Above are two pictures, one showing how your great-grandmother dressed, with her big, full skirts sweeping the floor as she walked. Her waist was pulled in very tightly because it was considered a sign of beauty to have a tiny waist. She wore her hair in many puffs and curls, and sometimes her coiffure was completed with a huge pompadour. The other picture shows how an up-to-date girl may dress for out-door sports. She wears knickers or bloomers, broad toed shoes with flat heels and has her hair bobbed. What do you think each of these girls might do to have a good time? Make a list on the blackboard of the things which the up-to-date girl might do, which the old-fashioned girl could not do so well because of her clothing.
The up-to-date American girl is healthy and active. She does many things that her great-grandmother never would have thought of doing. Your clothing can be a great aid in helping you to be a healthy, active, modern girl. The dresses you wear, the shoes and stockings you choose, the way you wear your hair, your underwear and your out-door wraps are all important in keeping you well and happy.
Shoes. - It hardly seems possible that people will deliberately hurt themselves by wearing tight shoes but such is the fact. We are horrified when we hear how Chinese women had their feet bound to keep them small when they were children. Yet some American girls and women wear shoes which distort their feet and cause them actual pain, not to the extent formerly practiced by the Chinese, but why should it be done at all? Happily, women are beginning to prefer more comfortable shoes. In Picture 1 of Fig. 35, you will see a Chinese foot which was bound so that it was only half the length of a normal foot. In Picture 2 you will see the foot of an American woman which is thrown out of shape by wearing an improper shoe and in Picture 3 the foot of an up-to-date girl who wears a correct shoe. Size of Your Shoe. - Shoes should be large enough to be comfortable when standing. The girl who buys shoes a size smaller than she should wear is very foolish indeed. As far as appearance is concerned, one or two sizes matter very little but it makes a great deal of difference in comfort and health. Shoe sizes are classified according to length and width. When the shoe salesman measures your foot, he often does it while you are sitting. As soon as you stand on your foot, it becomes longer and this must be allowed for in the fitting of the shoe. If the shoe is too short it may cause serious discomfort and injury to the foot. Many people have corns on their toes because they wore shoes that were too short, causing the toes to be crowded together and pushed backward. But even a far more serious thing may happen to your foot than having a corn form on one of the toes if you wear shoes that are too short. The joint of the big toe may be so injured that a bunion will develop. A bunion is so serious and painful that operations are sometimes necessary. Fig. 36 shows two shoes for the same foot. One shoe fits improperly because it is too short and the joint of the big toe is too far forward, leaving a space between the sole of the shoe and the foot. This means that the toes are crowded too far forward. Feel of your foot in the shoe which you are wearing and find out if your shoe is long enough. When you buy new shoes you should always feel to see that the joint of the big toe fits into the shoe as shown in Picture 2 of Fig. 36.
Even though no serious injury to the foot should result from wearing shoes that are too short, the foot soon causes the shoe to lose its shape. This makes a very bulgy, untidy looking shoe. Did you ever have a pair of shoes which did this?
The Shape of Your Shoe. - The toe of your shoe should not be pointed because your toes do not naturally crowd themselves together into a point. Notice in Fig. 37 how the toes spread slightly when the foot is in a natural position. You will also notice that the inside line of the foot is practically straight with the big toe extending straight forward. If this foot is put into a pointed shoe which crowds the big toe inward, the result is sure to be painful and harmful. Sometimes people do not know what is wrong when their shoes hurt their feet because they do not realize that the shape of the shoe they are wearing is very different from the shape of their feet. When the shoe is too short as well as too pointed the result is very painful indeed.
After such shoes have been worn for a long time, the foot actually becomes reshaped and the toe remains pushed in even when the foot is not in the shoe. In many cases when feet have been deformed in this way it was caused by wearing shoes that did not fit correctly during the period of growth. Have you learned in your physiology or hygiene class why feet are more easily deformed during the period of growth? This will remind you of how Chinese women formerly had their feet distorted. Some people claim that the narrow, pointed shoe is more beautiful than a shoe with a rounded toe, because the lines are more graceful and artistic. But does it seem truly beautiful, when you remember how cruelly the toes are crowded together inside? Something for You to Do. - Take pedigraphs of both your feet. You can do this by wetting each foot and then stepping on a piece of colored blotting paper. Your wet foot will print on the colored blotting paper making an impression which is called a pedigraph. Mark around the prints of your feet before the water dries and you will then have a pedigraph showing the exact size and shape of both feet. Each girl should do this at home if it is not convenient to do it at school.