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10 Bizarre Standards of Beauty From Around the World

Western standards of beauty clearly have the most influence and prestige around the world. Aspects like leaness, well-proportioned bone structure, healthy hair, and physical fitness are some of the features coveted in western culture. The pinnacles of beauty are often personified in Hollywood’s leading actors and actresses, haute couture fashion models, and even certain high profile athletes. In other parts of the world however, there are other standards of beauty that exist that would seem bizarre or unthinkable to westerners. Here are 10 ideas of beauty valued in certain parts of the world.

10. Red Skin and Hair – Namibia

Women in the Himba tribe of Namibia are known for their iconic red skin and hair. This is not a genetic feature but rather a result of their unusual beauty regimen. Twice a day they apply a ruddy, aromatic paste called otjze made from crushed ochre stone, fat and butter all over their skin and hair. They begin doing this as soon as they are old enough to look after themselves hygienically. The origins of the treatment is not certain but it appears to carry benefits as a sun block and insect repellent and also helps to retain moisture in the skin. Because water is scarce, Himba women cleanse themselves with herb-infused smoke which they allow to permeate their skin for minutes at a time. Women’s hair feature intricately styled braids and dreadlocks and they wear jewelry made from shells, copper and woven reed.

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