What is considered beautiful? Throughout the world and each time period offers different standards of beauty, each culture has it’s own image of beauty should look like. Starting from the thousands of tribes coming from Africa adding different figures to their bodies, like increasing their mouths with disks, ears, etc. or even adding rings to the women’s neck so it could be longer. Tattooing your body or even scarring your body made your look socially accepted and beautiful.
Each one of us has it’s own eye for beauty even though we are constantly being promoted into believing what beauty should look like, in the end we are going to select the thing that attracts us the most instead of the one we should socially pick.
What was considered beautiful?
Looking back people were not making figures of aesthetic gods looking perfect, but instead they were considering bigger and larger women to be beautiful. They were considered more maternal as well and people made figures of them, they created art showing what they believed it was beauty.
Each culture has it’s own belief, but sometimes things could go a little out of hand. What today we would consider taboo or even morbid, at the culture we are going to talk about was a true belief and a practice everyone should do.
I want to start by telling the source first. The information I’m going to display will come from a very serious book, it’s a good and well written masterpiece by Umberto Eco. It’s called “History of Beauty” and inside you can find very useful information regarding what people considered beautiful throughout history. It also covers the Hunnic culture and their believes.
Huns and Facial Hair
This is a pretty interesting topic regarding facial hair. In many cultures facial hair is considered manly and people in most cases always have had facial hair, even though people didn’t really care about their looks that much.
We are going to cover the period between the end of the Roman Empire and Start of the Medieval period. This was a period where a lot of people migrated and that’s where it got the name “The Great Migration” that lasted around 400 years starting from 400 A.D.
Everyone was in a war against everyone and it was just messy. Even though after the fall of the Western Roman Empire the sources begin to drop down, when the Huns dominated and raided across Europe, the Empire was standing still and Romans always gathered information about their enemies. This is how we could find out what kind of people the Huns were and in this specific post what they looked like and considered beautiful.
At that period in the book it’s stated that Roman Males considered facial hair as a thing of beauty and people grew facial hair for better display of their imagery.
On the other hand the Huns considered facial hair to be a thing of disgust and even disliked it so much that they wanted to remove it permanently. The possibility of removing your facial hair permanently was very difficult at that time and things ethic standards were slimmer.
What they did is they burned their skin on their cheeks. By burning the skin, the deepest layers of the skin you are destroying the rebirth process of your hair and removing it permanently. This was the an effective way to remove your facial hair forever. Also you could slash your cheeks as well and that would stop the process of hair growth.
But when we look at it, the burn will left so much scars your face will be damaged forever. Boys from a younger age were starting with this hair removal process in order not to grow facial hair.
This is a pretty serious facts when you have to burn your cheeks in order to be considered beauty, but there is a second serious thing that might damage your health as well.
Babies were wrapped with cloth around their heads in order for their skull to grow in a different form. This is possible with babies because their skulls aren’t fully hardened and can change the shape while they are growing in it.
The cloth was pressed hard that their skulls became and had a pointy form. They didn’t look like normal people and frightened everyone.
This part is confirmed by archeology findings and the interesting part is that many of their Germanic allies seemed also to follow the practice. Skulls were found with that exact shape confirming this tradition or beauty standard.
In order to be beautiful people did a lot of silly things looking from our aspect, but we also do silly things today as well, the point is that we don’t notice them as much.