“There’s a $1 million reward on my head. It is possible for me to be captured and killed in these circumstances that I find myself in here in Denmark”
Joanna Palani was still a teenager when, in 2014, she dropped out of college and left Copenhagen to go and fight in Syria
She wrote on Facebook that she was inspired “to fight for women’s rights, for democracy – for the European values I learned as a Danish girl”
She is thought to have killed over 100 ISIS militants while fighting alongside the Kurdish Peshmerga in Iraq and Syria
“When we were preparing to liberate houses of ISIS sex slaves, we had this saying – one fighter goes to rescue but many fighters will come back out”
“As a sniper I could be on the front line for nine days at a time. You have to be very patient. You have to focus. You cannot lose concentration for one moment”
Her actions came to the attention of the Danish authorities, who banned her from traveling to the region when she returned from fighting in September 2015
Unable to leave her comrades to fight alone, she broke her ban and flew back to Iraq. She walked for seven hours through the night to cross the border into Syria
She believes she’s seen as a terrorist in her own country, and she lives in hiding and changes her location constantly from fear of reprisal
“Those I risked my life for, are now taking away my freedom. I did not expect to lose almost everything for fighting for our freedom and our safety”
In Western countries, a straight line of even teeth is considered the definition of the perfect smile, and many can’t imagine that people might think otherwise. But in Japan, things are the other way around: the peak of attractiveness is the so-called "yaeba," or crooked teeth. It’s believed that people look cuter if they have this quality. It’s for this reason that dentists in Japan are in high demand — from both young men and women!
The inhabitants of New Guinea and several other countries in Africa still decorate their bodies with patterns and numerous artistic scars. The scars are usually given to men during an initiation ceremony, whereas for women these "tattoos" are considered an indication of great beauty. Of course, in the developed world there is no small number of people who also find this practice attractive — what is often referred to as body modification.
A heart-shaped face
In South Korea, plastic surgery is not only widespread, it’s considered completely normal. In major cities, you’ll see advertisements everywhere calling for people to go under the knife to improve their appearance.
Here, possessing a heart-shaped face is seen as one of the key ways to look beautiful. To get it, many Koreans are prepared to undergo complex operations. This often involves breaking the bones in the jaw into three pieces, removing the central part, and fusing the two others together to create a more pointed chin. Then the angles of the new chin are softened. For a long time after having this kind of operation, the individual is unable to eat solid food.
Mauritanians have absolutely no chance of attracting a man’s gaze if they don’t have folds of fat on their stomach.
Surgical dressings on the face
Iran is the capital of rhinoplasty. Despite the high price of the procedure, men and women here are ready to pay anything for the sake of a straight nose, which is seen here not only as a symbol of beauty but also of a certain status in society.
In many parts of Asia, pale skin is considered to be the gold standard of beauty. If you walk into a store looking for some face cream, you’re unlikely to find one that doesn’t have a bleaching ingredient. This includes ones for men for use after shaving. Many Chinese people refuse to visit the beach without a mask, as they want to protect their skin from the effects of the sun. Moreover, Chinese and Thai women think Westerners are crazy for wanting to go to a tanning salon.
A high forehead
The most important attribute for a woman to possess among the Fula tribe of Africa is a high forehead. It’s for this reason that some of the tribe’s women remove parts of their hair from their head in order to create the illusion that they have one.
A long neck
One of the regions of eastern Burma has been called "the country of giraffe women." This name refers to the Kayan people who live there, whose women wear brass rings around their necks. It’s believed that the longer a person’s neck, the more beautiful they look.
In the Mursi tribe of Ethiopia, girls learn to stretch the skin of their lower lips using special disks. The larger the disk, the higher the girl’s social status, and the larger the dowry that has to be paid before a marriage.
As for the reasons behind this unusual tradition, there are two theories: on the one hand, the Mursi believe that evil spirits can enter a person through the mouth, and therefore the disk is used to stop them. According to the other version, the Mursi began to do this to avoid having their women taken away to be used as slaves.
n some regions of Tajikistan, a monobrow is considered a sign of female beauty. If nature hasn’t granted a girl this desirable feature, she might decide to apply some black makeup in a line between her eyebrows.
Local people are convinced that joined-together eyebrows are an indication that a person will have a fortunate life.
These beauty traditions may seem amusing to some of us, and others may appear primitive. But how often do we take a look at our own standards of beauty and traditions? Punching holes in our ears and placing earrings in them, walking in uncomfortable high-heeled shoes to make our legs longer — perhaps these seem equally strange to others?
Iris Mittenaar was a 24-year-old France representative at Miss Universe 2017, and she had won the whole thing. Second place went to Miss Haiti Raquel Pelissier and Andrea Goods from Colombia rounded out the top three. Looking at Iris’s photos though, you can pretty much say, why she was picked as the world’s most beautiful girl in 2017.