Friday, November 21, 2008

Peculiar Beauty on Oprah

No, not me.
Alert reader Sheila wrote to say that Oprah did a show today about unusual beauty standards and practices around the world.  Go here for a bunch of great clips (I of course just watched them all).

The lady at left is wearing a hejab that reminds me of pediatric-ward scrubs.  She hails from Mauritania, a country in Africa, where young girls are force-fed to achieve the national standard of big, plump womanly beauty.  When Oprah heard this, she broke into There's a Place For Us, from West Side Story.  That is me reporting what happened, not me making a lame joke.

 The segment on Japanese women featured two things I have heard a lot about this year: nightingale-poop facials and collagen-based foods (like cow-neck tendon) for lovely skin.  A restaurant devoted to that cause opened recently in NYC.  Lots of pigs feet.

I learned several things I did not know from these clips:

1.  Indonesian women wrap their midsections tightly in 20 meters of fabric to regain their shapes after giving birth.  This makes so much sense to me that I can't believe most other women don't do it.

2.  Iran is the "nose job capital of the world."  Really?

3.  The most desired hair for extensions comes from temples in India.  Worshippers shave their heads as part of a ritual offering to please the gods.  The temples earn 18 million a year selling the hair.  Apparently Chris Rock is in India doing a documentary on this "Temple Hair."  What?

I can now say with confidence that not just me but all humans are utterly obsessed with weird beauty stuff.