The Woman Beautiful or, The Art of Beauty Culture by Helen Follett Stevans, is an funny, insightful little book. I’m so glad I found a tattered copy in a book shop, at Elephant Castle!
The book is a beauty guide for women but it not only adresses your outward appearance (such as your skin) but it gives you advice on how to conduct yourself, how you should be active and improving your mind etc. Although I do find parts of this book funny as it was written in 1901, so terminology and advice can be a bit out of date, such as fashion advice and making your own creams. However I find that this only adds to the charm of the book, it is so well written and most of the book is still relevant to today’s society and why not try to make your own creams in today’s recession, ridden society? you’ll certainly be saving money.
The author seperates her advice about each subject into chapters, the table of contents is as follows: 1. Care of the hair 2. The Hands 3. The Eyes 4. The Teeth 5. Bathing 6. Diet 7. Sleep 8. Excercise 9. Stooped Shoulders 10. Breathing 11. Massage 12. Dress 13. The Thin Girl 14. The Plump girl 15. The Working Girl 16. The Nervous One 17. Perfumes.
I find that this book is something to lean on. Especially when you know, there are times when you should be doing something, like exfoliating and moisterize your face before you go to bed but you get lazy, but you would do it if your mother told you too because it’s the being told that does it. Well, I’m generally a person who needs to be told to do things to get things done and to me this book does that for me, it is a voice of authority, it stops me from getting lazy and helps me to to do what I’m supposed to being doing body-wise. Needless to say I use it as a guide book to every day care of my body.
It is also a great little read into the generally the day to day care and insights of a woman in the 1900’s.
If you want a copy you can buy or download this book for free from: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/23750