No matter how attractive your clothing may be, you can not be well-dressed unless the body is also well cared for. This means that the hair, skin, teeth, and hands all contribute to a well groomed, attractive appearance.
Your Hair. - If you will study the pictures of women famous for their beauty you will find that one thing which adds to their charm is the simplicity and naturalness of the hair-dress. They do not curl their hair until it is frizzed out of its natural style. The hair that is well taken care of has a natural luster and when done in a simple, natural style is far more beautiful than greasy, ill-kept hair, done in the most elaborate fashion.
A good, healthy physical condition of the scalp is necessary if you wish to have your hair in good condition. Cleanliness is the first thing to be thought of in this connection. There is no more reason for supposing that it is healthy to have a dirty scalp than to have a dirty face. Oily scalps collect dirt and dust rapidly so that they require a more frequent shampoo than other scalps. Physicians often recommend a shampoo once a week for such scalps. Dry scalps need not be shampooed as often as oily scalps in order to keep them clean, but this does not mean that they can be permitted to go for months at a time without being washed. Each girl must find out for herself what is best for her hair, remembering that cleanliness is important. If she lives in the dusty, dirty atmosphere of a great city she will have to shampoo her hair oftener than when she is in the country. Long ago there was a tradition that it was harmful to wash the hair more than once or twice a year. It is hard to understand why people believed this when they washed their faces every day in order to keep them clean. Is there any reason why the scalp should not be clean?
Doctors are agreed that the treatments advertised by beauty parlors have little or no value. Singeing the hair is useless, scalp massages are sometimes harmful because they spread bacteria. However, the scalp massage which you give yourself and which increases the circulation of the blood is beneficial. If your hair falls out badly, if the scalp is too oily or too dry, or if you have dandruff it means that there is a diseased condition of the scalp. Just as with any other disease a physician should be consulted. It is foolish to try hair tonics or remedies recommended by your friends which may do more harm than good.
Brushes and combs should be as individual as the personal towel and wash cloth, and should be kept clean by frequent washings. If you treat your scalp and hair properly you will be rewarded with attractive, well-kept looking hair that is a great aid to your personal appearance.
Your Skin. - Generally the skin is thought of merely as the covering to the body but it has another function that is most important. The skin helps to eliminate wastes from the body. Perspiration containing salts is thrown off by the sweat glands and an oily substance is thrown off by the sebaceous glands. Perspiration and oil collect on the surface of the skin and clog the pores, making it necessary to bathe the body even when the skin does not appear to be dirty. If any opening to a tiny gland in the skin is clogged with oil and dirt it may cause a pimple to form. It is easy to see how important it is to keep the skin clean. And since the skin is naturally oily it is easy to see why soap is necessary for skin cleanliness.
Your Complexion. - Since the face is the part of the body most exposed it requires most frequent cleansing. A good complexion depends on a clean skin and the general good health of the body. Skins differ in the same way that scalps differ, in that some are dry and some are oily. Alkali soaps are very irritating to dry skins and should be avoided. In the case of very dry skins it is sometimes necessary to rub a little good cold cream into the skin after washing. Just as with your hair you must find the treatment that is best for your individual case. If you have any kind of skin trouble you will find it more satisfactory and more economical to consult a physician than to go to a beauty specialist.
Nature gives most girls good complexions and every girl should be concerned with preserving her good complexion by means of proper eating, plenty of exercising and careful habits of cleansing her face. This is far better than trying to cover up the defects in your complexion with powder and rouge. When a girl is given a genuine article it seems ridiculous that she should try to cover it up with an imitation. An imitation complexion is obvious and easily detected.
Hands and Nails. - Perhaps there is no one thing that can give one a better feeling of being well-groomed than to have well cared for hands and nails. As with all other personal hygiene, cleanliness is the first thing to be thought of. No matter how carefully the hands are washed, the nails generally require special attention. Ragged and dirty nails are unsightly and make a good lodging place for germs and bacteria. One way of keeping the nails short is by filing them with a nail file. Another way is to soak the nails in warm water, trim them with manicure scissors, and then file off the rough corners. The cuticle around the nail should be kept pushed back with an orange-wood stick. This is most easily done after the nails and cuticle have been softened by soaking them in warm water.
Something to Do. - Appoint a committee to get more information on how to care for the nails properly.
Teeth. - Have you ever seen a girl that seemed to be well-groomed in every way except that her teeth were not well cared for? Teeth should be carefully brushed after each meal and at night. They should also be frequently cleaned and examined by a dentist. It is possible for you to learn a great deal about teeth and how to care for them in your hygiene and nutrition classes. Remember that what you learn in these classes is important to you not only from the standpoint of health but from the standpoint of how to be well-dressed.
Something to Do. - Make a list of the things that you think you should do in order to be well-groomed.
After reading this discussion of how to care for your hair, teeth, skin and nails you must realize that cleanliness and health are the key-note to beauty. Once upon a time it was popular to use strong perfumes in order to kill body odors but now it is thought far better to destroy the cause of the odor. In every detail of personal care, health and cleanliness are very much emphasized. It is only by this means that genuine attractiveness and good appearance can be secured. Manufacturers of commercial products have been quick to take advantage of this in that their advertisements for soap, tooth paste and such articles emphasize the idea of cleanliness and health. Many of the advertisements lay false claims to marvelous things that their products can accomplish. Every girl must learn to judge as to the merit and value of these products.
Extra Things to Read. - The girls who have time will find it interesting to read the articles and chapters from certain books listed at the end of this chapter. They can make reports on what they read which will be of benefit to the whole class.
You can prove that you understand what is meant by "good line" in dress design by changing one line in each of the pictures in Fig. 76. Trace each picture, correcting the line that you think should be changed.
If you understand good proportion in dress design you will be able to improve upon each of the dresses shown in the pictures in Fig. 77. Trace each picture, showing how you would correct it. In some of the dresses there is more than one thing to correct.
If you understand the color theory and color harmonies described in this chapter you will be able to tell what is wrong in each of the following.
1. A monochromatic color harmony might consist of the following: a brown coat; tan shoes and stockings; a brown hat with an orange ribbon; a light brown dress with a ink tie.
2. A complementary color harmony might consist of the following: a navy blue dress; a brown coat; a dark green hat; black patent leather slippers; tan stockings.
3. An adjacent color harmony might consist of the following: a pale cream yellow dress with yellow-green trimmings; gold slippers; delicate green stockings; a string of green jade beads; a delicate shell pink scarf.
4. A girl with a sallow complexion will find lavender becoming because of the reflection of color.
5. A girl with a pale complexion will find rose color becoming because of the contrast.
1. List eight things which contribute to both health and beauty.
2. Write a paragraph telling why personal hygiene is an aid to beauty. Include in this paragraph observations that you have made. State what habits you intend to form with respect to personal hygiene.
Secrets of Distinctive Dress. Mary Brooks Picken. The Woman's Institute of Domestic Art and Sciences, Inc., Scranton, Pa. Principles of Clothing Selection. Helen Goodrich Buttrick. The Macmillan Company, Chs. III, IV, V, VII, X. Art in Everyday Life. Harriet and Vetta Goldstein. The Macmillan Company, Chs. XII, XIII, XIV, XVI. Costume Design and Home Furnishing. Estelle Peel Izor. Mentzer Busch and Company. Clothing for Women. Laura I. Baldt. J. B. Lippincott Company, Chs. III, IV. Dressmaking. Jane Fales. Charles Scribner's Sons. "Proper Care of the Hair." Hygeia, April, 1925, p. 226. "Care of the Hair." Hygeia, April, 1924, p. 215. Herman Goodman. "Sanitary Manicure." Hygeia, March, 1925, p. 153. "Lovelier Hair." Good Housekeeping Magazine, April, 1926, p. 113.