They say beauty is only skin-deep, but it’s also a human obsession, one that spans cultures and centuries. From Iran, where the perfect nose is considered the ideal form, to parts of West Africa, where fat is fabulous, one country’s beauty can be another’s ugly, or at least bizarre. Americans may obsess over the skinny, plastic ideal, but we aren’t always the norm. A look at beauty trends and rituals from around the world
- The Maori people of New Zealand practice a sacred beauty ritual—tattooing. These people, who are of Polynesian descent, believe women are more attractive when their lips and chins are tattooed. A woman with full, blue lips is considered the most beautiful and desirable.
- In the United States and many countries around the world, thin is the standard when it comes to beauty. But in Mauritania, a West African country, halfway around the world, bigger is definitely better. In Mauritania, skinny is rejected and plump is sexy!
While it might sound nice to throw dieting out the window, it's not all pleasant. For generations, young girls were subjected force feeding in order to fatten them up. In Mauritania, many say the more you weigh, the better chances you have of finding a husband. Some women are willing to do anything for a fuller figure, including buying black-market drugs meant for animals.
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