Body image is something that a lot of people stress over.
One would think that this began in our modern society but this is a trend that goes back centuries ago and dates back into the Victorian era.
With all the pressures of how a woman’s body should look like, it is no wonder that people turned to the unthinkable just to fit into the perfect, “Cinderella shoe”.
Today, we take a look at the seven weirdest things mankind has done to lose weight in both historical and modern times.
Ingesting Tapeworm Larvae
History notes that this was a common practice in the Victorian era. The so-called medical practitioners of the time came up with a, “eat anything and never get fat” pill. The secret, Tapeworm Larvae.
The procedure starters with a person taking a pill filled with tapeworm eggs. The larvae would then hatch and grow in the intestines of the hosts, ingesting whatever the hosts eat. This ultimately led them to shed weight “effortlessly” while still stuffing their face. Seems like a win-win for everybody.
You’d be shocked to find out that this is still practiced up to date.
Back in 2014, there was a lot of controversy in the news when it was revealed that a pageant mom fed her young daughter tapeworm parasites to lose weight for a beauty contest.
This would have gone undiscovered had the little girl not had a severe stomach ache and been rushed to the hospital. On arrival, she kneeled over one of the toilets and violently vomited out live tapeworms.
Upon questioning, all her mother had to say was,” it was just a diet pill.” Tsk-tsk!
Taking Arsenic pills as a weight-loss method began in the 19th century. The pill worked by speeding up one’s metabolism hence they would quickly burn off what they ate.
They did this entirely unaware of the adverse effects of arsenic as it is extremely poisonous. The women who took the pills ended up with side effects such as vomiting and diarrhea.
For those who dedicatedly took it, their consequences were dire and inclusive of liver failure, blindness, and sometimes death. Surprisingly, people failed to join the dots between them and the pill remained a popular regime that lasted for years on end.
The corset diet
In our modern times, it is safe to say that the hourglass figure is the most adored body type and any woman possessing one would have men flocking at her feet.
This adoration/obsession did not just start here, it goes way back to the 16th century.
During that era, Catherine de Medici, the queen of France, forbade women with thick waists from attending court. This gave birth to a very common accessory, corsets.
The perfect solution for thick-waisted women to be deemed as beautiful and socially acceptable. The corsets gave women a wasp-like figure, making their upper half appear fuller.
Originally, they were made from whale bones but as they evolved, pieces of metal were used in them. This, in turn, made the corsets very heavy and gave a lot of women back problems.
When Queen Victoria stepped into power, she popularised the corsets even more and women both noble and common were seen wearing them throughout England.
However, not everyone was a huge fan of them, Napoleon Bonaparte, a worldly-known French military leader, publicly expressed his disgust for the corset. He deemed it as, “The decline of humanity”. Well, he was not wrong, considering the side effects accompanied by the corset.
Wearing it for many years caused breathing problems. Women would occasionally pass out from lack of enough oxygen and only regain consciousness when the lacing was loosened up. Years of this led to their lower lungs being crushed and made them subject to succumb to illnesses such as tuberculosis.
Medical practitioners of the time also believed that tight clothing could lead to Endometriosis and hence infertility. Lesions would be formed on the uterine lining and shed during menstruation, causing internal bleeding.
Fortunately, corsets started going out of style in the 1920s, when women became more liberal and as for now, the modern corset is both breathable and safe to use.
This procedure involves visiting a medical practitioner for a colon cleansing session. On average the weight loss is deemed to be about 3 pounds.
Colon cleansing is highly beneficial to your body as it cleans out your gut and ensures your digestive system is working efficiently. This also leaves no room for bacteria to thrive and increases your bowel movement.
Even though by doing this, the number on the scale will go down, this does not affect the fat in your body. Its percentage will still remain the same and after a while, by consuming solid food, you will gain back the lost weight.
Different people go to the dentist for different reasons. Some go for their annual oral checkups, some go when they have a toothache, and well, some go to have their jaws wired shut.
The procedure is done by bending the lower and upper teeth with a thin wire that connects a bracket together and keeps the jaw shut. It’s done in such a way that you can still speak clearly yet cannot consume solid food.
Well, you might think that practicing self-control is a much better option but some need a little extra boost. After the jaw wiring is done, they can barely move their mouths for days and will then only take in liquids. Hence losing weight.
Although this will help you shed off a few pounds, you will ultimately gain it back once the wires are removed and you resume eating solid food.
Turning to Cigarettes
Ever wondered why a lot of models in the movies smoke cigarettes? Well, this is an infamous trend that has been picked up by a lot of individuals in the beauty industry.
It’s safe to say that their hands have been forced and they’re plummeting, trying to find means of meeting the high beauty standards set for them. They say pretty hurts right?
The nicotine in the cigarettes kills the taste buds in their mouths, making every food appear bland and tasteless and killing the desire for food. The individual then eats less and less and loses weight over time.
Prolonged use of cigarettes makes one addicted to it and they can’t function without a good puff. This ultimately leads to breathing problems and lung failure. Whereas they truly will lose weight, they might end up losing their lives too.
Hello Sleeping Beauty
Ever wished that you could lose weight in your sleep? Well, most people have and chosen to take it into practice.
Research shows that people who don’t get enough sleep have a hard time losing weight.
Hence the reason why people are turning to sleeping pills to sleep for up to 20 hours each day in hopes of losing weight.
When you’re asleep you can’t eat can you? and you end up losing weight too. The pill also works as an appetite suppressant and for the few awake hours, you wouldn’t eat much.
A major downside to this is that there are only so many times you can do this. You can’t sleep for 20 hours every day, there’s a lot that needs to be done.
To sum it all, new and bizarre methods will keep coming up by the day, some effective but with dire consequences. Hence I stand by the fact that the best way to lose weight and keep it off is by eating the right kind of food and being active.