Sunday, March 21, 2010

Poor Plain Jane

People talk about the pressure girls feel to be beautiful these days. I'm convinced it's been like that since caveman times. Only the beauty standards change. Back in caveman times, Neanderthal girls stressed over not having a prominent brow ridge or enough body hair.
This article from the 1929 "Woman's Home Companion" magazine states that "Girls nowadays must be good looking." No beating around the bush or gray area there.
Luckily, most of the plain mothers of the day, even the sort of mother who has "sacrificed her own slim figure to a greedy appetite" were hopefully willing to do better by their child.
Thumb sucking should be strictly prohibited. "Many a girl has a mother to blame for a mouth that even lipstick can't love", because mom was lax with the thumb sucking.
"Adenoids should be taken out if the doctor prescribes it. They give a child that dumb, thick, uncomprehending look that puts her outside the company of those who seem quite bright." Ah yes, the anti dumb look surgery.
Luckily there was no need for rhinoplasty in the good old days, because baby noses are easily shaped by "judicious pinching and molding". But be careful how you blow that baby's nose. "Many god noses have been pulled entirely out of recognition by inexpertly handled handkerchiefs on children."
Dumbo ears can of course be easily fixed by taping them back.
Never forget that "children can be taught thatany ugliness of her body or clothing is an offense against good taste, and a defection from the ranks of those trying to make things more pleasant."
Sounds like striving to achieve Jennifer Aniston's body or a bigger set of breasts is a walk in the park compared to trying to be the perfect 1920s woman!


dude said...


Katy ~ said...

Oh my. We're so much more subtle about perceived ugliness now....