"There is everything that is lithe and dainty, something femininely fetching, about a pretty little waist; but when it is fashioned with such difficulty, and under so much agony, one loses interest in it to a great extent." Besides, men want more than just a waist - they also, shocker, care about personality, too: "Men do not fall in love with a tiny waist, unless the owner happens to have several other points of beauty to carry it off.The human male likes proportion and artistic beauty, with ease and grace of movement, and all bound together not by a corset but by ineffable manner of charm." "A young woman’s health is the very last thing thought about by an admirer of the opposite sex," writes Brown.Brown's most important tip for all young single women is this: "The advice may be given to every reader, marry well if you can; but satisfactorily at least." Why?"A married life conduces to such correctness of living as tends to improve and steady the general conduct." We're told that from 21 to 25 years is a favourable age to wed, because: "If she marry young, before her body be properly developed, there would be the danger of an abnormal child-birth." It's a message still highlighted by the many campaigners trying to end child marriage the world over, today.
Every society has such rules — like whether to drive on the right or left side of the street — to establish expectations and keep things running smoothly.
The magazine "Punch" published cartoons of farcical social scenes, and the satirist W. Gilbert penned humorous lyrics to comic operas skewering silly elements of the culture.
We'll take a glimpse into some of the rules that seem absurd to us today.
But, before leaping, these daring damsels have not looked on the other side, however, or they would have seen their Klondyke without its nuggets; they would have found the mines ‘salted’ and not sound, and realised themselves sexed without the seed.
They leapt, and stood on the other side a picture judged by many more hideous than before." But in a long chapter dedicated to the dangers of excessive tight-lacing, Brown's inner feminist does emerge.