WOMEN

Beauty History: Why Women Wear Bikinis, Lipstick And High Heels (VIDEO)

05/06/2013 10:11 am ET

Ever wondered when and why two-piece swimsuits and stiletto heels became so ubiquitous? Turns out the history of women's beauty routines is pretty fascinating.

The above video, created by BuzzFeed, goes through the history of lipstick, bikinis, shaving and high heels -- accessories and practices that have come to define modern femininity. As the video illustrates, these things aren't innately feminine -- they became associated with feminine gender identity over time and have origins as diverse as the early film industry and men's riding shoes.

Here are a few fun facts from the video:
--Cleopatra used to stain her lips with ground beetles -- mmmm.
--Until the 1910s, red lipstick signified prostitution.
--The first bikini was unveiled in 1946 by the French (quelle surprise!).
--High heels weren't initially intended for walking (so we shouldn't feel bad when our feet hurt in them).
--Women only started shaving their legs in the 1920s, when hemlines started getting shorter.

Our conclusion? We should probably be having fun with our beauty routines and ditch what feels like too much of an obligation. Over the next 100 years, the standards will likely change all over again.

Also on HuffPost:

Grandma's Beauty Secrets
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