septum piercings among the punk community or lip piercings among metalheads.
One thing that stands out about turmeric is its notorious staining power. Once it gets on anything, it’s there to stay. And if you’ve ever tried a turmeric face mask, you’ll know that it’s not just your clothes that are at risk of staining. But here’s the twist – in India, yellow-stained skin is actually considered a beauty trend. The application of turmeric on the face is a popular practice for both men and women. The spice is believed to have antiseptic and brightening properties that can enhance one’s complexion. As a result, having a slight yellow tinge on your skin is seen as a desirable outcome.
In contrast to many other cultures where perfectly straight teeth are highly coveted, Japan has a unique perspective when it comes to dental aesthetics. Rather than viewing crooked teeth as a flaw to be corrected, they are actually considered charming and endearing. As a result, braces are not commonly worn in Japan, and people often choose to embrace their natural dental imperfections. In fact, there are some who would go to great lengths to misalign their teeth and achieve the sought-after “crooked” look. So now, it’s possible that a reverse braces company could thrive in Japan, catering to those who want to restore their once-straight teeth to their former crooked glory, or even those who simply wish to eliminate the need for uncomfortable retainers.
In Mauritania, having a fuller figure is viewed as a sign of wealth and good fortune. The more weight one has, the better. It is a cultural norm to display one’s affluence through their body size. Conversely, if someone is too thin in Mauritania, it can be interpreted as a sign of poverty and inadequate access to food. This unique perspective on body image is deeply ingrained in the country’s cultural fabric. The societal expectation in Mauritania to showcase one’s prosperity through their body shape is so prevalent that it has led to some harmful practices. In the past, young girls were sent to “fattening farms” to gain weight rapidly.
The allure of luscious, flowing hair transcends cultural boundaries and is revered in many parts of the world. However, in India, long hair holds a particularly significant role. Deeply rooted in the Hindi religion and spiritual beliefs, the trend of growing out hair to extreme lengths has become a symbol of beauty, grace, and femininity. It’s not uncommon for women in India to grow their hair as long as possible, sometimes even surpassing their own height, as an act of devotion to their spiritual practices. Many women also choose to donate their lengthy locks to temples as a form of offering, serving as a powerful symbol of selflessness and commitment.
In some parts of Africa, having a shaved or bald head is considered the epitome of beauty. Long hair, braids, and complicated hairdos take a backseat to the simplicity of a bare scalp. Both men and women aspire to the bald look, which is regarded as a symbol of beauty. The convenience of this style is certainly a plus when it comes to everyday hair maintenance. For men, it’s a relief that balding is not seen as a negative feature but a desirable one. This beauty standard shows that what is considered beautiful varies across cultures and traditions, and it’s important to appreciate and respect these differences.
In Ethiopia’s Caro tribe, body painting is not just a hobby but an integral part of their culture. The tribe is known for using white chalk to create intricate patterns on their skin, which they believe enhance their beauty and make them more attractive to potential partners. Both men and women in the Caro tribe decorate their bodies with spider web-like motifs, creating unique designs that reflect their individuality and status in the community. The artists who create these designs hold a significant position in the tribe and are respected for their skills and creativity. However, only those who have undergone certain rites of passage or have attained a certain social status are allowed to adorn their bodies with white chalk body paint.
In South Korea, there are strict beauty standards that prioritize certain facial features. Among them, double eyelids are highly valued. While some people naturally have this feature, many opt to undergo surgery to create it artificially. The reason behind this trend is the belief that double eyelids make the eyes look wider and more attractive. As a result, many people, especially women, use tape to achieve this look on a daily basis. So, if you plan to move to South Korea, be prepared to encounter these beauty standards and preferences.
In many Western countries, the prevailing beauty standard is to remove body hair, leaving the skin smooth and hairless. However, in France, women tend to embrace their natural body hair and often choose not to remove it. This means that women commonly leave their legs and underarm hair untouched, just like men do. Despite the Western trend, French women have created their own standard of beauty that values naturalness over conformity. For many, this is a refreshing departure from the constant maintenance and upkeep required by other beauty standards. It’s no wonder that this French approach to body hair is tempting to many!
Among the Himba tribe in Namibia, red-toned skin is highly regarded as a sign of beauty. However, since their natural skin tone doesn’t always have this red hue, they have developed a unique paste made from clay and oil or fat to achieve the desired effect. This paste is purposefully applied to their skin on a daily basis, not just for cosmetic purposes, but also as a protective layer against the intense sun. Essentially, the Himba tribe has created their own version of sunscreen that also happens to be quite fashionable, thanks to its skin-staining capabilities.
Due to the overwhelming pressure of Western beauty standards on the rest of the world, many Asian countries have developed a desire for bigger, more Western-shaped eyes. In South Korea and Japan, along with many other Asian countries, having bigger eyes is considered a desirable feature. However, this is a trait that is hard to change if you are not born with it. Some surgeries allow people to change the shape of their eyes to make them appear larger, but they are expensive and not very common.
The Masai tribe of Eastern Africa is renowned for their unique ear jewelry practices, which involve stretching their earlobes with increasingly large earrings over time. For the women of the Masai tribe, elongated earlobes are considered a symbol of social status and prestige. The bigger the earlobe, the higher the woman’s standing in the community. So, it has become a sought-after physical trait for many. This tradition has persisted through generations and continues to be an important aspect of Masai culture today. Beyond just a fashion statement, stretched-out earlobes serve as a powerful symbol of cultural identity and community pride.
In South Korea, having a heart-shaped face has become a highly desirable beauty standard. Unlike other cultures, where general beauty standards are followed, South Koreans aspire for a specific facial shape. This craze is so prevalent that plastic surgery clinics offer various procedures to help women achieve this look. Chin surgery is the most common procedure that is performed to create a pointed chin, which gives the face a heart shape. This facial feature is seen as an important aspect of beauty and even a symbol of success, as it is believed that people with a heart-shaped face are likely to have a better future. The popularity of this trend has made South Korea a leading destination for plastic surgery, attracting clients from all over the world.
Body piercings are a popular form of body modification all around the world, and Thailand has its own unique style. Cheek piercing is a traditional practice in Thailand that has been popularized among both men and women. Although it may appear painful, especially with larger piercings, it is a common and accepted practice. Cheek piercings can also be a symbol of religious devotion, although they are not exclusive to religious individuals. The piercings are often adorned with jewelry, adding to the cultural significance and aesthetic appeal. While body piercings may be seen as unconventional or rebellious in some cultures, in Thailand, cheek piercings are a traditional and respected art form.
In many parts of the world, getting plastic surgery is seen as a somewhat taboo subject. People often want to keep their procedures private and avoid drawing attention to any bandages or marks that might give away the fact that they’ve had work done. However, in Iran, the attitude is quite different. Rather than hiding their plastic surgery bandages, people in Iran proudly display them for all to see. This is especially true of nose jobs, which are extremely common in the country. Many people are born with crooked or misshapen noses, and getting them straightened is seen as a way to improve one’s appearance and boost self-confidence. So, instead of shying away from their plastic surgery, Iranians show it off as a symbol of beauty and self-improvement.
Extraocular implants may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but they are a real trend in the Netherlands. The procedure involves the insertion of a small piece of molten platinum into the eye, allowing for a customizable design and shape to be displayed in the iris. While this practice may sound uncomfortable, it has gained popularity among those looking for a unique form of self-expression. However, there are risks involved with the procedure, such as vision loss and infection. It is important to note that this trend is not widely accepted or practiced outside of the Netherlands, and many in the medical community question its safety and ethics.
In Japan, having rosy or reddish under eyes is considered a desirable feature, in stark contrast to the popular notion that under-eye discoloration is a sign of tiredness or poor health. In fact, Japanese women accentuate the look by applying blush in that area, and this makeup style is known as the “sickly” look. While it may seem odd to some, it is a popular trend in Japan and is considered a unique and alluring feature. It is interesting how cultural beauty standards can differ so greatly, as what is perceived as unattractive in one culture may be considered beautiful in another.
In contrast to the popular trend of a small, button-shaped nose, Afghanistan celebrates the beauty of larger and more shapely noses. Instead of conforming to the global standard of beauty, Afghani women are embracing their natural features and some even undergo surgeries to make their noses even larger. It is fascinating how perceptions of beauty can vary across different cultures. Afghanistan’s celebration of the natural beauty look is admirable and promotes self-acceptance among its people. It is important for people to celebrate and embrace their unique features instead of conforming to a narrow beauty standard.
In contrast to Western beauty standards that often prioritize hair removal and shaping eyebrows, Tajikistan embraces a different kind of beauty standard. In this country, having excess facial hair, particularly in the form of a unibrow, is valued and considered a beautiful feature. Both men and women strive for the full unibrow look, and young children may even pencil in a unibrow if they don’t naturally have one. This is a stark contrast to Western beauty standards, where having a unibrow is often considered undesirable, and people spend time and money trying to remove any excess hair.
Moving to India, the Apatani tribe has a unique perception of beauty that values large nose plugs. These are inserted into the nostrils and resemble a piercing or gauge. The size of the nose plug can vary, but the bigger it is, the more desirable it is considered. This tradition is comparable to earlobe stretching in African tribes. If a person removes the nose plug, they will most likely have a large gaping hole, similar to the earlobes of African tribes. The striking image of a woman from the Apatani tribe modeling this beauty feature highlights the cultural diversity in beauty standards around the world.
In Indonesia, the traditional beauty standard for teeth is quite unique. While many cultures value straight, white teeth, Indonesians believe that the sharper and pointier the teeth are, the more beautiful they appear. This is not something that occurs naturally, so women often file their teeth to achieve this look. While this practice may seem extreme to some, it is a standard beauty practice in Indonesia. However, filing teeth can be quite painful, and it can even affect the ability to eat and talk normally. Despite the potential drawbacks, many women still opt for this practice in order to meet the local beauty standards.
It’s amazing to see how beauty standards can differ so drastically depending on where you are in the world. While some may seem strange or even uncomfortable to outsiders, they hold immense cultural significance for the people who uphold them. By embracing the unique and unconventional beauty standards from around the world, we can learn to appreciate and celebrate the diversity of beauty in all its forms.