Timeless beauty?

In one of those coincidences that neatly occur in life I just picked up a copy of the July issue of British Vogue (in which they "celebrate ageless style") and a paperback from 1959, the Harper's Bazaar Beauty Book (featuring the "9-Day Wonder Diet").

Having read a little of each I've been struck by the fact that although the language has changed a lot of the obsessions and preoccupations have remained the same...and, in addition, that for all of Vogue's articles telling us how jolly it is to get older there's a whiff of the lady doth protest too much about the whole thing.

Strangely, of the two, I found the book from the 50's less depressing on the subject of aging. Amusing, farcical in portions, and morbidly fascinated by plastic surgery and necks but less depressing.

So, for those of you who may also have found Vogue a little bland here's a selection of vintage beauty advice...the good, the bad, and the downright strange...

On tension:
"One morning, wake up and decide that you will go through the day at whatever pace seems natural to you. Pretend that there will be no pressures on you. Of course there will be, but don't anticipate them. So much of our tension comes from anticipating what we are going to have to do that we freeze like poor rabbits which seem to turn to stone at the approach of danger."

On the body:
"The body will need regular planned exercise to take the place of the active sports of youth. This is when the slump begins, if you allow it. And the same is true of hip spread. It takes some effort to prevent slumping and spreading, but it takes twice as much effort to get rid of them years later."

On nuns:
"Nuns whose religious habits hide the telltale throat completely seem to go on endlessly without looking a modicum older."

Got that kids? The secret of eternal youth...less stress, no slump, and become a nun.


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