This Beautiful World: Standards of Beauty Around the World
The Maori people of New Zealand have been decorating their faces with swirling blue tattoos called “moko” for centuries. Originally a sign of wealth for their ancestors, today most Maori people have moko. For women, the ultimate sign of beauty is full, blue lips and tattoos on the chin.
Maori woman. The permanent blue stain on a Maori woman’s tattooed mouth symbolized female beauty among her people in New Zealand. The personal facial tattoo, or moko, communicated her lineage, social position, and marriage eligibility. Photograph from Iles Photo/submitted by Chas J. Glidden, circa 1919