How far would you go for beauty?

Published 8:27 am Thursday, April 22, 2010

Though most won’t admit it, women feel the pressure to look a certain way.

Whether it’s from a magazine, television or a even a significant other, the inundation of ideal images are always prevalent. And with the pressure to look perfect comes the beauty market filled with cosmetics, creams, dyes and lotions. Then, of course, there are the extremes like injections and cosmetic surgery. Some of those may seem perverse to some while alright to others and what is “extreme” varies from person to person.

Like most women, I have my regime that I go through each day as well as the certain products I like to use; but there are also times, albeit, in the middle of putting on face lotion, blow drying my hair or putting on make-up that I wonder—“Why am I doing this?”

In some ways it’s the female prerogative, and though we do feel that pressure, we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t want to and there is probably something primitive equated into that. For birds it’s the males that are the “pretty ones;” they fluff their vibrant feathers and do a little dance to get the female’s attention. And while I could attribute those actions to some human males, it seems the “pretty” part is left to the human ladies.

While I’m not above putting on face lotion and mascara; there’s just some days I don’t want to deal with it and there are some beauty secrets that I’d rather some would leave a secret.

Enter my recent reading of a magazine where celebrities “spilled” their bizarre beauty tips.

Actress Kate Walsh admitted she uses emu oil for her skin. The oil is extracted from the fat of the large Australian bird and was used historically by the Aborigines.

Instead of using good old fashion lipstick, Claudia Schiffer opts for Jello to stain her lips.

For her new show, “The Price of Beauty,” singer Jessica Simpson drank cow urine. In Mumbai, India, the urine is believed to detoxify and help the appearance of your skin.

Actress Demi Moore has openly disclosed that she has used Austrian leech therapy to detoxify her body.

Celebrities aren’t the only ones with weird beauty secrets. That need to look a certain way extends way back into the past.

Ancient Greeks would often use plant extracts and even arsenic to lighten their hair.

In Renaissance Italy, women created a red lip and cheek stain by mixing cochineal, sandalwood or cinnabar with wax or grease. The red color would last over a week.

During the “Golden Age” in Spain, women would eat clay to keep a porcelain complexion. However, ingesting the clay would often cause anemia or chlorosis, the latter often causes a green tint to the skin.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: or call (252) 332-7209.