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8 Of The World’s Weirdest Beauty Standards Ever!

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In some parts of the world, cultures and languages have melted away and history is now the only thing left to illuminate what happened in the past. In some other places, the cultural significance of their traditions is yet to be on the wane.

Many existing cultures might seem interesting and captivating but some of them involve extreme body modifications, terrible beauty standards and weird rituals and traditions. The weird cultures seem so normal to those who practice them but will shock the rest of the world and are frequently viewed as strange by many.

However, it only reminds us of the cultural and traditional diversity around the world and shows how humans interact with different cultures to explain different behaviours they engage in.

Even though we might see these 8 weirdest beauty standards as insane, awkward, extreme and silly, we don’t need to despise them for being a little different. After all, there are a lot of modern trends that we are yet to understand likewise.

Long Earlobes – Maasai Tribes of Kenya

Maasai people pierce long earlobes as pictured above. Known for their long preserved culture, Maasai men, as well as women, see the need to be beautiful and regard beauty as a necessary part of their lives and this seemingly extreme body modification adds to their beauty. After piercing and stretching the earlobes which they do with different materials including thorns for piercing, bundles of twigs, stones, the cross-section of elephant tusks and empty film canisters, the women wear various forms of beaded ornaments in both the earlobes and smaller piercings at the top of the ear. The oldest tribe members have the largest earlobes. Though fewer and fewer Maasai, especially boys, now follow this custom, it is still a common practice and thus, it happens in the region till date.

Yaping Hullo Nose Plugs – The Indian Tribe ApataniYaping Hullo is similar to the normal piercing, just that bamboo strips are replaced to make the hole bigger. The moment this nose-hole is big enough, a cane plug is set to be inserted. Many older women still retain this strange fashion thing as a significant part of their roots, but modern women have dropped this practice. However, it is believed that women of the Apatani tribe wore the yaping hullo to appear undesirable to men from other tribes.

Yaeba Teeth (Double Tooth) – Japan

Yaeba which translates literally as the double tooth is a dental method where the upper canines are capped either permanently or temporarily to create a fanged look. Well, you don’t have to be scared, it’s not a severe dental deformity, and it costs between £130 – £340 for each tooth. This trend was invented by Japanese pop stars and many people in Japan think it’s stunning. Plus women with crooked snaggle teeth are considered to be alluring. The whole idea is to turn an unattractive thing into something famous and beautiful.

Stretched Lips – Mursi Women of Southern Ethiopia

This is arguably the most extensive fashion trend worn for centuries in various African and South American communities. Stretching of the lips is common just among women from certain regions (mostly popular among tribal groups of Ethiopia, a tribe in Southern Ethiopia near the border with Sudan). Girls rock these accessories from their teenage years and it is, in fact, a way they mark a girl who’s going to be a woman. They begin the process of stretching their lower lip when a girl turns 13 and more. Strangely, the Mursi believe that the size of a dinner plate fits the best.

It’s a painful and awful practice but it evolves a girl into a woman. It is a process that starts with an initial piercing done as an incision on the lower lip of about 1 to 2 cm length, and a simple wooden peg is inserted. Following the healing of the wound, they replace one peg with a bigger one, and the stretching process begins all over again.

When the hole becomes big enough, they put the first wooden plate, and it’s about 4cm across. But it is the right of the women to choose how long they wish to stretch their lips.

In a case where the plate is more than 20cm, women can opt to remove part of their lower teeth (painful). Each woman takes pride in crafting her own plate and including some ornamentation. The final diameter ranges from about 8 cm to over 20 cm.

This practice has a great significance and is part of their wedding ritual. Plus, married women put some food on their plates when serving their husbands a meal. You might find this practice, awful, awkward, and gross but something tells me these women also find the women who paint their lips just as gross as you find them.

Today, the custom is still maintained but by a few groups in Africa and Amazonia.

Kayan Long-Necks

Kayans’ live in northern Thailand in villages that are open to visitors. Women in the region put on these insane brass neck coils from their childhood starting from age four or five, replacing it with a longer one and adding more turns. They don’t get to remove their rings even while sleeping. These rings are creating the illusion of a longer neck and women wearing these coils are known as “giraffe women” to tourists.

There are many stories surrounding the neck rings including one about a legend who says these rings protect women from a tiger’s attack, another one suggests the neck rings protected women against becoming slaves by making them less attractive to other tribes, there’s also one that said that the coils give the women resemblance to a dragon, which is an important figure in Kayan folklore and also one that says it’s only another beauty tradition.

But in all, women with long necks seem to be more attractive in the region than the ones without neck rings. However, many of the women decline wearing or practising this tradition today.

Lotus Feet – China

Here is another one of the weirdest beauty standards and extreme body modification practised in the world. In imperial China, people did this painful beauty procedure involving a girl’s feet being bound tightly with cotton strips, wrapping them when they hit the age of five.

The wrappings were made as tightly as possible so as not to allow the feet grow. After the entire process, the feet are not able to get their regular shape, making it easier to spot women with lotus feet by the manner of their walk. Girls with lotus feet were regarded as more sexually pleasing than girls without and they had more chances of having a prestigious marriage. This crazy fashion trend was finally banned in 1912.

Face Tattoos – The Maori

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While tattoos are still in vogue among the modern people, this unique culture still makes the list of weirdest beauty standards because of the way it’s done.

While a smooth, clear face without tattoos is considered a fairly universal standard of beauty, Maori people think otherwise. Maori practices a strange face tattooing, traditionally called Ta Moko.

This face-inking can be done to cover the whole or part of the face. Also, the patterns and positions in which they appear vary (can be curved shapes and spiral-like patterns) depending hugely on rank, social status, power, and prestige. It’s not just about getting a face tattoo which can be gotten from anywhere around the globe, the great thing about Maori tattoos is that to this day, no two tattoos are alike.

Maori tattoos are one of a kind and contain a lot of tribal messages although different people tell different stories about the Maori tattoo, including believing it has a direct link to beauty and a sense of belonging. Some say it has deeper myths than the ink on their skin, it sure draws attention to the eyes, lips and creates the illusion of beauty. Moko is about uniqueness, glamour, and beauty, it’s like a tattoo masterpiece on their skin till they bid this planet their last farewell.

And they are always highly intricate as well as detailed, displaying the craftsmanship and artistry of not only the artist but of the Maori culture.

Scarification – Ethiopia’s Karo Tribe

Most people around the globe often times, use their bodies to express their cultural identity, status or connection to their gods, but scarification process is terribly long, painful and seems somewhat extreme. This is in every sense, one of the weirdest beauty standards in the world.

This process consists of cutting the skin with a sharp instrument, (usually some sort of knife or cut glass) in such a way to control the shape of the scar in order to create certain patterns.The process is believed to be a form of art, like body decoration. Keep in mind that more and more designs or scars could be added throughout the year. Scarification involves opening of the flesh, application of powerful plant juices and dark pigments onto the wound, such as ground charcoal or, sometimes even, gunpowder. So when the scar heals, it is raised and dark which is called keloids. Normally, Karo women among other reasons, scar their chests to look more beautiful, and it’s a part of the ancient ritual. In fact, women confess they do it basically to attract men.

While most people would classify the aforementioned cultures as some of the weirdest beauty standards that ever existed, the people who practise them treasure them with everything they have.

 

24 Hours Across Africa

10 changes you make in your 30’s.

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Many people spend their 20s getting some unhealthy behaviours out of their system — like sleeping until 2pm on Saturdays and spending all their disposable cash on new kicks.

But your 30s are an ideal time to cement the habits that will help you achieve personal and professional fulfilment for the rest of your life.

To give you a head start, we sifted through recent Quora threads on this critical life transition and highlighted the most compelling responses.  TOP ARTICLES1/5READ MOREWoman with dementia punched in the facewhile wearing badge saying ‘I have Alzheimer’s please be patient’

Here are 10 lifestyle tweaks you can make in your 30s to lay the foundation for lifelong success:

1. Stop smoking.

If you’ve started smoking, stop immediately, suggests Quora user Cyndi Perlman Fink.

While you can’t undo the damage you may have already incurred from smoking, research suggests that those who quit before age 40 have a 90% lower mortality risk than those who continue.

2. Start going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day.

It might be tempting to use the weekends to recoup your sleep debt, but Nan Waldman recommends you hit the hay and wake up around the same time every single day.

If you oversleep for even a few days, experts say you risk resetting your body clock to a different cycle, so you’ll start getting tired later in the day. Avoid a lifetime of sleep issues by sticking to bedtime and wakeup routines whenever you can.

3. Start exercising regularly.

“Try to move yourself as much as possible,” says Alistair Longman. “It doesn’t matter if it’s walking, cycling, running, weightlifting, hiking, swimming — as long as it involves some movement.”

In the later half of your 30s, you start losing muscle mass, so it’s especially important to exercise at this time. But remember to choose physical activities you really love, since you’re less likely to continue exercising if you dislike your workouts.

4. Start keeping a journal.

“Journal your life! Your written records will entertain and endear in your future,” writes Mark Crawley.

Even if you’d prefer to keep your musings to yourself, putting your thoughts and feelings on paper can help you deal with stressful events.

(Getty)

5. Start saving money.

“Building the habit of saving early means you’ll continue it further down the line,” says Cliff Gilley.

It might seem like your golden years are a lifetime away, but the earlier you start saving, the more time your money has to accrue interest.

6. Start pursuing a life dream.

“Don’t delay pursuing your life goals,” writes Bill Karwin. “Want to buy a house? Have kids? Write a book? Pick one of those life goals and get started. What can you do between now and the end of the year to embark on one of them?”

7. Start learning to be happy with what you have.

“If you are content with what you have, you will have a happier life,” says Robert Walker.

It’s really about gratitude: Research suggests that appreciating what you have can increase happiness and decrease negative feelings. Perhaps that’s why Oprah Winfrey kept a daily gratitude journal for years.

8. Stop thinking you need to satisfy everyone.

“After I reached 30, I stopped feeling the need to please everyone. You can choose your friends and contacts more carefully,” says Kevin Teo. In particular, Teo realised he wasn’t obligated to be nice to people who were unfriendly toward him.

Whether you decide to whittle down your Facebook friends to a mere 500 or simply hang out more with the people who make you happy, it’s important to invest your time and energy wisely.

9. Stop comparing yourself to others.

“If you are unable to do some things in life compared to your siblings and friends, then please be at peace with yourself,” advises Mahesh Kay. “Don’t be harsh on yourself.”

As one psychotherapist writes, constantly peering over your shoulder to see what others are doing doesn’t help you accomplish your goals. You’d be better off spending time thinking about what you want to achieve and evaluating your progress on those fronts.

10. Start forgiving yourself for your mistakes.

“Forgive yourself your mistakes. We all make plenty of them. Don’t dwell on the errors of the past — learn from them, let them go, and move ahead,” writes Liz Palmer.

One social psychologist says that self-compassion (the ability to forgive yourself and learn from your mistakes) is the key driver of success. That’s likely because people who practice self-compassion see their weaknesses as changeable and try to avoid making the same errors in the future.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Sobering Up: In An Alcohol-Soaked Nation, More Seek Booze-Free Social Spaces

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A national trend of boozeless bars is cropping up nationwide to create social spaces without the hangovers, DUIs and alcoholism culture. It’s part of a new push for sober options.

ST. LOUIS — Not far from the Anheuser-Busch brewery, Joshua Grigaitis fills a cooler with bottles and cans in one of the city’s oldest bars.

It’s Saturday night, and the lights are low. Frank Sinatra’s crooning voice fills the air, along with the aroma of incense. The place has all the makings of a swank boozy hangout.

Except for the booze.

Pop’s Blue Moon bar, a fixture of this beer-loving city since 1908, has joined an emerging national trend: alcohol-free spaces offering social connections without peer pressure to drink, hangovers or DUIs. From boozeless bars to substance-free zones at concerts marked by yellow balloons, sober spots are popping up across the nation in reaction to America’s alcohol-soaked culture, promising a healthy alternative for people in recovery and those who simply want to drink less.

Joshua Grigaitis puts out nonalcoholic drinks on a Saturday night. From boozeless bars to substance-free zones at concerts marked by yellow balloons, sober spots are popping up across the nation, promising a healthy alternative for people in recovery and those who simply want to drink less.

A cooler is filled with bottles and cans at Pop’s Blue Moon bar, which hosted boozeless Saturday nights in January, offering hop water, nonalcoholic beers and drinks infused with cannabis-derived CBD. (LAURA UNGAR/KHN)

“We evolved as social creatures. This is a good trend if you want the experience of companionship and social culture but don’t want the negatives,” said William Stoops, a University of Kentucky professor who studies drug and alcohol addiction. “It can help people make better choices.”

A federal survey shows nearly 67 million Americans binge drink at least monthly, meaning women down four drinks during a single occasion, men five. Midwestern states have some of the highest binge-drinking rates in terms of both prevalence and intensity, putting millions of people at risk.

Research links excessive alcohol use to fatty liver, cirrhosis and cancers of the breast, liver, colon, mouth and throat as well as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, dementia, anxiety and depression. Nearly half of murders involve alcohol, according to studies. Drinking kills about 88,000 people annually, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. Such diseases and social ills cost the nation an estimated $249 billion a year.

Even one drink a day is unhealthy, said Dr. Sarah Hartz, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis. “If you’re going to drink, know it’s not good for you.

If you or someone close to you is struggling with issues mentioned in this story and you would like to connect with others online, join USA TODAY’s “I Survived It” Facebook support group. For help with a drinking problem, check Alcoholics Anonymous, Smart Recovery or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s helpline at 800-662-HELP.JOIN THE GROUP

For Grigaitis, 41, who also goes by Joshua Loyal and is co-owner of the bar, tying all his fortunes to alcohol was “weighing on my soul” after 20 years in the business. He cut way back on his own drinking and began holding boozeless Saturday nights in January, offering hop water, nonalcoholic beers and drinks infused with cannabis-derived CBD.

“I love everything about the bar business — except the alcohol,” he said. “The nonalcoholic beverage movement is a growing group. I’m making a decision to choose this and I’m proud of it.”

Chris Marshall, who founded Sans Bar in Austin, Texas, in 2015, got sober in 2007 and was working as a counselor when a client shared how difficult it was to navigate the social world without alcohol. The client’s relapse and subsequent death was his call to action.

Sans Bar held a national tour this year with pop-up events in St. Louis, Portland, Ore., and Anchorage, Alaska, and opened a permanent location in Austin. It draws a largely female crowd all along the sobriety spectrum, from those in recovery to the “sober curious.” People gather for hours to sip handmade mocktails, talk, dance and listen to speakers and sober musicians.

“If you closed your eyes on a Friday night, you’d think you were in a regular bar,” he said. “This is not about being sober forever. This is about being sober for the night.”

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