The Mayan Beauty Concept

The concept of Mayan beauty was very different from what we live today. If you think that there were no beauty standards in the past, you are wrong because many civilizations used to has their own shapes of beauty. And the Mayans weren’t the exception, so in this post, we are going to talk about how Mayans used to do some techniques to be beautiful or handsome. If you want to know how a real Maya used to look like keep reading.

What the Mayans thought was beautiful differs in some ways from what people find lovely today. Thanks to its Maize God Yum Kaax, Mayans found an elongated head attractive as the corn.

  1. Head

In a process called trepanning, Mayan’s parents flattened a newborn baby’s soft skull so the forehead sloped up and backward. Two boards were attached to the days-old baby’s head at an angle to press against the forehead. Mayan’s parents increased the pressure of the boards over several days until the baby’s forehead sloped and the head was elongated. In this way, most of the Mayans had this particular head shape.

the mayan beauty concept

2. The perfect Nose

Having a big nose was perfect for Mayans. Thanks to some photographs, we can see many Maya did have the perfect Roman profile of a big, beaked proboscis. If nature did not provide the ideal nose, many Maya resorted to a removable artificial nose bridge to give their nose the right hook shape.

the mayan beauty concept

3. Crossed eyes

The Mayan Beauty Concept also includes crossed eyes. As the head, Mayans used to practice some techniques to make crossed eyes. When babies were born, Mayan’s parents made a headband for their infants and hung a piece of stone from a string between the baby’s eyes, hoping that the child’s eyes would cross.


4. Pierced Face

Maya pierced their ears, lips, and noses. Men and women both sported earrings and earbobs, and jewelry worn in the lips and nose. As gold was not often found in Maya territory, precious gems and stones were predominantly used in jewelry. Jade and other green stones were especially favored.

5. Shimmering Teeth

Mayans used to go to the Dentist but not for a toothache, they want beauty and shining teeth.

The Mayans had highly developed dental skills, not acquired for oral health or personal adornment but probably for ritual or religious purposes.

They were able to place carved stone inlays into prepared cavities in live front teeth. These inlays were made of a variety of minerals of beautiful colors, including jadeite, iron pyrites, hematite, turquoise, quartz, serpentine, and cinnabar. The truth is that this process should have been very painful.


After reading this post you realize that we are living in a world not too much different than the old. The ancient Mayan culture had a beauty concept as well as our current society. Clearly pretty much different from then and now, but we still have beauty standards and processes to get the perfect body, the perfect lips, and nose. But always remember that beauty is subjective.

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