Episode 172: On Beauty

Henna N' Placenta

Want strong, shiny hair? Pick up a package of Superstrength Henna 'N' Placenta Conditioning Treatment at your local beauty store. It's just one of many beauty products containing decidedly icky ingredients. Photo by Jennifer Dionisio.

An old adage claims beauty is only skin deep. Yet people are often willing to go to extreme lengths to accentuate their physical appearance. On today's episode of Distillations we look at sometimes strange and occasionally dangerous beauty rituals past and present. First producer Audrey Quinn talks to Rachel Weingarten, also known as 'The Beauty Historian,' about wacky beautification practices of yore. Then producer Stephanie Coleman examines the reported health hazards of the Brazilian Blowout, a modern hair straightening process that has some salon workers and government regulators on edge.

Show Clock

00:00 Opening Credits
00:38 Introduction
01:10 Interview: The Beauty Historian
06:22 Brazilian Blowouts
14:48 Closing Credits


Thanks to Stephanie Coleman, Audrey Quinn, Mia Lobel, and Jennifer Dionisio for researching this show. 

Our theme music is composd by Andrew Chalfen. Additional music includes "I Feel Pretty," from West Side Story, "Beauty School Dropout," from Grease, and "I Enjoy Being A Girl," covered by Sh*tty Candy.

Image courtesy of Jennifer Dionisio.

Posted In: History | Society

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