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In Vietnam, for centuries, women believed that having black teeth was a sign of beauty. They would chew betel nuts and use a mixture of lime and leaves to stain their teeth. The darker the teeth, the more beautiful the woman was considered to be. However, when the country opened up to the world, Vietnamese women started to adopt western beauty standards, such as having white teeth. This caused a decline in the practice of blackening teeth, and it is now rare and only observed in remote and rural areas of the country. 

This shift in beauty standards is not unique to Vietnam. In many cultures, what was once considered beautiful is now viewed as outdated, unattractive or even scary. Social media and easy access to different cultures has played a significant role in this transformation, as we are now exposed to different cultures, trends and values around the world. We can see how people from different backgrounds celebrate their unique features and embrace their individuality in different ways, empowering us to do the same. Every single person should be celebrated and viewed as beautiful because within everyone there is enclosed beauty within- you just have to see it.



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