As fascinating as the past can be, there are a lot of reasons to be glad to live in the twenty-first century. Cosmetologists should be really glad they work with present-day tools and fashions rather than those of the past.
We’ve put together a list of 9 of the reasons cosmetologists should be grateful for the here and now.
- You Don't Have to Operate Dimple machines
In 1936, you could purchase a dimple machine—yes, a dimple machine. According to advertisers, wearing this springy headgear would give you a “fine set of dimples” in no time.
- You Don't Have to Glue on Mousey Brows
Today if you want fuller eyebrows, you reach for a brow pencil. In the 1700s, if you wanted fuller eyebrows, you glued some mouse fur to your face. Sounds lovely, right?
- You Don't Have to Dye Teeth Black
Until the mid-eighteenth century, it was common for married women in Japan to dye their teeth black. Sounds crazy, right? Well, believe it or not, it was actually pretty good for their teeth because it acted like a dental sealant.
- You Don't Have to Work with Giant Lard-Lathered, Pest-Infested Wigs
Cosmetologists should be grateful that we don’t wear those giant powdered wigs anymore. You know, the enormous ones from the 1700s. Everyone knows about those wigs, but did you know that they were held together by lard and that the lard attracted all kinds of unwelcome guests.
The wigs were often infested by bugs and if left unprotected at night, rats loved to nibble on them and nest in them.
- You Don't Have to Gather Crocodile Dung
Cosmetologists should also be really grateful that clients don’t request crocodile dung baths. The ancient Greeks and Romans hoped that bathing in crocodile excrement would keep their skin toned and youthful.
- You Don't Have to Feed People Arsenic
In the nineteenth century, it was believed that eating a little bit of arsenic regularly would make you look sexy and alive. Of course, the irony is that it could give you goiters, and if you got too carried away, it could kill you.
- You Don't Have to Extract Poison from Deadly Nightshade Plants
It was also popular back in the days of arsenic eating to squeeze some the nectar of the deadly Nightshade into your eyes to make them dilate. This worked great until people started to go blind. Then it was not so great.
- You Don't Have to Feed Your Clients Tapeworms
We’ve all heard of some crazy fad diets, but this has to be one of the craziest. In the early twentieth century, the diet that was popular was swallowing a tapeworm. The idea was to let it grow in your intestines and live off your food until you had lost your excess weight, and then you would take medication to get rid of the parasite.
There were some pretty serious complications that came from this diet. Apparently, tapeworms are not always as easy to manage as they seem.
- You Don't Have to Apply Radioactive Makeup
And finally, here’s one more practice that cosmetologists should be glad we’ve gotten over. In the 1930s, a French cosmetics line called Tho-Radia was all the rage because its ingredients included the radioactive elements thorium chloride and radium bromide. Yep, cosmetologists should definitely be glad they don’t have to work with that stuff.
I think we should all be glad that these practices aren’t popular now, and it’s pretty easy to look back and laugh at the crazy things humans used to do to be pretty. But who knows? Maybe what we think is normal today will seem really strange in the future. Maybe someday, people will look back and laugh at us.
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