Museum of Enduring Beauty, Malacca

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Posted on Wed, Mar 25 2015 13:52:57

museum of enduring beauty

The Museum of Enduring Beauty in Malacca, Malaysia, is dedicated to different interpretations of beauty across cultures. It documents all kinds of beautification procedures – tribal teeth filling, scarification, tattooing, piercing, corseting, neck and lip stretching,  head molding and foot binding, in other words – most of the things that were not accepted by the belief system of the Western world, but thrived in the East through the ages.

The museum exhibits body modifications and adornments ranging from the earliest periods in history to the modern times. Some of them show pain and agony of those who were undergoing their beautification process. Each beauty regime is described and exemplified by photos. A large section of the exhibition is dedicated to tooth filling and neck stretching. 

The practice of neck stretching, achieved by adding copper rings to one's neck, was aimed to protect young girls from – believe it or not - tiger attacks.  If you remove the neck rings from the already stretched neck, it will cause instant suffocation.

Lip plates go back 10,000 years and used to be popular in many African and Brazilian cultures. The museum demonstrates this practice with various sculptures.

Another interesting exhibit from the Western world is the photos of “The most famous lady in English history” - Ethel Granger, who had a tiny 13 inch waist, which was barely enough space for her spine.

The museum opened up in 1996, and is located on the third floor of the People's museum in Malacca.

Gallery: Museum of Enduring Beauty, Malacca

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Read more about Malaysia off the beaten path

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