Back in the Dirty Thirties when ladies in my village did their own hair, they used squares of orange tissue paper from individually wrapped Blue Goose brand oranges. They were grateful for the papers and grateful to the travelling salesman everybody called Mister Blue Goose. Not only did he push the sale of the required oranges, he brought the latest gossip and news of beginning fads from every town on the branch line. He delivered his dissertations in the pool room to admiring men who took garbled versions home to their wives. No matter; a visit from Mister Blue Goose was a contact with the outside world.
When the ladies decided that small supplies of Blue Goose wrappers should be placed in the family outhouses for the comfort and convenience of visiting strangers who might come from the city, the supply of curling papers began to run out. This was when Rosie and her fancy curling irons appeared.
She came from a nearby Jewish Colonization Association settlement and had a husband who could speak seven languages, all of them softly and submissively. Rosie had only three languages – the tongue of her forefathers (and foremothers), English and the special dialect she used to call down the wrath of Jehovah on any male brave enough to oppose her. The trouble started when she prevailed upon her husband to provide her with a newfangled electric hair-curling machine which enclosed her clients’ heads like half of a huge egg and curled each and every hair on their scalps at the same time. The two men who owned the local power plant were not happy to see Rosie arrive. They knew there was no profit in running their big dynamo in the daytime because none of their frugal customers would switch on a light when the sun was shining. They knew Rosie was likely to be their only daytime customer. Rosie called down the wrath of Jehovah on the power plant operators both directly and in her prayers. I believe she threatened them with boils and the permanent loss of virility. This was an assault that few men were strong enough to withstand. The power plant operators capitulated and installed a small dynamo for daytime use. Just for Rosie.
At first, the title of Rosie’s place was Rosie the Hair Dresser. Being an avant-garde type, she soon changed it to Madame Rosie’s Beauty Salon. This didn’t work very well. She was constantly pestered by men who couldn’t spell dropping in for a shot or two of home-brew. She changed the name of her business to Rosie’s Beauty Parlour. This was distinctive enough since there were only two other parlours in the village, these being the dining rooms of two uppity dames who served what they called dinner after 7:00 P.M. They became Rosie’s best customers.
When searching through the history of female fashions, I noted that the ladies of ancient Crete considered themselves well-dressed when they exposed both breasts. This would have been scandalous during the Victorian Era, when almost every portion of a well-dressed female’s skin was covered with some kind of textile. In 2018, many well-dressed female celebrities have adopted the ancient Cretan fashion. As a very respectable gentleman, I am offended by this.
During what was called the Roaring Twenties, females called themselves “flappers” and had bangs, cloche hats, rolled down stockings and dresses with high waistlines and high hems. This display was calculated to draw the attention of young men with coonskin coats and Stutz Bearcat roadsters. This would have been a lost cause I my village. Nobody owned a Stutz Bearcat and most of the young men couldn’t even afford coats.
Through the years, male fashions have also been changeable. One the most arresting was the Elizabethan outfit of long shanks in tight hosiery which terminated at the codpiece, which was a construction which covered the groin. I have no doubt that some males pushed foreign objects into their codpieces, probably roasted chestnuts, in order to make their procreative apparatus look more formidable. When men do things like this they are being crude. When females use artificial means to emphasize certain parts of their anatomy, they are being enticing. In every generation, even cautious males yield to enticements and thereafter became inmates of places of detention or of honeymoon cottages with picket fences where roses grow around the door. Men never learn.
In 2018, adornments include tattoos, rings and jewelled studs locates almost anywhere on the human body. This is illogical. Adornments are meant to be seen by all and sundry. Most of these should be viewed only by the current amorous partner. Being a classical scholar, I believe human bodies are most beautiful when unclothed and unadorned. (I do have reservations as to gender, age and time and place of viewing.)
It is my firm belief that fashion designers and their ilk are sadists, ugly people who want to make other people ugly as well. They should be punished. If I were in charge of punishments, I would make the female designers appear in public wearing work boots and tattered long johns enclosed by leather aprons, with the one on the back bearing the inscription WIDE LOAD. As for the men, I would hire somebody to tie them up and pour itching powder into their codpieces. No doubt there could be many other fiendish punishments. I’m working on it.