Every culture has its own standards of what they consider beautiful. And what may be seen as beautiful to one, can be seen as hideous to another. Here are 17 foreign beauty trends that Westerners find gross.
Although they are seen as hideous in the West, and are often the butt of many jokes, in the Central Asian nation of Tajikistan, the unibrow is seen as a thing of beauty. Women with unibrows are considered more beautiful, and more desirable for marriage. Women even go as far as to pencil in a bit of extra fuzz.
While people in the West are spending thousands on orthodontists to get their teeth straightened, Japanese girls are paying thousands to have theirs crookeded. This trend allegedly started with a popular J-Pop band, whose female members all had crooked teeth. Many Japanese people consider crooked teeth cute, and consider girls with crooked teeth to be more natural. Although it originated in Japan, the trend has also began to catch on in neighboring South Korea.
Let's be honest, we all know much of the Western world, especially Europe, thinks fat women are gross. However, that is not the case in the west African nation of Mauritania. Here, girls are force fed by their mothers from a young age, to be deliberately fattened up. In Mauritania, big is beautiful, and a woman will most likely never find a husband, unless she comes with a bit of extra meat.
New Zealand (Maori Tribe)
Even most cultures in the East consider facial tattoos to be extremely hideous, and in the West they are synonymous with violent street gangs, such as MS-13. However, in the Maori culture, facial tattoos are seen as a sign of strength, beauty and cultural pride. Maori receive their first facial tattoos during coming of age ceremonies, and they are donned by both men and women. Although in recent years, many Maori have opted for "fake" facial tattoos instead of the real thing.
South Asia, Western Asia & North Africa
There is something about full body art that Westerners find gross, and apparently, that also applies to henna. Although you will see the occasional Western hippie sporting a henna design, most consider it as hideous as facial tattoos. However, in the Muslim and Hindu world, henna art is seen as a thing of beauty. But even so, you will normally not find very many women wearing it, except for weddings and festivals, and the design wares off within 3-4 weeks. But come on, you gotta appreciate all the time and effort put into these elaborate designs.
Papua New Guinea
In the West, this practice would be seen as barbaric self harm. However, for many tribes in Papua New Guinea, it is seen as a coming of age ceremony for boys, who endure the gruesome ritual at as young as 13. The scars are said to give the men the strength of the crocodile, which is regarded as a sacred animal in Papua New Guinea. The pain lasts about 2 to 3 weeks, and the boys are not allowed to cry during the process. Unfortunately, the scarification is too much for some to handle, and some boys do not survive the ritual.
The Himba are an indigenous tribe of traditional hunter gatherers found in the arid scrubland of Namibia. They are known for their red skin and hair, which is created by literally throwing heaps of dirt on themselves. Due to lack of water, the ritual is mainly used as a bathing practice, as well as protection from the sun, as the Himba wear little clothing. But the red skin is also considered a thing of beauty within the Himba community.
Ireland & The British Isles
Red Hair & Freckles
Okay, it's not really a trend, as there isn't much you can do about genetics. But even so, Ginger people are often the butt of jokes in many countries, and are considered unattractive. However, that is not the case in Ireland and parts of the British Isles, where Ginger people are quite common and considered quite beautiful. Gingers in this part of the world are far less likely to dye their hair or hide their freckles beneath layers of make up.
Southeast Asia (Indigenous Hill Tribes)
Okay, maybe not entirely "gross", as Western tourists pay tons of money to get a glimpse of these bizarre women. However, the practice is still seen as barbaric, and would never be practiced in the West. The "Longnecks" as they have been nicknamed are an indigenous tribe found in parts of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. It's pretty obvious to see how they got their name. Contrary to popular belief however, it is actually the shoulders that are being pushed down, and not the neck itself that's being stretched. Also contrary to popular belief, the woman's head will NOT fall off if the rings are removed. In fact, they have to be for bathing.
Kenya and Tanzania (Masai)
Stretched Ear Lobes
Okay, maybe this one isn't so shocking as ear gauging is practiced in the West too. A notable example is Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collin. However, the practice still isn't wide-spread, and the big gaping hole is usually filled with a gauge, while the Massai just sort of, "let it all hang out".
Ethiopia & South Sudan (Indigenous Tribes)
This is one that still makes me cringe! This bizarre custom is practiced by indigenous tribes of Ethiopia and South Sudan. It is mainly practiced by women, and the bigger the lip plate, the more beautiful the woman, therefore the greater chance of finding a husband. This is one I hope will never catch on in the West! I wonder how these people eat?
Giant Nose Rings
In the West, this one is considered just as bad as the preceding three. However, within the many ethnic groups of India, large elaborate nose rings are seen as a thing of beauty. But again, just like with the henna, you won't find your average Indian girl wearing one, as they are normally only worn by brides on their wedding day.
Female Body Hair
Actually, this is probably one that most people would find gross. But followers of the Sikh religion are forbidden from changing their bodies in any way. This includes the removal of any sort of body hair, which means the completely natural feature is not stigmatized like it is in the West, or even in other parts of India. Okay, the majority of Sikh girls DO NOT look like this girl, but you get the picture.
NO Female Body Hair
I know what you're thinking, isn't this normal in the West though? YES! HOWEVER, Israeli girls take it to the extreme, literally removing every inch of hair on their body, except for the stuff on their head. In fact Israeli Youtuber Henya Mania reported being laughed at by local girls on a public bus, because she had tiny visible hairs on her arms. YEAH! That's pretty extreme!
It's no secret that Desi girls take great pride in their hair, and long hair is seen as both a symbol of beauty and status. However, most in the West would say that Desis like their hair a little "too" long. For most Western girls, anything down to their waist is considered long enough. However, when it comes to Desi girls, there is no such thing as "hair that's too long."
Caribbean, Africa & Pakistan
Okay, this is probably one you won't notice unless you're a traveling foot fetisher. Black girls in the Caribbean and Africa, as well as Pakistani girls like to keep their toenails long. For some bizarre reasons that no one can figure out, this is seen as a thing of beauty in these parts of the world. But hey, you gotta applaud them for putting so much effort into something most people don't even notice.
Israel, South Korea, United States, Australia Melanesia, Muslim Countries
Okay, I obviously can't post a picture of this one, and I know what you're thinking, Westerners don't think this is gross! Well, not ALL! Europe is Western, and the majority of Europeans find the practice gross and barbaric. While in much of the world, aside from India, Europe and Latin America, circumcised penises are not only considered more hygienic, but also more beautiful. I honestly don't understand how someone can find a scarified penis beautiful, but that's just me.