Sunday, September 18, 2005

Here is some more from the 1918 Mary Brooks Picken book, "Harmony in Dress".

16. If we could consider our happiness as a concrete thing, rather than an invisible something, distributed over many years, and then definitely see what means we must employ to possess and keep that happiness, it is certain we would set about to retain it. But, unfortunately unless we do obtain this vision, we get off the highway of happiness and travel the road of self-pity because we have lost the route book at the very beginning of the journey.

Impromptu visits with our friends are as necessary to a development of the soul as love itself. But how are we to acquire friends unless they are first attracted to us? A beautiful woman is rarely, if ever, as gracious as her homely sister, for she feels that her beauty gives her the right of way. But her sister knows that kindness and a pleasing consideration for every one she meets will help her to make friends; and if she applies to this an intelligent, persistent desire for attractiveness, she is sure to be loved and sought by children as well as grown-ups.

17. Developing Appreciation of Beauty. - We all know that the eyes are the "windows of the soul," and we know also that they are made to take in as well as to give out. Think of this the next time you see yourself in your mirror, and then ask yourself, "Am I dressed to please?" "Does my personal appearance repel or irritate?" Ask yourself this question, too: "What do the eyes of my family take in when they look at me?" Then answer it truthfully to yourself and start immediately to overcome the faults that an honest answer makes evident to you.

Appreciation of beauty is one of the main roads of civilization, and the best place to encourage and develop this appreciation is in the home, where love is the protector. Wives can help their husbands by keeping their attractiveness; mothers can win the admiration of their children and keep them nearer by being always pretty to see; and, grandmothers, who have in a delightfully dignified way kept the spirit--the incentive for pleasing--are a real inspiration, and their memory will live in the hearts of their loved ones like exquisite music.

(Above picture is a paint-by-number kit called "A Summer Stroll" available here

Comment: We'd be a lot further ahead if the young women and girls could be taught to immitate the beauty of nature, in their choices of colors and styles of clothing, rather than contradict nature. Flowers are just about the best example one can find in nature. Indeed, the dress itself was once compared to a flower, as one can see in many fantastic paintings.

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