The Things We Do for Beauty

The Things We Do for Beauty

Lauren PesinMonday,11 May 2015

As I was spending more than four hours and $200 to get my hair done (mostly to cover my gray), I noticed two children, about 6 and 8 years old, who were also getting their hair done. They appeared relatively patient for being so young and spending more than six hours at the salon. The two girls would on occasion shy away from the hot iron and prodding, but all-in-all they were extremely well mannered. The little girls didn’t seem to mind the pulling and poking from the hairdresser or even the multiple hours spent sucking up their Saturday playtime. I commented to their Mom. “They are very well behaved. Doesn’t the hair pulling hurt?” Laughing, she replied, “They don’t mind at all. They just want to look pretty. They’ll be in the mirror for hours.” There it is.

I would like to say they will outgrow this mentality, but unfortunately they are more likely to embrace the attitude as they get older. This experience made me think about what women do for beauty and why we do it.

Working out, traditional primping (hair, nails, body hair removal, treatments bordering on the arcane), and plastic surgery immediately came to mind as pretty common practices. However, women do unusual things on a regular basis in our pursuit for beauty.

Throughout history, women have bound their feet, removed toes and ribs, worn metal corsets, undergone Gladiator sweat and road kill facials, shaved bones and used arsenic to remove body hair. With all our newfound knowledge and technology, we must have discovered more civilized practices, right?

Absolutely not.

I discovered the “wise and wonderful” women of today, do the following: vampire facials (self-donated blood mask – thanks Kim Kardashian), botulism injections because plague is always fun (Botox anywhere and everywhere), bull sperm hair treatments (nice bull…stay calm…), pee on your face (done since the Roman era and it’s still disgusting), appetite suppressants that cause heart attacks (only sometimes), nose waxing (up and inside – pleasant), placenta skin cream, bird poo facials, extraocular implants (usually metal hearts or stars inserted beneath the cornea), turpentine leech baths (Demi Moore getting desperate in her 50s), Preparation H under the eyes, and kitty litter exfoliant, just to name a few.

These measures appear either extreme or just plain nasty, so why do we do it?

According to my research and random polling, the reasons vary, including: for others, to get laid, for our own self-esteem (to assist getting laid or finding love), to ward off old age and stave off thoughts of dying, because we think we look better, because others tell us to (if we want to get laid or find a partner), to look like other people we think are beautiful, or for the overall attention.

Ultimately, whatever the goal, be it beauty, youth, health, or strength, it’s clear — sometimes humans just get a little crazy.

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Image Credit: Flickr

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