|CHARLES R. DARWIN|
|ON PHYSICAL BEAUTY|
Remember that with savage races of man various hideous deformities – deep scars on the face with the flesh raised into protuberances, the septum of the nose pierced by sticks or bones, holes in the ears and lips stretched widely open – are all admired as ornamental.
As the face with us is chiefly admired for its beauty, so with savages it is the chief seat of mutilation. In all quarters of the world the septum, and more rarely the wings of the nose are pierced; rings, sticks, feathers, and other ornaments being inserted into the holes. The ears are everywhere pierced and similarly ornamented.
The wife of the chief of Latooka told Sir S. Baker that Lady Baker ‘would be much improved if she would extract her four front teeth from the lower jaw, and wear the long pointed polished crystal in her under lip.’
We thus see how widely the different races of man differ in their taste for the beautiful.
Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, 2nd ed., John Murray, London, 1874, pp. 650; 876; 877; 886.