Women have done lots of crazy things throughout history to gain and hold beauty. Many beauty secrets have been deadly. Ancient Egyptian women used lead-based kohl to enhance their eyes. Similarly, in Greece, women used a mixture of lead and olive oil to whiten their skin, despite the slow poisoning effects. Japanese Geishas removed their makeup with nightingale poop. Bleurgh! But the worst era has to be Elizabethan England, where paleness was so valued the women ate arsenic and used leeches to make themselves white. Even worse, they ate tapeworms to stay slim. Blech! (very tempting, however. LOL)
So the link today between these three odd things is primarily beauty, but secondarily it's the tortures involved in making yourself beautiful!
Women praise the rosy fullness of bee stung lips and use honey for skin products. We replace sugar with honey in the hopes it will keep us slimmer. Believe it or not, arsenic still exists in some makeup, in amounts small enough to keep it from being listed as an ingredient. And corsets. Alas, the old whale bone contraption that took at least two people to wrench it closed is gone. Thank gawd! But we still have modern day versions of the corset. Can you say Spanx? #:0)
All women are linked by our search for beauty. It is the rare woman who doesn't care how she looks, or if there are things she can do to improve her natural gifts. And thank goodness we live in times enlightened enough about what can harm us that we can create that beauty without killing ourselves in the process. But more importantly, today's woman is too savvy and confident to fall for the "beauty at all costs" mentality. We can be strong and attractive and still understand there is more that makes us valuable human beings than our looks. But the history of beauty is important to understand, ensuring that we don't fall into the same traps our sisters from the past did. And our story, decades from now, can be used to similarly train our future sisters. I wonder what they'll think about Spanx? Hmmm
Here's to being the best we can be, without becoming slaves to others' expectations!