5 weird body modifications from around the world

Since the early ages, women have had to follow weird procedures to look beautiful as per societal norms.

Be it face tattooing or wearing huge studs, or crushing your feet, we have curated a list of five weird body modifications around the world that women follow to look more attractive and desirable.

1. Neck rings

The Padaung tribe women from Myanmar wear brass rings around their necks. According to them, the longer the neck, the more beautiful a woman is! The tradition of wearing brass rings started as a safety measure to make women less beautiful, and prevent them from getting kidnapped by other tribes. Now it is a sign of ‘beauty and culture’. Women start wearing 5 brass rings at an early age, with additional rings being added annually. This practice is followed until they are 25. These rings are worn for life, and a woman will only remove them if she commits adultery.

2. Teeth chiseling

This is a practice of chiseling teeth to make them sharp and pointy. The Mentawai tribe of Indonesia follows this tradition. According to them, chiseled teeth make a woman more beautiful and attractive! The tribe believes that ages ago, the people had split into spirits and humans. Humans are under threat if the spirits aren’t happy. Permanent body decorations like teeth chiseling keep the spirits happy and the people can avoid death for as long as possible. The women start following this extremely painful procedure without anesthesia and proper tools just to look beautiful, right from their teen years.

3. Lotus feet/ Cinderella feet

Upper-class women of the Han dynasty in China practiced foot-binding during the early 20th century. The method of foot binding was to curl the toes over and down under the ball of the foot and strap bandages around the ankle. This created an arch to the whole sole to bring the toes and ball close to the heel. The results achieved by this method were known as lotus feet or Cinderella feet. This was perceived as attractive and a symbol of wealth. However, due to this deformity, many women couldn’t walk properly and had to be carried in a chair or bed.

4. Lip disc

The women of the Mursi tribe from Ethiopia wear lip discs on their lower lips to look more beautiful. The lower lip is cut and is held open by a sodden plug until it heals. Usually, this procedure is followed when girls turn 15-16 years of age. Unmarried women and newlywed women wear lip discs more frequently. Apart from beauty, the lip discs also symbolize their identity as Mursi women. The lip discs are worn for ceremonial purposes and can be removed. Women only stop wearing the lip disc if their husband dies.

5. Elongated earlobes

Elongation of the earlobes is a tradition followed by the Dayak tribe women from Indonesia. This is a symbol of beauty and patience, along with the status of nobility. The ears are pierced when a baby girl turns 4 years of age. The Hisang, earrings for elongating the earlobes, then are worn by the girl. The earring is made of silver or bronze depending on the social status of the family. The longer it is, the more significant the woman is to the tribe. Hisang is added annually to the girl’s earlobes. When the girl is getting married, the total number of hisang could be 20!.

Also Read | What is Nutricosmetics? Has it brought a new approach to ‘beauty’?

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