Change is a constant in life. And, with my recovery work concerning disordered image issues, this principle has become abundantly clear.
I recently came across some beauty tips, published in 1908; they include the following from Amy Ayer's, Facts for Ladies, Cora Brown Potter's The Secrets of Beauty and Mysteries of Health and My Lady Beautiful, Or, The Perfection of Womanhood by Alice M. Long. I’ve included them, along with their original 1908 sales pitches.
First, there are the meat facials…
"Many Parisian ladies, in the secrecy of their own chambers, on retiring at night, or some part of the day, bind their faces with thin slices of raw beef or veal. For several years a popular lady has used this remedy to feed the tissues of the face, with remarkable results. At thirty-eight she has the complexion and skin of a girl of eighteen."
My Two Cents…
I don’t care how young you look; you still smell like meat. Last time I checked, that was not a fragrance made by Chanel. Plus, let’s get real. How many ingénues do you actually see with beef on their faces?
Moving next to the lard primer…
"A good base for makeup is rendered lard, made by pouring boiling water on lard in a basin... It is usually scented with oil verbena, though attar of roses is pleasanter, but more expensive."
My Two Cents…
Uh, it’s lard. That does not seem at all glamorous to me. Slather some on the roast beef, I guess, with the meat facials. Next!
And now, how about some poison…
"The prescription of this ancient beautifier is 1-100 of a grain of arsenic and two grains of black pepper. One of these pills should be taken after dinner. It clears the complexion and brings a ruddy glow to the lips and cheeks, but should only be taken when the tongue is uncoated by fur in the morning, and never if there is any tendency to redness or roughness of the skin, or by those who suffer from flatulence."
My Two Cents…
Okay, several things here. First, isn’t arsenic a poison? How about if we have that nowhere near our faces? And then there’s the flatulence? Grateful not to live in 1908…
"Complexion Improvers: Most of the preparations sold under this or similar names contain corrosive sublimate, perchloride of mercury. This powerful drug must be used with caution, as it produces marked alteration in, and hardening of, the skin... We can, fortunately, minimize or entirely remove the undesirable action of this drug by adding a little yolk of egg to the lotion."
My Two Cents…
Again with the poison? Yikes! Somehow, hardened skin doesn’t seem pleasant to me. But I suppose I’m a silly one.
And, of course, we must- we must- we must not forget the bust…
"Every well sexed woman desires a beautiful, well-rounded bust, and I am sure you are not an exception. As the emotions affect to a very great extent the female organs, and as these in turn affect the bust, it is essential, as you doubtless already understand, to refrain from indulgence in anger, grief, worry, jealousy, etc."
My Two Cents…
So, the key to a voluptuous bosom was simply having no disagreeable emotions whatsoever? Who knew? No problem!
Looking at these hundred year old beauty tips, they certainly seem ridiculous, don’t they?
But, as we make our way through these ancient, if not barbaric, beauty tips, we see that the methods to our image madness may have changed over the years, but the beauty importance sentiment is a still present, possibly harmful reality.
Think of crash diets like the Oreo diet, the cabbage soup diet and consuming cotton balls soaked with orange juice. Think of getting botulism injected into our faces. Think of the excessive wriggling and sucking in our stomachs, all to get into our skinny jeans. And these are just a few examples of our more “modern day” beauty tips. Suddenly, 1908 doesn’t sound so primitive.
We’ve done some wacky things, in the name of beauty!
But one thing we’ve failed to do, in its pursuit, is look to God’s perspective. And let’s just see what HE says…
“…I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
What if we pursued things which were God-ordained, not just the man-made, often wacky methods we usually chase?
“And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.”
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 3:18
What if? It’s worth considering, right?
We’ve already tried a variety of diets, disorders, regimes and methods, often to no avail. Let’s remember, God went to all of the trouble creating us. So, I think He can handle our details.
“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”
“…I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me. Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure… yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.”
Our temporary and supposedly clever “quick fixes” like meat facials, disordered exercise routines and crash diets, indeed, cannot take the place of a God Who knows exactly what He’s doing!
We need to apply that, then, as our everlasting beauty tip!
Copyright © 2017 by Sheryle Cruse