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Throughout history, people have done some crazy things in the name of beauty. The safe, well researched procedures we know today are light years ahead of practices which would have taken place even as recently as 50 years ago. Advancements in medical science and technology have provided us with the sterile environments, meticulous procedures, and top of the line equipment we use today to ensure cosmetics surgeries have lasting, beautiful effects without sacrificing safety; however, this wasn’t always the case. This week, we’re taking a look at some of those less-than-glam procedures. Beauty is pain, and that’s never been truer than this week as we discover some Terrifying Treatments throughout history.
Articles which showcase this weight loss idea have come out as recently as 2013. However, most accounts date back to the Victorian Era. The idea, for those willing to do so, is to swallow a tapeworm. That way, people can lose weight without sacrificing too much in their diet. The thought process goes that the parasite will eat the nutrients and fats the host eats, and weight loss will be a quick and painless process. There are two major problems with this idea. The first is that many doctors purportedly gave out “tapeworm pills” which didn’t actually contain a tapeworm. Any effects noticed were placebo effects. Secondly, if the doctor did give out a tapeworm capsule, they had little in the way of information regarding how to get the thing out once weight loss was achieved! Even Khloe Kardashian has mentioned the fad in a season 10 episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, so it seems that just like the parasites in question, it seems this fad refuses to die.
This trend is easily the most terrifying on the list, so we’re giving an extra disclaimer here. All of these trends are detrimental to your bodily health, but this one will actually kill you. Do not attempt any treatment on this list. That being said, there was a time that people thought eating poison would help them lose weight: arsenic, to be exact. Keep in mind that everyone knew arsenic was poisonous at the time, so this is not a case of people not having access to correct science. Faux-experts would tout their “weight loss miracle” drug as a “metabolism booster” and simply ignore the fact that it could kill their clientele.
A Step Back In Time
The Chinese practice of footbinding was a torturous treatment which persisted until very recently. This practice has been banned in its country of origin, however, and for good reason. The beauty practice required intervention at a very young age. Girls would wear specially-made shoes to reduce foot size, breaking and misshaping bones to create impossibly small feet. It took years of work and pain and resulted in women having a difficult time walking among other issues.
Suck It In
Our final terrifying trend is still a common practice even today. Used correctly, corsets can be a way to slim your physique to look svelte in a new outfit. However, used incorrectly, corsets can cause damage to the body, especially the internal organs and their function. Victorian Era women were especially prone to fainting because their extremely tight corsets made it hard to breathe correctly. Corsets are not inherently bad, but bodily safety should come first. Corsets should not be worn every day and should not restrict breathing patterns. Prolonged wearing of overly tight corsets can cause atrophy of the back muscles, making it difficult to sit or stand up straight without help due to the reliance on a corset for support. Use these items as they are intended: for dressing up and special occasions, not every day use.
Which of these terrifying treatments shocked you the most? Let us know in the comments, then share this article with your diet partner so you’ll both know there are scarier ways than kale salads to achieve your beauty goals!