Have you ever stopped to wonder how what was once widely considered ugly or unattractive is now embraced and celebrated? We’ve come a long way in terms of societal standards when it comes to beauty, so here are 20 surprising facts about what was once seen as ugly but is now accepted and admired. Get ready for an eye-opening journey to appreciate the things we used to consider unsightly!
1. Large Genitalia
One user shared, “Ancient Greeks thought big p–ises were grotesque.”
Another user replied, “Born way way too late, da**it!”
2. Thick Eyebrows
“Thick eyebrows. Too bad mine were victims of the 90s,” one user posted.
Another user replied, “RIP.”
One Redditor commented, “That is a pretty good approximation of the sound they made, yes.”
Another commenter also responded, “I waxed and plucked my thick dark eyebrows for decades, and now that thick eyebrows are in style, mine won’t grow thick anymore. Can’t win.”
One user also shared, “Same, always had super thick brows, and my mom started waxing them when I was 10-11, and I’m struggling now to get them to come back, and I stopped plucking them years ago! I over-plucked for years and years and years! Also, when I was in school, I had a pair of Birkenstock sandals I was so excited about and couldn’t wait to wear to school, and everyone made so much fun of me for them that when I got home that day, I took them off and never wore them again for the rest of my life and now I see them at least once a day!”
One Redditor shared, “I never thought it was ugly, but growing up, I’ve seen other people say that freckles are unattractive.”
Another user replied, “I was astonished when my elderly mother recently expressed her HATRED of freckles. She was making fun of a celebrity on TV and said, ‘If she’s so rich, why didn’t she pay to get those things off her face?!’
“My mom usually doesn’t express her opinions on someone’s appearance unprompted, so I was really surprised she ever found freckles [un]attractive. Maybe it’s a generational thing? IDK, I just thought of freckles as a feature, not a bug.”
4. Having a Tan
“In Victorian times, having a tan was considered ugly. A tan back then was associated with working outdoors, which is what ‘poor people’ did. Today it’s more associated with going on holiday somewhere hot.
“So before a tan was thought of as something poor people got, now it’s wealth and travelling.”, one user shared.
One Redditor replied, “Still the same attitude in Asia.”
5. Big Behind
One user shared, “Big a–.”
Another user commented, “My mom grew up back when twiggy was the rage, and she finds it so funny how things have changed. Back then, saying someone had a big b—- was a HUGE insult. But now women will buy padded underwear to make theirs look bigger.”
One Redditor also replied, “Yeah, I rewatched Mean Girls recently. Regina George was teased for having a large b-, but if Mean Girls were set today, that wouldn’t have happened.”
Another user posted, “Nerd culture and nerds in general.”
One user replied, “Yep. When I went to school (UK, early—the mid-90s), if you liked Star Wars or comic books, you got bullied for it.
“In my school, at least, any interests outside of football/sports cars got you bullied. I remember getting bullied for having a video in my bag of a cartoon. It was Akira.”
One commenter added, “I’m from a small town in the US and started getting into anime around the mid-to-late-90s too. I was… not popular, to say the least. Trying to explain to other kids that it was a very different type of cartoon definitely didn’t work.”
7. Curly Hair
“Curly hair. It’s wild to see curls get some love. I grew up in a time where you straighten it to a crisp and wouldn’t think of leaving home with texture,” replied one Redditor.
Another user commented, “I remember my 1st perm like the nightmare it was. The smell, the burning of the scalp and eyes. All so I could break my heart when I discovered my shoulder-length straight hair was now ear-length poodle fur.”
One commenter added, “came to this thread to see if someone had already commented on this! My hair is naturally curly, and as a kid in the 2000s, I definitely got bullied for it; I wanted straight hair so badly. Now I have people ask how I get my hair to ‘look like that,’ what products I use, etc. I love my curly hair, but it’s so weird to experience the change in attitude.”
8. Men With Veiny Hands
One Redditor posted, “Veiny hands—on men. My Dad says he was ashamed of his veiny hands and arms as a teen, whereas I got positive attention from girls for the same inherited trait.”
A user replied, “This one is so weird to me, lol. I don’t think I’ve ever in my life given a second thought to someone’s hand veins.”
Another confirmed, “As a trained phlebotomist, I often find myself thinking, Yah, I’d tap that.”
9. Thick Thighs
“Thick thighs,” one Redditor posted.
Another user shared, “I spent my entire childhood hating my thighs and b— because I was called thunder thighs, bertha b— for years. About ten years ago, in my mid to late 20s, I realized that every woman I knew was in the gym for hours trying to get the legs and b— that I have. I am in my late 30s now, and I am still a little uncomfortable when I wear shorts.”
One user shared, “Glasses. It’s so associated with nerds in basically every movie, but good-looking people with glasses just become more good-looking.
“Edit thx for the upvotes. Also, don’t forget people think you are smarter if you wear glasses, so wear them. F- contacts.”
One user added, “Fashion is cyclical. That’s literally all there is to it. Things go in and out of style constantly. Something is super cool until it becomes the norm, then it’s not cool anymore. And something else takes its place. Rinse. Repeat.”
One user posted, “For some f-ing reason… mullets.”
Another user replied, “I saw three people in the airport with mullets, and that was three more than I had ever seen!”
One added, “Come down to Australia. The closer you get to the coast here, the more mullets you see. It’s some kind of universal constant.”
Another Redditor replied, “Mullets are coming back because hot people can do literally whatever they want and still look hot.”
“Tattoo. When I was young, only people who did transient jobs like working in a carnival and prisoners,” one user shared.
One user replied, “Yep, this is the one. I’m not even that old, but I am still a little taken aback when I see face or neck tattoos on people, working in the public eye or otherwise.”
13. The Eiffel Tower
One Redditor posted, “The Eiffel Tower.”
Another user replied, “Came here for this. It’s crazy to think it was only there for the Exhibition, and then it would be brought down. There were so many prominent artists and writers against it. More than 100 years later…still there.”
One Redditor commented, “Guy de Maupassant ate in the restaurant in the Eiffel Tower every day because it was the only place in Paris from which he couldn’t see it.”
14. New Balance Shoes
One user shared, “New Balance.”
Another user replied, “Yeah, man, I see everyone wearing these brands I was absolutely ripped on as a kid for wearing.”
“F—ing h–l, my first girlfriend out of college called them dad shoes. I just recently realized they went back in style, and I’m furious,” one user commented.
Another user added, “They are ‘dad shoes,’ bro, but what I believe to be called ‘dad culture’ is hot right now.”
15. Thicker Body Types
“When I was growing up in the 80s and 90s, the feminine ideal, for not only the widespread media and entertainment industries but also every person I knew, was to be really thin. You’d never have heard of a woman getting b— implants. It was all about losing weight and being as skinny as possible. Now, thickness is the ideal (or at least much more widely admired),” one user replied.
16. Goth Style
One Redditor commented, “Goth style.”
Another user added, “In a similar vein to this, I remember getting called emo for wearing skinny jeans and vans. Now the same guys who would have said it are wearing them. In most cases, jeans are way skinnier than I ever wore.”
One commenter added, “Lol, I’m literally sitting here and wearing skinny jeans and vans. But I wore them in 2012 too.
“Also, I think technically skinny jeans aren’t ‘in’ anymore. The youngins wear baggy, almost parachute pants these days. Only millennials are still holding on to the skinny jeans.”
17. Men Knowing Their Emotions
“Men being in touch with their emotions,” replied one Redditor.
Another user replied, “THIS. More of this, please.”
One user commented, “Men these days could stand to have a little more common sense masculinity. Every guy is either an overly effeminate hug baby or a toxic masculinity dude, bro, probably a r–ist. There has to be a healthy midground here. Over-correction is a thing, and American men don’t seem to be able to figure that out from era to era.”
18. Red Hair
One user shared, “Ginger hair. I think it’s beautiful. I don’t know why anyone would ever dye it.”
A user replied, “I dye my ginger like orangey-copper. I’ve been told I can pull it off because I’m pasty-white, but man, does it look odd when my medium-brown, gray-sprinkled roots come out. When it’s fresh, though, I feel like the sun.”
19. Muscles on Women
“Muscles on women, which I adore,” one user added.
Another user exclaimed, “Ya buff ch.”
Another user responded, “I’m not sure this is really considered widespread attractive nowadays. It was bigger in the 80s when fitness and bodybuilding culture hit the US hard.”
One Redditor added, “A little more aesthetic element is associated with that discipline. However, women, in general, have availed themselves of many easily accessed and varied athletic opportunities and endeavours. So many ways to be fit!”
20. High-Waisted Jeans
One Redditor posted, “Mom jeans/high-waisted jeans.”
Another user replied, “…cos I really wanted my —e to look 2 feet long. They literally look like you’re wearing a nappy and are shaped like a Teletubbie.”
Do you agree with the list stated above? Share your thoughts below!
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