If you need any more proof that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, these captivating photos are it. Standards for attractiveness and physical appearance change from country to country, and what you might think is off-putting, others might consider stunning. So keep that in mind as you scroll through these rare photos depicting beauty standards and trends worldwide.
Untouched Unibrows – Tajikistan
When it comes to Western beauty standards, it is usually the less hair, the better. Hair removal is commonplace and can occur over the entire body. People are also known to spend hours shaping their eyebrows and ensuring no hair is out of place. In Tajikistan, that is not necessarily the case. People there value excess facial hair, especially when it comes to eyebrows. If you have a unibrow, you could just be the belle of the town.
This beauty standard is for both men and women, as they both strive for the full unibrow. Young children are known to even pencil in a unibrow if they do not already have one.
Crooked Teeth – Japan
Although perfectly straight teeth are a sign of beauty in many places around the world, in Japan, things are a little bit different. Braces are not the norm there, and often people will leave their crooked teeth alone and embrace them. Crooked teeth are considered cute and sweet, and countless people in Japan would do anything to misalign their perfectly straight teeth. Maybe they need to come up with a company for reverse braces.
It really could be an excellent business opportunity to help people get their crooked teeth back or at least they can eliminate the need for retainers. If you had braces in the past, you could just let your teeth go back to their crooked ways.
Facial Tattoos – New Zealand
Tattoos have been pretty popular worldwide, but in many places, they are reserved for the parts of the body from the neck down. That is not the case in the Māori tribe of New Zealand, where facial tattoos are prevalent and a sign of beauty. Each and every tattoo has its own meaning and significance while also indicating a woman’s position in the tribe and which tribe she belongs to.
It’s almost like wearing a name tag right on your face everywhere you go. It must be convenient but also sometimes frustrating to have everyone know everything about you at first glance.
Intentional Scars – West Africa
In most parts of the world, people try to hide their scars. If they have an accident that leaves a mark, they usually will do everything in their power to cover it up so no one can see that anything happened. However, in some parts of the world, things are very different. In many African tribes and New Guinea, it is common to scar yourself intentionally. These scars are considered marks of beauty.
These scars are most commonly found in men and are a way to show strength and proof that you are a warrior. They are most certainly never hidden from anyone.
Eyeball Implants – Netherlands
Have you ever heard of an extraocular implant? It is not a very common term, and if you don’t live in the Netherlands, you probably have no idea what this is without doing a Google search. But don’t worry; we got you: an extraocular implant is a surgical procedure that implants a small piece of molden platinum into the eye of the person. You can even choose whatever design and shape you want.
Although you have probably never seen or heard of something like this before, if you head over to the Netherlands, don’t be surprised by the little shapes in people’s eyes.
Larger, Shapely Noses – Afghanistan
Although most of the world is leaning towards a very specific nose shape as their standard of beauty, Afghanistan is embracing the local look and encouraging people to keep their larger and more shapely noses. Not everyone wants the same small button nose that is popular in many cultures at this time. Afghani women are the exact opposite and sometimes even try to get surgeries to make their noses even larger.
It’s funny how the idea of beauty can be so different in different places around the world. Kudos to Afghanistan for embracing the natural beauty look for most of their people!
Stretched Necks – Burma
Want a neck as long as a giraffe’s? Although you might’ve never considered this a possibility, in many parts of the world, it’s one of a woman’s most desired beauty traits. If you were not born lucky enough to have a naturally elongated neck, and you live in a place like Burma, there are neck stretching devices (like the jewelry in the picture) that can help you.
This is also fairly common in many African tribes as well. Long necks are known to be a sign of beauty and a very desirable trait for women.
Hair Everywhere – France
In recent years the common Western beauty standard has become that removing almost all body hair is the definition of beauty. However, some countries ignore this trend and stick with their own beauty. In some European countries, most famously France, it is common for women to leave most of their natural body hair intact (just like men do). Underarm and leg hair does not need to be removed for women to be considered beautiful.
This one is so nice that it tempts us to move to France! Imagine never touching a razor again – it sounds like heaven to us.
Fake Tans – USA
Having bronzed or tanned skin has become quite popular in the West. People are known to spend hours in the sun just to get a little bit of a summer glow. However, they may have taken things a little too far in the 2000s when fake tans became all the rage. Spray tans, tanning beds, and excessive amounts of bronzer became a necessity for everyone.
The most interesting aspect of this trend is that most of the time, it was pretty obvious that the tans were fake as they did not look very realistic.
Unnaturally Wide Eyes – Parts of Asia
Perhaps due to the overwhelming pressure of Western beauty standards on the rest of the world (Hollywood is partially to thank for that), many Asian countries have developed a desire to have bigger, more Western-shaped eyes. South Korea and Japan, along with many other countries in Asia, value bigger eyes and have made it a very desirable feature. This is also a hard trait to change if you are not born with it.
Some surgeries allow people to change the shape of their eyes to make them appear larger, but they are expensive and not very common.
Extra Long Locks – India
Long hair is valued in many different cultures around the world. It is often considered a sign of true beauty and feminism. In India, in particular, long hair is very much valued. Rooted in the Hindi religion and spirituality, the trend of long hair has caused many women to grow their hair to extreme lengths. Oftentimes hair is grown out just to be donated to a temple as a spiritual offering.
This lady seems to be competing with Rapunzel when it comes to her hair!
“Glass Skin” – South Korea
Skincare and a wrinkle-free face are pretty much valued in every culture. Women (and men) throughout the world buy countless creams and spend hours on skincare routines to keep their skin looking young and fresh. In South Korea, they take things to the next level in the strive for “glass skin.” What is glass skin, you might ask? Is it the most flawless version of skin that is also shiny and translucent?
In order to maintain and achieve this level of perfect skin, women are said to implement a ten-step skincare regimen. That sounds not only time-consuming but expensive!
Super Thick Lips – USA
In recent years (also partially thanks to the Kardashian clan), there has been a widespread trend to have extremely plump lips. The bigger, the better is clearly the case here. As most people are not born with enormous lips, botox, lip fillers, and surgeries have become very popular as people are desperate to create an enormous pout. Countless celebrities have this look which creates the overall beauty standard for the rest of society.
People have even been known to tape their top lip to the area under their nose so that they can create the look of enormous, plump, and puffy lips.
Larger Booties – USA
It’s funny to see how trends can change so quickly in society. One second the beauty standard is that flat bottoms are all the rage (in the 90s, it was the flatter the better), and then just a few years later, the exact opposite is true. Now in the USA, most people are striving to increase the size of their lower half, with inspiration from Kim Kardashian and the whole Kardashian clan.
More than just a big bottom, it is also stressed to have a small waist. The age-old hourglass shape has replaced the pencil shape that was popular in the 90s and 00s.
Perfect Teeth – USA
Orthodontists in the US are known to have a pretty endless stream of work in line for them. There is no shortage of children that need their teeth straightened, and since perfect, straight, white teeth are so important in American culture, it’s a pretty sure career choice. Unlike some of the other countries on this list, the US finds perfect, not sharp, white teeth to be the picture of beauty.
Teeth whitening and straightening are very popular in the US. People with practically perfect teeth are also known to get their teeth straightened and spend thousands of dollars on the procedure.
The Pear Shape – Brazil
Most people dread the idea of being considered to have a pear body shape. It is often demonized in Western media and seen as not beautiful. However, that is not the case in Brazil. The pear shape (also known as the guitar shape there) is considered the ideal body shape to have, and everyone is striving to achieve that. People want to have larger bottoms and smaller chests.
As in many countries, being overly thin is not a sign of beauty but rather a sign of poverty. They think that if you are thin, you are malnourished and probably poor.