In the world of today, fashion industry standards are extremely high, but that isn’t to say that people in the past didn’t prioritize their appearance just as much.
And some of the people in different periods of history went to unimaginable lengths to ‘stand out’ from the rest.
For this compilation, TikToker Zachary Margolis gathered some of the strangest, most bizarre, unheard-of, and dangerous historical beauty trends that he shared in viral video series for his “Offbeat History” page.
Here we go…
In the times of old Greece, the unibrow was seen as a marker of purity and smarts. Some women would even use powder to make their unibrow darker, while others would wear fake ones made out of goat hair.
When the first x-ray machine was invented, people used it to remove hair, acne, and eczema, completely unaware that the side effects included ulcerations, atrophy, and even cancer.
The first portable hairdryer was introduced in the 1920s, and people quickly fell in love with it, not realizing that it would cause severe burns, electrocutions, and in some cases death.
Eyelash transplants were quite common in the 1800s, with experts sowing the hair straight into the eyelid with the use of a needle.
Italian women in the 1400s were obsessed with extremely thin lips, and art in this period of time did not aim to highlight or emphasize their lips at all.
During the reign of the Roman empire, many women would use the sweat of gladiators as a moisturizer. Containers filled with sweat were sold as souvenirs at the deadly fights. The sweat was believed to be an aphrodisiac.
In the year 1936, a woman named Isabella Gilbert invented a device called the Dimple-Maker. It used a spring that fit around a person’s face and two little knobs that pressed into the cheeks, for thinning purposes. Sadly, the machine did not work at all.
A few hundred years ago the practice of blackening teeth was popular among the ranks of aristocrats and married women. Black teeth were seen as a sign of beauty and tooth longevity. It was banned by authorities in 1870.
Before the revolution, in France, accentuated veins were seen as a sign of high status. Some would highlight their veins with a blue pencil to make them more visible. Other people would use leaches for the same purpose.
Three centuries ago women used lard to shape their wigs as the hairsprays of today were not yet invented. The worst thing about this is that the wig would become a magnet for rats. Sometimes the creatures would live in the wig for weeks and in order to prevent that from happening, women had to sleep with cages around their heads.
In order to make their teeth whiter, Romans would use urine to rinse their mouth. The urine was specially shipped from Portugal for this purpose.
Back in the middle ages, a woman’s forehead was seen as the most beautiful part of her face. Many women even removed their eyelashes to accentuate their foreheads and also plucked their hair and eyebrows to shape a long and oval face.
In the 1920s the suntanned complexion became popular after Coco Chanel fell asleep on her boat on the French Riviera. The bronze skin color was since then seen as a high status symbol for those who could afford sunny holidays, especially if they could travel during the winter period.
Many women in the 19th century ate poisonous arsenic wafers – which could easily be purchased – to whiten and even out their complexions. Some of the side effects include baldness, epilepsy, and cancer.
What are your thoughts on these crazy beauty trends? Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments and please share this article if you’ve enjoyed it.