We live in a world with some pretty insane beauty standards. But in the past, beauty standards were much worse (and we’re thankful to leave those behind). From
- Makeup Visors,
- To Strange Shoes.
People, and especially women, have gone to extreme lengths to achieve ‘perfection.’ Some of these trends are so wild that they actually look painful.
Check out these 10 crazy beauty standards from the past that you’ll hardly believe existed.
15th-17th Centuries: Chopine: In the 15th-18th centuries, women would wear these chopine shoes to protect their clothing from mud and to show their high social position.
Back then, shoes were what people used to identify their status. The height of them went up to 50 cm which can get tricky to walk in! So ladies would need the assistance of their maid.
1939 Makeup Protection: Before the days of sealing sprays or finishing powders, this was the way ladies protected their makeup from rain and snowfall. Seems a bit excessive and they were a bit inefficient considering they fogged up pretty easily.
Renaissance High Forehead: During this time period, a tall rounded forehead was pretty popular. Women would shave the hair over their forehead to create the look. They would also pluck out all of their eyebrows.
20th Century Dimples: Back in the day, the female face was considered incomplete without cute dimples in the cheeks. In order to obtain them, women were willing to put this device on their face.
In 1923 this device was created to fasten behind the ears and chin. Two metal rods would then press on the cheeks heavily and painfully. After enough use the dimples would appear. Sort of similar to the lip plumping trends of today.
England 17th Century Pale Skin: People used to use a product made from lead and vinegar to whiten the skin and it actually worked. Over time, the skin would turn yellow.
England 17th Century Venous Network: To enhance their high birth, women would use pencils to draw blue veins on their chest, neck, and shoulders.
Victorian Era Lip Biting: Queen Victoria banned the use of cosmetics but women still found a way to bring some color to their faces. They would bite their lips and pinch their cheeks.
19th Century Arsenic for Beauty: People used to consume arsenic in order to give the face a blooming look, bring shine to the eyes, and a roundness to the body. However, there was a downside to this: arsenic collects in the thyroid gland and can cause goiter and sometimes death.
Victorian Era Green Dresses: This dye was very popular during this time and it was a trend among sharp dressers. The color was called ‘scheele green’ and it was made using a mixture of arsenic and copper. This slowly killed the wearer as the dye caused irritation and then eventually penetrated the skin. Walls that were painted this color put people at extreme risk.
Europe 18th Century Moles: During the period of no cosmetics, moles became an important and useful form of flirting and fashion. Different positions meant different things. For example, a half-moon mole was an invitation for a date and a mole on the right cheek meant they were married.