Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How to be a Beautiful Woman- in 1930's France

Some of our buys this week were some old ladies health 
and beauty magazines Votre Beaute (Your Beauty).
There are fashion and health articles as well as fabulous adverts (most unsuitable for this web-page). There are also numerous tidbits of advice. Advice on how to stretch in the morning, what types of shoes are bad for your feet, how to climb a tree, what beauty supplies you should have in your "arsenal", how to pluck your eyebrows, which hairstyles are better for day than night, how to exercise on the beach....

I picked out a few important tips to share with you. 

 1.  The shape of your lip can be changed. 
  In fact, if your lips look more like a famous person's lips you  may be more attractive. This article includes a handy appendix of famous actresses lips- Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and the likes.  Personally, I have never been a fan of painting lips on your face where they are none- but I guess if you want the full pout of Madge Evans you might just do this. I do find this solution much more appealing than the lip-injecting that some of today's stars choose.

   I decided to give it a go and make my lips like Joan Crawford in her heyday.  How did I do? 

2. Tall socks on the beach are not stylish. 

I quite like this fashion spread on beach clothes from an article titled "Today we Have Learned to Undress on the Sand".  It contrasts the fashion on the early 1900's with the fashion of "today" (at the time of publication).
The one on the right has this caption "And here is a poor bather, who in 1913, for the first time had the extravagance to wear a skin-tight swimsuit without giving up on either black or her socks"  I actually find this black bathing suit to be practical, I am sure this girl can play sports and swim with no troubles.  I would actually like to own this swimsuit. 
The polka-dotted one on the left is a sunbathing ensemble...reversible cape included.  I guess women of the 1930's were liberated by wearing color to the beach, and no socks!

3. A black dress is still the way to go.
  This black satin evening gown is gorgeous.  The description says "The cut of this skirt makes for a graceful and youthful fullness".  From what I saw on clips from the Oscars, some of today's ladies should take note.  This stunning lady could actually walk upstairs unattended.  

4. Walking is great exercise.  Chris: this one is for you!

Matthieu getting his "walk" on with a copy of a 
1933 magazine with the Headline: 
Le premier des Sports: La Marche.  
This translates to The First Sport: Walking.

This entire issue is devoted to walking paths, how to walk, things you can do to push that walk into even more of a workout, and even how to correct your walk so it won't hurt your hips, back, and feet.

6. They detoxed in the 30's as well.
 Highlights from the article:
"To be beautiful
Detox youself"

-Do not eat too much
   -Breathe deeply
  - It is important to sweat- 
(A teaspoon of sweat is toxic enough to kill a human!) 
  -If you have trouble perspiring you should have a warm drink
 and have an 'electric light bath' (?)

   -Twice a month you should have a whole day diet or drink juice of 10 or 12 oranges or 5 or 6 grapefruits  
or one liter of milk or one liter of Vittel water.  
Do it on a Sunday so you won't feel feeble at work.  

-Go to the countryside and breathe fresh air, canoe, hunt or simply walk the other three Sundays of the month. 

It seems that lady mags have been giving the same realm of advice for years! 


  1. If walking was the first sport, then breathing must have been the first hobby. That kind of train of thought is why French people back in the 1930's were lucky to live past the age of 27. A stat I've made up, but is probably right on target.
    Also, I think socks on the beach can look quite fetching.

  2. JOAN CRAWFORD IN HER HEYDAY! I love the lips! You are spectacular and I am laughing really hard right now.