Suffering, Sacrifice and Punishment under the Tyranny of Beauty Essays

Suffering, Sacrifice and Punishment under the Tyranny of Beauty Essays

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What woman doesn't want to be beautiful? Women want to please and will go to extreme measures to achieve the beauty ideal. Over the centuries, women have mauled and manipulated just about everybody part - lips, eyes, ears, waists, skulls, foreheads, stomachs, breasts and feet - that did not fit into the cookie-cutter ideal of a particular era's ideal of beauty and perfection. Women have suffered, sacrificed and punished themselves under the tyranny of beauty.

For example, during the Renaissance, well-born European women plucked out hairs, one by one, from their natural hairline all the way back to the crowns of their heads, to give them the high rounded foreheads thought to be beautiful at the time. Those who didn't want to resort to plucking used poultices of vinegar mixed with cat dung or quick-lime. The latter often removed some of the skin as well as the hair.

During the Elizabethan age many women, in search of porcelain like skin, whitened their faces using ceruse, a potentially lethal combination of vinegar and lead. Queen Elizabeth herself used ceruse so consis...

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