This year, the French began to enforce a law that bans unhealthily thin models, with said models needing a doctor’s certificate in order to be hired for work. In addition the law stipulates that digitally altered images, that make models appear even skinnier than they are, will need to be labeled as such. It’s a dramatic step to tackle the growing epidemic of eating disorders that continues to perpetuate in the Western world.
With more and more individuals attempting to reach unattainable beauty standards, it’s no surprise that weight loss gimmicks and scams have reached epic proportions. However, to our surprise, radical and misguided attempts weight loss have been prevalent throughout history. Here are 10 such methods more horrifying than you probably imagined…
10. Victorians Ate Live Tapeworms
The Victorian Era, which took place roughly between the 1830s to 1900, was known for its particular beauty standards. Most notably, women of wealth wore extravagant, multi-layered skirts which had a beehive shape. For women in the Victorian period, getting into those tightly worn outfits was a struggle in itself. Most women of the Victorian Era were pushed into fastening corsets around themselves, with the goal of achieving the esteemed 16 inch waist. Internal organs weren’t deemed to be of that much importance. And while corsets are not in great use today, a Victorian Era practice still is: tapeworms.
The concept is as terrifying as it is disgusting. Ingest a pill containing a tapeworm egg? Sounds more like a science fiction movie than a diet routine. We wish that were true. Apparently, once hatched, “the parasite grows inside of the host, ingesting part of whatever the host eats.” What makes the tapeworm diet so appealing to many is the belief that the dieter will not have to change their lifestyle or eating habits at all. The theory holds that ingesting the tapeworm allows hosts to lose weight and eat without worrying about calorie intake. There is little to no evidence that supports these claims, but somehow, the theory still exists with even “celebrities” like Khloe Kardashian suggesting their merits.
It’s our hope that the tapeworm will join the rest of Victorian fashion in the dustbins of history.