Reflection on Beauty Practices

Topics: Senegal, Culture, Dental plaque Pages: 1 (288 words) Published: March 30, 2013
Beauty has been defined in many ways. In some cultures beauty is everything, its what makes them who they are and in some cases represents where they come from. For example in America white teeth and pink gums are desired to fulfill a beautiful smile; however the women of Senegal and the Philippines believe this is not true. To beautify their smiles, Senegalese tattoos their gums black, and the women of the B’laan tribe file and blacken their teeth. These women also convinced themselves that they are not only beautifying their smiles, however they are also maintaining dental hygiene.

Some cultures are willing to go through pain to fulfill their idea of beauty. For example the women of china bound their feet to be more desirable to men. This process was extremely painful, their toenails were cut very short and their toes were curled under the sole of their feet until they were broken. This procedure limited women in their daily tasks. Tattooing of the gums in Senegal is also an extremely painful procedure. In order to achieve black gums one must go through excruciating pain, needles are repeatedly inserted in a rapid pace with black ink. About seven layers are ideal to achieve this desired look.

Viewing these videos has giving me a better understanding of beauty in different cultures, and even though beauty is mostly shown on the outside it can also have a huge mental affect on people. I have also learned that cultural beauty tactics that has been passed down from generation to generation can also come to an end at times. It can be rather upsetting to the older generation, however it cannot be avoided, for generation can also change with time.
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