How any age can be attractive

This is my last part of the 1956 Woman’s Own feature “The art of being more attractive” This is the centre fold and it reveals secrets to be more attractive across 5 decades.

Some is the usual stuff, but some is a little more surprising!

In the Nursery

This a beauty advice for 3 year olds which in itself is something we wouldn’t read about today. Phyllis Digby Morton’s says “At 3, a girl has got all it takes to be effortlessly bewitching. She can say what she likes, do what she wants (within reason)! She can dress in the scantiest panties and get away with it.” Pardon?

Phew, at least no one thinks toddlers have beauty issues. Apparently though she NEEDS dancing lessons to “limber up little arms and feet”. This age is about needing:

  • needing thoughtful haircare with “thrice weekly shampooing”
  • needing mild soap and water and lots of it
  • needing protection against accidents
  • needing love

“Lucky Miss 3, not to have a beauty problem!”

In the teens

“Meet Miss Teenage, the girl whose life is a spell of fickle April weather. Days, she wakes up feeling light as a cork with sheer joy of living. Other days she looks at her reflection with loathing.”

Remember that feeling as a teenager? To be honest I don’t remember much of the light as a cork feeling (especially in my stompy doc martins!)

This decade is all about discovering:

  • discovering cold cream to soften her skin
  • discovering pale pink nail varnish (I seem to remember more black nail varnish)
  • discovering the right bra
  • discovering the “value of a night and morning face” wash with soap
  • discovering different hair styles (mine were shaved, purple hair dye, orange hair dye)
  • “the way to shed spots and puppy fat is a firm no thank you to fried potatoes and gooey cakes”
  • and the most important discovery is “charm, nice manners and a ready smile- and that being a girl is more attractive inĀ  a man’s eyes than being just another tomboy”. So as early as this a girl shoudl start thinking of being attractive for men!

“Cheer up, Miss Teenage, remember that your beauty’s still in the shaping!”

The Twenties

Oh no….this is apparently the “age of roses and wedding bells and high romance”. Beauty comes to its peak now (gosh how depressing). Although I agree with “at twenty, a wise girl starts laying the foundations of the person she wants to be”

This age is all about learning:

  • learning all about clothes, about accessories ” good gloves are plain, simple shoes make legs inches slimmer and longer”.
  • learning to discriminate about face creams and cosmetics
  • learning the value of money (not sure I did this in my twenties). She should “plan thriftily before each major expenditure”
  • learning to count to ten before making an angry comeback.
  • learning to wear hats on important occasions without feeling funny
  • this is the time to turn fromĀ  a girl into a delightful woman

The thirties

A woman in her thirties (my age…just) is at the peak “of her attractiveness, assurance and poise”. But as she has now more responsibility she should care more for her looks. Being 30 is all about caring:

  • caring for her bandbox freshness “defending it against the wear and tear of household chores”.
  • caring for her skin
  • caring for the right cosmetics, being “lavish with toilet water for the splash of elegance”
  • “and above all, she cares for her man. taking pains to ensure that she’s more than ever worth loving, now she’s in her thirties”.

WOW! you definitely wouldn’t read words like this today. Nothing about looking after yourself just for you.

The Forties and after

Now as I’m to turn 40 next year I better get reading this section!

“Time was when any attractive older woman was liable to be labelled “well preserved”.” Now though, in 1956 an older woman was seen as slim, eager, vital although “never making the mistake of aping kittenishness!” Ha Ha..I think I plan to ape kittenishness, whatever that may be!

The 40s is all about knowing:

  • knowing her skin will lose firmness, muscles will sag, firm contours will disintegrate
  • without exercise the “firmest body will become flabby”..gosh how depressing!
  • knowing that chin firming exercises will help
  • rose tinted powder and foundation are key
  • knows the value of an odd day in bed (I wish!)

And finally, she knows “that serenity, humour and a lively interest in people and things-outside the home as well as in it- keeps her, in many eyes, the most attractive age of all”

Hurrah, Phyllis at last feels attractiveness comes with age and knowing..there’s hope for me then!

In the mean time, what have I learnt from this and the last 2 articles?

That I need rose tinted powder, that my daughter is lucky as she can dress in the scantiest of underwear, that I need to work on my beauty and personality EVERYDAY, and that I need to do this for my man.

Oh well. Finally, here I am approaching 40 embracing the inner kitten!


I love


  1. 13 November 2011 / 11:15 am

    Great post-I am also nearing 40 so think i will actually follow your lead and wear kitten ears ha ha

    • 13 November 2011 / 4:00 pm

      ooh I could start a club couldnt I! Hope yr well? Kate x

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