How different canons of beauty are: having a Mursi mouth.

If we ask inhabitants of every country in the world, which woman and which man are the most beautiful, we would probably receive around 200 different answers. This is wonderful, because the human population is characterized by great diversity and thanks to different tastes, every type of beauty will find its supporters.

According to Wikipedia, the canon of beauty is a set of patterns and rules that apply to the representation of human beings in a specific area at a specific time. This means that not only are the canons of beauty different for different geographical locations, but they also change over time.  And that would be correct.

Today I would like you to look at the beauties of the Mursi (Ethiopia) shepherding tribe.


Girls of this tribe (entering adulthood, i.e. around the age of 14) have w whole cut in their lower lips cut and year by year a larger clay or wooden ring is placed in there. The largest ones reach a diameter of 35 cm. The bigger the insert, the more attractive the girl is in the eyes of the society and the pretenders to her hand. For us it might seem strange, because we wouldn’t know how to kiss or to eat. Well, Mursi do not know kisses. And women often break their lips pushing more and bigger things into their whole.

Feminine (and sometimes also masculine) perseverance and sacrifice on the way to the very peak of beauty in every culture can be both ruthless and controversial. Many people unfortunately forget about the universal principle of the golden mean, falling into a trap of exaggeration and ridiculness.  But….  tastes are so different and the world is so wonderful that everyone has a chance to be liked, accepted and happy.

By Monkeyji [CC BY 2.0  (], via Wikimedia Commons
By MauritsV (Flickr [1]) [CC BY-SA 2.0  (], via Wikimedia Commons