Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Katie, the Semi-Invalid

No, it's not still food poisoning!  I greatly enjoyed the reprint of the 1908 Ladies' Home Journal article entitled "High Heels and Low Heels:  The Difference Shown in X-Ray Photographs by Alexander C. Magruder, M.D." in the book The Seductive Shoe:  Four Centuries of Fashion Footwear by Jonathan Walford.

The basic premise boils down to the following:

Pros:  A higher arched foot is more attractive.  A woman's height is increased.  The foot measures shorter and therefore more feminine.

Cons:  Bodily discomfort.  Tiring easily.  Irritability.  NERVOUS BREAKDOWN.  Lack of equilibrium.  Lessened lung capacity.  Weakening heart muscles.

I especially enjoyed the last sentence, "Of course, these organic changes are not so rapid as to be noticed at once; but they gradually appear, with cumulative effect, and sooner or later transform the girl of spirit into a listless person; the rosy cheeks to pale ones; the erect figure to stooped shoulders; the healthy,  hearty, robust person to a semi-invalid or a total one."

So, if I ever become a listless, pale, stooped, semi (or total) invalid, on the verge of a nervous breakdown, we know exactly where lies the blame.

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