Beauty, and what defines it, is a very subjective topic. How one defines and perceives beauty undoubtedly varies among individuals, yet some practices are universally accepted as “beautiful” by groups. Expectations of feminine beauty are greatly influenced by culture, gender, societal norms, and the media. Today, we examine cultural ideals and how they shape our vision of beauty.
As we take a look at some current examples from around the globe, remember that what you regard as atypical is seen as beautiful by others. It is important to be kind and not judge people for what they find to be attractive. No matter what you look like on the outside, you are you, and that makes you beautiful!
Coiled brass rings are worn around the necks of many women of the Kayan tribe. With age, many women choose to increase the number of rings to give the appearance of an elongated neck. The rings do not stretch the neck- they press down on the muscles of the collarbone giving the impression of a longer neck. This tradition of body modification has been around for over 1,000 years. (source)
The Matses Indians live in Peru and Brazil and are often called “cat people” because of the “whiskers” that women place in their noses. These whiskers are ornaments made from the ribs of palm leaves. (source)
Maori tattooing, moko, is a more recent practice that was adopted less than 300 years ago using a bone and chisel. These tattoos are highly intricate and detailed with no two designs alike. Since the head is considered to be the most sacred part of the body, facial tattoos are rather common. Women tend to wear moko on their lips and chins (source)
Scarification is used among several African tribes to mark different regions of the body for various reasons. The Karo tribe in Ethiopia begin the scarring process in childhood, and when finished a woman is left with a beautifully marked stomach meant to attract a husband and start a family. (source)
The “Bagel Head’ is a new body modification trend in Japan that uses saline to create a lump on the forehead- which is then pushed down in the center to to look like a bagel. In a country where smooth, pale skin is typically ideal, only time will tell if the bagel head will make it to the history books. For more details check out this article and watch the video at the end.
Members of Sikhism, one of the youngest major world religions, can be distinguished by their turban and unshorn hair among other articles of faith. Sikhs are not supposed to cut hair from any part of the body, leaving hair unaltered and in its natural state. Many Sikh women keep with this tradition while others adapt more modern ways and participate in hair removal processes. (source, source)
++ October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, and this is something we at Julep feel very strongly about. Bullying needs to be stopped and we all need to be more tolerant and compassionate to others. As Ellen herself would say “be kind to one another”. ++