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Updated 21 January 2019

Body beautiful goes way back

Vanity isn't something new. If you think that people today are too concerned with their appearances, just stop by a museum.

Vanity isn't something new. If you think that people today are too concerned with their appearances, just stop by a museum.

Great-great-grandmother wasn't wearing whalebone corsets because they felt good. And those collections of ancient Egyptian jewels were meant to make people look better, as well as reflect social status. Human nature doesn't change much over the millennia.

According to the March 2000 issue of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, being beautiful hundreds of years ago wasn't as simple as having scented oils poured over your body, or taking milk baths. The ancients were into dermabrasion, too - long before lasers came along.

Some of the ancients tried to smooth their skin by rubbing it with salt, ground animal horn, dried grain and volcanic rock. They even tried chemical peels using acids, mineral salts and animal fats.

So if you feel embarrassed about having liposuction or a hair transplant, don't worry. Your great-great-great-great-grandparents would have wanted it, too.

 
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