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30 Unbelievable Things Women Have Done Throughout History In The Name Of ‘Beauty’


As a woman, I can comfortably and unashamedly admit (well, maybe a little ashamedly lol) to having done some pretty strange things in the name of beauty. I love lash extensions, but paying someone to glue tiny little hairs onto each of your individual eyelashes is a little out there.

I also enjoy a good spray tan, but when you think about it, paying someone to spray your skin to make it appear darker is a little strange. Not to mention the disgusting smell of a spray tan.

It may be a reflex reaction for boomers to blame all of these strange beauty treatments on social media, celebrity pressure, or millennials simply being their difficult selves, but in reality, women have been doing strange things in the name of beauty for centuries!

The only thing that has changed throughout the ages are beauty trends. Check out some of the strange things women used to do!

“In the 1920s, a full-faced swimming mask helped protect women’s skin from the sun.”

Image Source: Hulton Archive

“1940s Portable Hair Dryer.”

Image Source: Easyart/PA

“Cliftonville Faceless Beauty Contest, 1936.”

Image Source: Austrian Archives

“A Young Woman Holds Her Arms And Legs In Four Water Bathes With Electric Current, Circa 1938,” says the caption.

Image Source: vintage.everyday

“1949, Woman Tans Using A Suntan Vending Machine.”

Image Source: ahtisham-ahmed

“You Have A Beautiful Face, But What About Your Nose?”

Image Source: Unknown

“The bra was designed to vibrate while the wearer was at work and claimed to develop and strengthen the bust. 1971, Brussels.”

Image Source: Unknown

“1930s French Breast Washer.”

Image Source: Unknown

“Rita Perchetti and Gloria Rossi Use Their New Portable Bathhouse to Change Clothes After Sunbathing On Coney Island Beach, 1938.”

Image Source: Unknown

“X-Ray Of A Female Torso With A Corset (Left) And A Female Torso Without A Corset (Right),” 1908.

Image Source: nyamcenterforhistory.org

“In the 1920s, rubber beauty masks were used to remove wrinkles.”

Image Source: Wellcome Collection

“A Perm in 1929 Germany.”

Image Source: Everett Collection

“Miss Lovely Eyes Beauty Pageant Contestants in Florida Wearing Masks To Obscure The Rest Of Their Faces, 1930.”

Image Source: FPG

“The Dimpling Machine in 1936.”

Image Source: Unknown

Hairstyle “Ironing,” 1964.” – I did this in the 1990s, so it lasted a long time!

Image Source: Unknown

“Removal of Freckles.” A Difficult Apparatus Is Used. The eyes are covered with an airtight piece, and the nostrils are filled in. Breathing is accomplished via a special tube. Sensitive Face Areas Must Be Treated Separately, 1930.”

Image Source: Mansell

“Taking Precise Measurements Of A Beautiful Young Woman’s Head And Face With A Torture Instrument, 1933.”

Image Source: Hulton Archive

“1929 Wooden Swimsuits.”

Image Source: Unknown

“1940 Facial Warming Mask.”

Image Source: Unknown

“The 1931 Ice Mask by Max Factor.”

Image Source: International News Soundphoto

“Customers Get Their Legs Painted In Croydon, London, 1941.”

Image Source: G W HALES

“Tape Worm Diet in the 1900s.”

Image Source: Unknown

“Hair Dryer from the 1920s.”

Image Source: Unknown

“A Woman With A Seam Painted On Her Leg To Make It Look Like She Is Wearing Stockings, 1926”

Image Source: Fox Photos

“In the 1940s, women who had recently given birth were not prohibited from smoking in the hospital.”

Image Source: Unknown

“A Fruit Mask From The Thirties.”

Image Source: vintage.everyday

“Ankle Competition Judged By A Police Officer In Hounslow, London, 1930.”

Image Source: Prismatic Pictures

“Bathers wore garments like this freckleproof cape to protect themselves from the sun before the invention of sunblock in the mid 1940s. Built-in sunglasses are also included with the Cape.”

Image Source: Unknown

“10th Century Chinese Foot Binding Tradition.”

Image Source: Jo Farrell / Living History Project

“Black Teeth, a Traditional Japanese Sign of Beauty, 17th – 19th Centuries.”

Image Source: Pierre Dieulefils
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