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.
2. Lip Plates – Southern Ethiopia
In the Mursi tribe of southern Ehiopia, women are encouraged to wear lip plates which are wooden discs inserted into a gaping hole cut into their lower lip that is expanded gradually over time. The Mursi women often begin this process around the age of 15 or 16 whereby their mother or some other appointed woman cuts a slit in the lower lip which is held open with a wooden plug until the wound heals. Over a period of months to years the plugs are replaced with larger plugs until the desired size is reached. Some have stretched their lips to hold discs of 12 centimeters or more. It appears that the Mursi females are not coerced into doing this but choose to of their own volition sometimes under the influence of peer pressure. The lip plate is supposedly a measure of a woman’s bridewealth however, some reports have claimed the lip piercing may be a remnant of a custom meant as a deterent to make the Mursi women less attractive to slave traders in the past. Others happily marry without having pierced their lips or wait till after they’ve had children to do so.
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