It was the end of the 17th Century in Naples, and Signora Toffana had invented a special powder that she called Aqua Toffana. She encouraged her customers to never ingest the powder themselves, but to cover their faces, necks and breasts before being with their husbands.
What the wives didn't know was that the key ingredient in Signora Toffana's special powder was arsenic. 600 dead husbands later, Signora Toffana was executed.
But that's not the only thing women have done in the name of beauty! Makeup has played a huge role in history. The Ancient Egyptians believed beauty brought them closer to the Gods and eye makeup doubled as bug repellant! It was the original buy-one-get-one-free deal!
Contrary to today's beliefs that tan skin is beautiful, in days of yore,
it was pale skin that attracted attention. And while we have harmful tanning beds to darken our skin, they had their own harmful methods of lightening it. Lead-based skin lighteners were used through much of history and caused horrible deformities. Some women even went so far as to bleed themselves to get pale skin! And of course for centuries the geisha have been using white paint to achieve their pale skin. Today in Japan, whiteners are still very popular and even include such bizarre ingredients as bird droppings!
But it makes me wonder...in 200 years will our great, great, great grandchildren be writing blogs about how women in the 21st Century used to inject botulism into their faces to remove the wrinkles?
What about you? Have you ever gone to extremes in the name of beauty?
-Jerrica, Her Grace of Grammar