The Lip Plate


Considered a sign of beauty in the Mursi tribe of Ethiopia Africa, the lip plate is worn by women daily who seek acceptance and to appear desirable to men. When the women are ready to marry, they begin the process of the lip plate by making a hole in the lower lip with a wood stick which is expanded a little everyday. Eventually, when the hole is big enough, women insert a plate and gradually the plate is replaced by a bigger plate until it has reached its full size. It is a very painful process which girls have to undergo for months, where somtimes the teeth have to be broken to insert the plate, but once suceeded, they are seen as the epitome of beauty! also, the bigger the plate, the more beautiful the woman..

The plate is a usually a sacred object and dyed and decorated according to the wearers preference. Women are also shaved, like the men, because they hate hairiness.          


14 responses »

  1. I read all the posts! 😀 They are really good.
    It’s really interesting, keep posting. 😉

    It’s crazy that this lip plate is considered beautiful. Personally, I find it all kinds of scary and unusual but it really shows that its not only “civilized” and “modern” societies in which looks are such a large part of life. Vanity is probably one of the most shared characterizations of women and men all across the globe.


    • Thankyou! that means a lot 😀

      Yea, I thought this was absolutely twisted the first time I saw it, almost disturbing. But after looking into it, you realize that these people are still living in a third world country, maybe in a completely isolated village somewhere where the people haven’t been exposed to the modern world much, making them keep their old traditions. Girls probably don’t know that not wearing the lip plate is normal in the rest of the world cause their trapped in this little society and grow up with the belief that poking a hole in your lip and stretching it to unnatural lengths is beautiful. I’m totally with you on the vanity. This just shows the lengths people will go to be and feel beautiful, or simply to be admired by the people around them.

      thanks for the feeeedback, much appreaciated 🙂

    • Thanks for the remark. Interesting point, whether the lip plate actually serves any practical uses in the wearer’s life, as opposed to only being a cumbersome accessory. Though you’re so right about the top lip plate.. a bit over the top haha

  2. Wow,fascinating. I guess that the “civilized” world is not the only one where women put foreign painful objects in their bodies for the sake of sexual attractiveness. I wonder if this makes it difficult for them to talk and therefore quiet and that is what makes them so attractive to some men.Wondering.

  3. Its no more ‘unnatural’ than breast implants or a nose job. Its less extreme in my opinion. You could die under anesthesia. My lip is stretched. Im in Oklahoma, not a ‘3rd world’ area. Lets choose our words carefully. Just cause somethings different doesn’t make it bad or wrong.

  4. I think it has a lot to do with culture and that culture has been perpetuated for over a 1000 years where western civilization have only been around for a couple hundred years and within that time it has been changed over a couple hundred times so the fact they remain consistent alone speaks volume and it keeps them in tune with ancestry plus there is no deniability when it comes to ownership so no mistakes as far as race mixing.

  5. Pingback: Obsesia frumuseții - The Idealist

  6. Fascinating,different cultures surely have different perspectives on which physical attributes are most ideal.

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