Thursday, 4 December 2008

What your Mother Should Have Told You...

(Image: 101yarns, ebay)

I was lucky enough to win this and two other editions of 'Woman and Beauty' magazine on ebay a few weeks ago. I can't find much information about it, other than the fact that it was published in the 1940s and 50s. If anyone knows more, please do get in touch. 2 Issues are from 1948, the other from Jan 1950.

It struck me that the problems women faced then are much the same as those we encounter - what to wear, how to manage your budget, who to marry etc. The tone of the magazines is great - much like the women who would have read them it's kindly but no-nonsense with lots of practical solutions. I suppose it's similar to something like Prima or Good Housekeeping would be today. What I do notice is a lack of the showing-off factor you seem to get in so many of today's magazines. You know, the kind of articles where someone waffles on about the 'hand-sourced from Mongolian artisans' fireplace and 'Antique French' sideboard for 20 pages, complete with lashings of glossy photos of stylist's twiddly bits.

I don't know if it's simply because there was less available (some food rationing went on until July 1954) or just that people were more practical and less concerned with material things (particularly having just come through the hardships of World War II). The magazines have lots of ideas for making clothes and accessories yourself and how to get good value and style out of store-bought items. The adverts are really interesting to read - many of the products and brands are still around today - Johnson's Baby Powder, Kalms tablets, OXO cubes, Horlicks, Anadin, Gossard to name but a few.

A feature on 'foundation garments' proves that Trinny & Susannah, Gok Wan and co, are just re-inventing the wheel with Spanx, Magic Knickers and Wonderbras!

Sisters, it's time to listen to the wisdom of our Mothers and Grandmothers - they've been there, done that and bought the figure-crunching girdle!

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