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Women's Museum of California

Preserving the Past, Inspiring the Future

Extreme Beauty

Extreme Beauty


Exhibit Date:
Friday, November 03 2017 to Sunday, January 28 2018

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November 3 - December 30

The quest for beauty is a timeless one and throughout history women's appearances have been particularly subject to scrutiny.

Across the ages, ladies have gone to extreme measures to alter their looks, often in painful ways that conform to beauty standards of the time. By revealing what people of their time found aesthetically and socially valuable, weird beauty trends throughout history helps us better understand changing social climates. Of course, it's arguably important to embrace beauty as an act of body positivity, creativity, and agency but the extreme techniques remind us that the history of the beauty routine wasn't always pretty.