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SMALL WAISTS THREATENED AGAIN. (London Daily Mail.) '■ Upon the waist and feet fashion is setting her most foolish eye at present, with a view to working a change on them — one that shall set at defiance the reforms inculcated by hygiene. It seems a pity that the waist should be constricted into sylph-like limits again, after having been allowed to assume normal proportions. But it appears only too probable that the small sleeves, and tightly fitted skirts, now modish, will demand a tiny waist measurement ; indeed, it has been asserted that in the shops the young ladies who, show off the toilettes by walking up and down clad in the latest models before customers, have been commanded to lace in" until the absurd girth of only 16in is accomplished. Alas! the pity of it. . It is to be hoped this cruelty will bo ' stopped. It comes just as even the fashion papers are waxing sensible and are issuing , plates with fashion figures, having what is known as the natural waist instead of the hour-glass figure of former years. No young girl, however vain, has for long enough boasted that less than 18in is €he span of her waist. The average waist measure is nearer 22in, and not a few women admit 27in without flinching. j Therefore, we cannot say in this respect ' fashion has been uncompromising. She has yielded a little to hygiene and commonsense, and it will be a thousand pities if she goes back upon her wise advance. I Then as to the feet. We are beginning to squeeze our feet (of whatever build) into pointed boots and shoes, just as our American friends are awaking to the fact that comfort instead of cruelty is the best policy. There is an American beauty doctor who actually says she cures wrinkles, weariness, and nerve disorders, simply by treating the feet to a soothing cure, and seeing that proper shoe-leather is worn. The foot is, and always has been, dreadfully misunderstood, ever since shoes and boots were deemed necessary badges of civilisation. The ideal one should be neither large nor small, but proportioned to the body, though on its smallness its beauty has decidedly been judged. Beyond this there is the arching instep, the regular gradation of the toes the first to the fifth, the freedom from pedal ills of all kinds, and the exact matching of one foot with the other. The less tapering foot, like the less tapering waist, in these modern days, has been considered more beautiful because it better serves the ends of grace and usefulness. With the foot crowded into a pointed boot the body has an ugly gait and walking becomes a burden. With the waist unduly constricted, every movement is stiff and ungraceful, and rational exercise becomes almost impossible. But this question of the feet and waist has received so much attention of these later years that whatever is said now is almost a truism. Only it is as well to remind women of what has been now that the sex is invited once more to revert to its old time stupidity with regard to waist and feet restriction.

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Bibliographic details

FALSE STANDARDS OF BEAUTY., Timaru Herald, Volume LXII, Issue 3095, 28 October 1899, Supplement

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FALSE STANDARDS OF BEAUTY. Timaru Herald, Volume LXII, Issue 3095, 28 October 1899, Supplement