"There is no fixed standard of beauty that can be applied to the face and form of woman - at least, not in a popular sense. The style of beauty that may appeal to one class of person, one race, or one period of history, may not appeal to another person, race, or age. The idea of beauty appeals to the mind, while the influence of beauty appeals to the senses or the susceptibility of the beholder.
The relative proportions of the various parts are supposed to be the basis of beauty in the human and animal creation, but unless the whole is suggestive of fitness for its sphere of activity, there is a sense of a something lacking, of a weakness, a tameness, that robs it of its attractiveness.
Hogarth insisted that the principles of beauty came under the heads of fitness, variety, uniformity, simplicity, intricacy, and quantity.
Beauty, or the influence of beauty. in woman must be felt before it can be analysed. The material beauty of face and figure is insignificant as compared with the psychological force that animates her being. The bewitching, subtle art of indefinable and magnetic attractiveness, often unconsciously owned and ingenuously expressed, is the very soul and essence of beauty. A woman so endowed, even an unlovely woman, will enslave not only the men, but the women of her sphere. The men wonder at their adoration, while the women praise, imitate, and practise every tone of her voice, every quaint turn of her head, and slavishly bedeck themselves after her style and manner, even to endeavouring to acquire and simulate her defects.
Even without taking into consideration the need of the personal charm of individual style, there is a beauty that is directly the outcome of ungainliness, as illustrated m the engaging awkwardness of the long-legged colt, of the clumsy puppy destined to become a relatively large and heavyweight hound, of the girl and youth in their hobbledehoy years. Sir Joshua Reynolds comments on the beauty of ugliness by noting that "there is likewise a kind of symmetry or proportion in deformity." Nevertheless, the study and the analysis of beauty from the artist's and sculptor's point of view, combined with an understanding and appreciation of the normal, from a physiological standpoint, are essential for every woman to understand, both for the purpose of enhancing her own perfections and those of her children.
Nothing is more interesting to a mother than to watch and nurture the growth and development of the potential beauty of her children. Though at birth the female infant is half an inch shorter than the male infant, yet at about the thirteenth or fourteenth year, the average girl begins to outstrip the average boy, both in height and weight, and in the course of a few months her early womanhood is often established, after which the rapidity of her growth diminishes. The youth, however, occupies a period of from three to four years for his development into manhood, during which time he continues to grow, often very rapidly, with the result that he is permanently taller and heavier than the average girl of the same age.
These are the critical periods of life that influence womanhood and manhood for good or ill. Statistics show that among the labouring population, where many insanitary conditions exist, the undeveloped stage is arrested for two or even three years, as compared with that of the better nourished, better slept, and more sanitarily clothed and housed.
An unhygienic position for sleeping
Sleeping in the recumbent position, with unconstricted limbs, is a great aid, at these critical periods, to the development of a full-length stature. It is observed that even during illness, when the nutritive powers of the body are more or less arrested, this recumbent position aids wonderfully in increasing the growth. Hence, young people, both youths and maidens, should be encouraged to rest in the recumbent position for half an hour or more once or twice daily, especially when there are signs that the rapid growth and development of the organism is a strain upon the vitality.
Upon the intelligent care of an instructed mother in seeing that the head, body, and Limbs of her growing girl are so disposed dluring the hours of sleep that none of the vital processes are retarded, largely depends the fact of her becoming a beautiful specimen of normal womanhood or a case of arrested development. The manner of taking sleep and rest needs just as much intelligence and guidance as does the manner of indulging in physical activities.
Much of the beauty of a woman depends upon her height. If the mean height of the male and female population of any race be taken, where both have equal chances for growth in childhood, it will be found that the man is taller than the woman. And this is undoubtedly as it should be.
The correct position for sleeping on the back
The " correct " "height for a woman of any nation is generally standardised by means of an average. The sum of the heights of as many women as possible is obtained and divided by the number of women contributing to that amount, the result being supposed to represent the "normal" height of the women of that locality. Thus, if 1,000 women measure 72,000" inches, the average height of women would be reckoned as 72 inches, or 6 feet. Everything under or,over that would then be reckoned as a departure from the average.