Since the beginning of history, people have done eccentric things in the name of beauty. Ancient Greeks and Romans made mud baths and face masks out of crocodile excrement for its anti-ageing effect.
Chinese women bound their feet. And Victorian women swallowed tape worms to control their diet. But now with the internet, weird – and sometimes alarming – beauty trends not only appear, but also spread like wildfire. Here are five from around the world.
Vajazzle, a word that combines “vagina” and “bedazzle”, is a kind of body art where women adorn their private parts with crystals and glitter. American actress Jennifer Love Hewitt talked about hers on talk shows and in magazines when the craze began in 2012.
Last year, Sports Illustrated had models Chrissy Teigen, Nina Agdal and Mia Kang vajazzled for a photo shoot and even released a video of themselves getting it done.
Tattooth, tattoos on teeth, is a trend that hit in 2015. Given the limited surface area of the teeth, most people opt for simple images of their favourite cartoon character, logos of a football team or a short message, which are stained onto their crowns or veneers. With an average cost of around US$200, inking your pearly whites will cost you just as much, if not more, than a tattoo.
3. Duck lips
The Kylie Jenner challenge swept the internet in 2015. Teenagers put their lips into shot glass or bottles, then suck the air out of it, creating a vacuum, making their lips swell up. There is even a suction device created specifically for this purpose. Many, however, were horrified when they ended up with torn skin and bruises. Doctors warned of the danger to your lips, and possible long-term damage and pain.
4. Longer nose
Many Asians aspire to Western ideals of beauty and one of them is a straighter, sharper nose. Apart from plastic surgery, the market is full of different cosmetic tools promising to sharpen the nose. There are clip-ons that people are advised to wear for hours each day, even overnight, and small pieces of plastic to stick up the nostrils. Chinese beauty bloggers are even resorting to theatrical make-up to create a prosthetic nose.
5. Slimmer face
There are plenty of strange inventions in the Asian beauty market for slimmer faces. These include face wraps that go around your head or cover your face, supposedly to compress it into a more desirable shape, and massage tools that sharpen the jawline.
The most bizarre is the Facial Fitness Pao developed by Japanese company Shilab. You bite onto the mouthpiece then bob your head up and down, wiggling the silicon tool, as shown by football player Cristiano Ronaldo in the company’s viral advertisement.
According to the company, it exercises your facial muscles, turning up the corners of your mouth while reducing smile lines. It does not come cheap – HK$990 – but you only have to use it twice a day for 30 seconds.
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