Beauty Is Skin Deep – “I don’t think she looks beautiful”, quipped Sophie as we were standing before Da Vinci’s famed painting Mona Lisa in Louvre, Paris, jolting me from the spell I was in, savoring the beauty of that ambiguous smile which has kept the world bewitched for centuries. For a few seconds, I remained speechless, being thunderstruck at such weird remark, till I could collect my scattered wits to give her a fitting reply. “That’s because Lisa del Giocondo didn’t know how to apply Loreal Revitalift Anti-Wrinkle Cream. “Are you joking with me?” my French companion looked askance at me. “Beauty is skin deep, my dear” I blurted out in desperation and then added how women have been using beauty aids since time’s immemorial in order to have youthful skin.

As we wade through :

“Take the case of exotic Egypt,” I added, “where the concept of beautification and body care reached fabulous heights. Egyptian queen Nefertiti had her own blend of kohl which reportedly contained eye-beautifying ingredients, while olive oil was extensively used even by commoners for maintaining youthful skin. Why, Cleopatra, the famed Egyptian beauty not only knew all the secrets and art of makeup but also compiled a book on that subject. She herself indulged in taking her bath in a tub filled with milk, with rose petals floating on it to improve her skin. What’s more, ancient Egyptians had discovered the formula to treat stretch marks – efforts to keep their skin healthy and beautiful.”

“Gorgeous Greece too,” I reminded Sophie, “has a long and celebrated history of women having divine skin complexion. This is one of the reasons why a stunning beauty is often called a Greek Goddess. Aphrodite, who has been featured in western art as a symbol of female beauty was known for her alabaster white complexion, while the flawless skin of Helen of Troy caused one of the bloodiest of wars in Greek history. Greek women reportedly used white lead mixed with olive oil to whiten the skin. Although this made their face visibly lighter, it was a death trap because this invariably led to lead poisoning – a fatal disease condition.”

Other Beauty Instances:

“Let’s take a look at what the Japanese have done with their skin,” I meekly mentioned before Sophie who just refused to budge, pulled a chair at the nearest bistro and ordered coffee. “Even though Japanese women,” I continued, “have long been associated with glowing, healthy skin; the everlasting image that pops up in your mind when someone says Japanese beauty is none but that of a Geisha.”

“Geishas,” I confirmed, “not only used rice flour-based paste as a foundation but also used bird poop to remove heavy makeup from their face. The active chemical reportedly worked wonders with their skin, rejuvenating and replenishing it with lost skin revitalizing elements.”

Few More Interesting Facts:

“Shocking Elizabethan era in England,” I pointed out as we finished the coffee and proceeded towards Arc de Triomphe, Standing proud at the end of the Champs-Élysées, will provide you with some of the weird practices English women indulged in, to heighten their skin condition. In order to get the much desired pale color, they not only used lead (Pb) in their make-ups but also consumed arsenic that gave a white glow to the skin, albeit at the cost of their lives. Some women often used leeches that would bleed them out to achieve pale white skin.”

Our Very Own Motherland :

“Let us look to Ayurvedic India,” I commented to make Sophie understand how India’s age-old Ayurvedic preparations had helped improve women’s skin, some of which are still used by women now. For example:

    • Prepare a powder by mixing equal quantities of turmeric, amla, and neem One teaspoonful of this powder, taken twice a day will keep your skin glowing till your dying days.
    • Take 100 ml. of coconut oil and add 5 grams of powdered camphor to it. Put this mixture in a glass bottle and screw the cap on tightly. Put the bottle in sunlight for two hours. Applying this mixture on the skin will give it a youthful look.

All said and done, beauty perhaps is more than skin deep because there is more to being physically attractive than just good looks. While some believe that physical looks attract the people most, there is another aspect of human characteristics that attract more which is called dynamic physical attractiveness.

Twinkle Das

As a highly competent executive, presently holding a responsible position (Operations Manager) in a renowned Information Technology Company, the author is a happily married lady who is an MBA (Finance) from ICFAI, Hyderabad (2004 batch). She is also a model mother who can run an office and a happy home with the same efficiency and competence.

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