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  • 23.08.2017

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What people find unattractive
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23.08.2017

What people find unattractive

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Beauty is an aesthetic, a concept, a product, a tradition, and even a sport. It is always subjective, but one sure thing about beauty, is that it changes drastically depending on geographic coordinates.

Each culture has its own unique standard of beauty, making an attractive person in Hollywood likely to appear unattractive in Africa, for instance. Some countries keep beauty practices minimal, while others have a whole lot to say about what makes the "perfect" woman.

In France, you might feel more comfortable going out without makeup. It is a place where natural beauty is revered, rather than cosmetically-enhanced beauty. In the United States we see celebrities layering on the makeup, but that's the opposite of what a French woman would do. In an interview with Vogue, Paris-based professional makeup artist Violette explains how the French use makeup compared to how other cultures might.
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"What we want is to be ourselves," Violette explains, "Not a better version of ourselves. We feel like it's better to be used to something than to try to change it. So we think: what style can I have with this face, and with this hair? That mentality is 100 percent French." If a French woman uses makeup, it is typically only kept to a minimum to highlight her natural features. If you look like you're trying too hard, or putting a lot of time and effort into your appearance, you're not a true Parisian beauty.

Many countries, like the United States, hold slenderness as the ideal body image, especially for women. However, other countries truly do believe in the phrase "the bigger the better." In Africa, for example, many men value bigger women more than thin ones. It may be an aesthetic preference, but it is also much more than that. A larger physique reveals certain aspects of her lifestyle that are preferable to African men, like her ability for good child-bearing, her social status, and her health. If a man and woman are married, for example, her size reflects their high quality of life.

Can they afford to eat and live comfortably? According to the South African outlet Times Live, studies "by the Human Sciences Research Council showed that obesity among black women was attributable to the tendency to link wellbeing to weight gain." This concept is not a new one, either. This train of thought about a woman's weight being associated with her status is present throughout recorded history.
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In Venezuela, beauty is a huge commodity. There is a very high pressure to have a very specific kind of figure: big bust, tiny waist, plump booty. This ideal of the female form is in such high demand that women of this country very often undergo multiple surgeries to fit their country's standard of beauty. A few years ago, the country's president, Hugo Chàvez, publicly spoke out against these practices, saying that doctors "convince some women that if they don't have some big bosoms, they should feel bad."

Still, these standards permeate retail. Vendors even display mannequins that reflect this particular shape because the more voluptuous form actually ups their sales. One Venezuelan woman in a New York Times video says, "The Venezuelan woman will never be satisfied, because she's always going to be getting her breasts done again." If you're flat-chested, you're out.

Many of us have seen women with rings stacked high on their elongated necks in issues of National Geographic. This kind of body modification takes place in regions of Thailand and Burma (Myanmar), and it is the trademark of a Padaung tribeswoman. Even though the necks appear to get longer, what actually happens when a woman receives her rings is that the heavy gold coil pushes down on her shoulders and collar bone, making the neck seem longer than it is.
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Still, it is not for the end result of seeing the long, bare neck that these women practice this tradition. In fact, having an exposed neck is uncomfortable for a woman of this tribe, despite the initial amazement at finally getting to see what her neck looks like. The long, coil-bearing neck is a mark of belonging, as well as beauty.

In the United States, face tattoos can be associated with gang affiliation, or simply considered the mark of an undesirable, social outcast. However, it is the complete opposite for the Maori people of New Zealand, whose cultural history has been literally and figuratively marked by striking facial ink.

Getting one's face tattooed in this culture is known as Tā Moko. Women who participate in this tradition get chin tattoos, signalling a huge milestone in their lives. According to Broadly, "[The] traditional female chin tattoo is considered a physical manifestation of their true identity. It is believed every Māori woman wears a moko on the inside, close to their heart; when they are ready, the tattoo artist simply brings it out to the surface." Each chin tattoo is personal and particular to the wearer. It is usually stylized after their ancestral markings, as well as after their own identity. It is a practice that makes Māori women feel whole, beautiful and fully realized.
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