Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, changes from one decade to the next, and, as they say, is often in the eye of the beholder. No wonder I think my beaded elephant vest from a thrift store in Austin, Texas is the most gorgeous accessory known to man. Different cultures around the world set their own beauty standards and with these standards, some pretty odd trends follow. Let’s take a look:
Geranium to the Cranium
CNN recently reported on a new hair accessory growing in Beijing, China: sprout hair clips. These hairpieces attach to any part of the hair, much like a barrette. However, instead of coming in neutral tones to blend in while they secure flyaway’s, the clips sport a thin-stemmed plant.
These plants come in much more than your average green foliage variety. People are seen sporting tulips, mini sunflowers, and a variety of other flora atop their heads. No one actually knows where this trend originated, but it has spread like Kudzu during a hot southern summer. Growing tired of the plant puns yet? One vendor cited the clips’ success because of how much fun they are to wear. It adds cheer during what could be a mundane work-week, boring outfit, or otherwise poor hair day — we’ve all had those. Think how nice it would be to attach a miniature plant to that three-day-old sock bun. Here’s hoping this trend makes it’s way over to us.
Dyed Armpit Hair: Fourth Wave Feminism
While this trend isn’t as widespread as Farrah Fawcett’s hair or the return of peasant tops, it has definitely gained traction with millennials worldwide. In our culture, it is the norm for females to shave everything from neck to ankles; maybe for some of us (myself included) this zone extends to the tip of the toes — hello hobbit feet.
Recently, instead of shaving, waxing, or lasering those primitive patches of lush hair off, women are taking to completely acknowledging them by dying them a rainbow of colors. It’s a way to express oneself be it at a music festival, South Beach, or the call center cubicle. Let that freak flag fly and embrace your furry friends. Winter is coming, after all.
This trend definitely sounds like something straight out of the Matrix and maybe it should just stick to fictional pages for safety purposes. Originating in the Netherlands, ocular implants are millimeter-sized shapes that are surgically implanted into the whites of your eyeballs.
This procedural breakdown sounds like the plot of Saw VII and it goes a little something like this: inject numbing agent into the eye, prop eye open with speculum, cut (WITH SCISSORS) pocket like incision between the sclera and the conjunctiva, and insert cute little heart. These alloy charms come in a myriad of shapes too, so when you go blind it can be for fashion’s sake. Don’t they say beauty is pain? I can much less dig an eyelash out of my eye than have someone come at them with a sharp lacerating object.
Over the past decade, there has been a push towards natural living. Be it organic produce, farm-to-table restaurants, biking in lieu of driving, or holistic medicine, we have probably adopted at least one trend into our daily lives. However, I don’t believe that I could go without my daily (or let’s be honest, every other day) shower. It’s a stress reliever, a cathartic solo moment, and a break from the rest of the world.
Dave Whitlock argues that, much like taking probiotics for our stomach, using his bacteria mist, Mother Dirt, brings our skin back to basics. The history of bathing doesn’t necessarily stem from a human need to be clean. In Roman times, visiting the local bathhouse was the only way to find out if Quintus was really banging Eurydice. Whitlock argues that this spray takes the place of showering, doesn’t strip the skin of needed bacteria and doesn’t include dyes or perfumes like many traditional soaps. Whitlock acknowledges our desire for routine and tradition, noting that this product can be used in conjunction with showering. We think that’s the only way this product will gain widespread traction.
Japanese culture has been known in the past to include some bizarre trends in their look book. Canine teeth, bagelheads — you name it, they’ve probably tried it. Whereas most women try to hide a late night on the town, a lack of showering, or international baggage under their eyes, Japanese women are flaunting it as the next best thing in beauty.
YouTube hosts a number of tutorials to achieve this unique look. Blush under the eyes, greasy hair, baggy lower lids, check, check, check. And of course, the Japanese women partaking in this trend make it look adorable and kitschy. If I went to work looking actually hungover or attempting to look it, I would be asked if I was suffering from an allergic reaction. We have no idea what prompted this trend, but like many others, we are sure it will fall by the wayside before hitting the states. We’re much too vain to appear as anything but fresh faced and youthful.
Evonne Lui/Cnn, Roxie Hunt, Kinja, Mother Dirt