1. Women’s magazines tell us how to dress, who to love, and what to put on our faces.
It all started with a periodical called The Lady’s Mercury, which was first published in 1693 and promised to respond to “all the most nice and curious questions concerning love, marriage, behavior, dress and humor of the female sex, whether virgins, wives or widows.” The life advice gleaned from magazines like Cosmopolitan and Glamour is never “one-size fits all” but you’ve probably drawn inspiration from them for a new haircut or followed a tutorial on winged eyeliner.
But what if they existed even earlier than 1693 and were written by women (because let’s face it, the first lady magazines were written by men). What beauty advice would these hallowed pages hold? Let’s explore.
2. Crocodile Dung Skin Treatment
Do you have bad skin? Are wrinkles weighing you down? Is your face plagued by an onslaught of adult acne? Well then, why not enjoy a luxurious crocodile dung bath? Favored by ancient Greeks and Romans, these body-toning mud baths are filled with fresh crocodile dung and are designed to invigorate the senses. You can even PUT THE FECES ON YOUR FACE for a refreshing anti-aging face mask.
3. White Lead Face Makeup
It’s the Age of Lightening-ment and pale skin is in! Look wealthier in seconds with ghostly pale skin, because no one wants to be confused for a day laborer (so taboo!). Our treatment powder of white lead, calcium carbonate and hydroxide can be used all over your body, and will ensure a white, almost translucent complexion.
4. Cosmetic Controlled Bleeding
If white lead facials aren’t working for you, we have the solution! To get that near-death paleness of true beauty, drain the color from your body one drop at a time! Controlled bleeding will hastily lighten the color of your skin, and you’ll be fashionably pale in no time! Have a ball or important party to attend? Let it bleed!
5. Deadly Nightshade Eye Makeup
For eyes that really pop with their own, inner glow, take some deadly nightshade and smear it around your peepers. The poison will dilate your pupils and make your eyes look enormous! Another delicious poison that will keep you looking beautiful is arsenic. Eat some arsenic, my dear reader, for an angelic glow much like the light emitted from a golden halo. The poison, used in the 19th century, gave its imbibers glowing skin while it coursed through their veins.
6. Foot Binding
Do you have big, adult-sized feet? Nothing is less attractive than adult feet. BABY feet are in! Although it might be too late for your hideous, mannish feet, it’s not too late for your daughters. Starting between the ages of 4 and 7, foot binding prevents feet from growing to a freakish adult size. Just break all the toes on each foot, except the big toes, and then bind them in binding cloth as tightly as possible. As your daughters grow, their feet will remain blessedly small, attracting suitors from near and far!
7. Tapeworm Diet
Are you FAT? Like “I ate savory scones smothered in cheese all day” fat? Well, that simply won’t do. The latest diet fad comes to you from England, and is so easy to follow that you can still eat all the disgustingly fat foods that you want! Beauty starts from the inside out with the tapeworm diet! These pills are packed with tapeworm larvae that are just waiting to burst free and take up residence in your stomach. The tapeworm eats up your excess calories, allowing you to maintain a fashionably slim figure!
*A minor surgery is required once the tapeworm expands beyond the limits of your stomach.
**By minor, we actually mean major surgery.
8. Painted Black Teeth
Nothing says “I’m loyal to my husband” like teeth as black as the nighttime sky. Polish your chompers to a deep black obsidian by following these simple steps. First, rub the rind of a pomegranate against your teeth to prime the enamel. The acidity will open the pores in your teeth, allowing more dye to seep through. Second, rub dye made from iron fillings and gallnuts (of the Japanese sumac tree) against your teeth. Repeat as necessary.
9. Portugese Urine Mouthwash
Swill some Portugese guy’s urine for deliciously fresh breath! Romans in ancient Rome didn’t trust their own urine to do the trick, so they imported urine from Portugal. Portugal’s known for its super strong urine full of powerful cleansing agents (*it’s not). The ammonia in urine is actually good for disinfection, but who would want to swill a mouthful of urine? Hopefully no one.
10. Big Hair, Bear Grease, and Beef Lard
Big hair is the ultimate symbol of beauty but don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of hair, it can easily be faked. Back in the day, women wore giant hairpieces constructed from wooden frames and hair that was glued with pastes of bear grease and beef lard. These do’s are so irresistible, you might find some rats munching on them in the middle of the night! Which brings us to wig cages. You should have one if you want to keep your smelly beef hair safe!
Work that beef hair gurl, work it.