Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. In the United States, we sometimes get so wrapped up in the standard of beauty that we see in our current media. Thin women with big breasts and long hair seem to be the norm, and the standard that American women try to shoot for.
However, this is not the standard everywhere.
There are places in this world that would rather you have a long neck than worry about your cup size. There are places where scars are not something to hide, but rather they are something to be celebrated and enhanced. There are places in this world where the waif look is exactly the opposite of what they would consider beautiful.
To help us all remember that beauty is really something personal and is unique across the world, here are five surprising beauty symbols from various parts of the globe.
1) Thailand: Necks
For members of the Kayan tribe in Thailand, the main point of emphasis when it comes to beauty is a woman’s neck. They value long necks and consider women who have them to be beautiful and elegant. Starting as early as age five, Kayan girls wear brass rings around their necks to help elongate them.
2) Ethiopia: Scars
While many women in other parts of the world hide any scars they have on their body, the Karo tribe in Ethiopia celebrates them. The practice of self-scarring is seen as a way of adorning oneself. The act is cherished.
3) Mauritania: Fat
Do not try to lose weight if you are a women living in Mauritania. It is good to be large here. Being fat is seen as a desirable aspect for a woman as it can be a status symbol for her husband.
4) New Zealand: Face tattoos
Tattoos are not just for arms, ankles or the lower back in New Zealand. The women of the Maori tribe get their lips and chins tattooed. The more tattoos they have, the more beautiful and desirable they are.
5) Kenya: Long earlobes
While women in the Unites States might try to accentuate their earlobes with long earrings, the Maasai women of Kenya take a different approach. They try to accentuate their ears with long earlobes. They work to elongate their ears using stones and elephant tusks to stretch them out.
No matter what you think is beautiful, it is helpful to remember that your ideals are not entrenched everywhere. Perhaps learning more about beauty as it's embraced in other cultures can help all women to stop trying to live up to one standard of beauty which is, oftentimes, unattainable.
Cosmopolitan.com. Web. 22 July 2015. “LONG NECKS, STRETCHED LIPS, AND OTHER BEAUTY STANDARDS FROM AROUND THE WORLD”.
Allwomenstalk.com. Web. 22 July 2015. “8 different ideas of beauty around the world.”
Oprah.com. Web. 20 November 2008. “Beauty around the world.”
Reviewed July 23, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith