The Victorian era lasted from 1837 to 1901. During this time in Great Britain, there were a lot of social reforms. The etiquette that we still use today was created at that time, but the state of women’s affairs was pretty miserable and very well regulated. In order to avoid being humiliated and mocked, Victorian women were supposed to follow a lot of rules that described every aspect of their lives: from their personal hygiene to the way they should respond to jokes with a double-meaning.
Bright Side discovered the true face of the corset era and the time of crinoline dresses. A lady of that time could have been publicly humiliated for the actions we freely do today.
1. It was inappropriate to even mention women’s underwear.
It was believed that even mentioning women’s underwear could spark an unhealthy interest in body parts. When talking about this, a Victorian lady said, “They are not the things we talk about, my dear; we try not to think about them.”
By the way, a modern person would most likely think that the underwear of the past were pretty vulgar. The thing is that the unmentionables (the pantaloons that they wore instead of underwear) did not have an inseam. So, instead there was a hole in the middle. This is why can-can was so popular and risqué in its time.
2. It was considered inappropriate and dangerous to take a hot bath.
In Victorian times, people didn’t take baths very often, because they thought that a completely wet body lost its natural protection, which could lead to psychological disorders, fevers, or something even worse.
“During the Victorian era doing something the right way often meant doing it in the most uncomfortable manner,” says Therese Oneill, in her book Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners. They were supposed to wash themselves in cold water, using a sponge soaked in cold water with a drop of vinegar. There was no such thing as a warm bath that could relax pretty much anyone. People believed that taking a bath in water that was warmer than 37.8°С could lead a woman to madness or even stimulate her to look for carnal pleasure.
We think that our modern jacuzzi would definitely terrify these virtuous Victorian ladies and gentlemen. They would have probably thought that it was some kind of devil’s punishment.
3. Physical activity for women was unacceptable.
At the beginning of the 19th century, people believed that girls and women were supposed to preserve their bodies for one special purpose — childbirth. It was believed that physical activity was dangerous for women. And the bigger the physical difference between men and women, the easier it was to control women.
However, this “system” was not very consistent. It only worked for noble women. Words like, “Women are usually physically smaller and weaker than men, their brain is far lighter, and there is simply no way that they can do the same work as men, both physically and mentally,” did not apply to poor women. Working-class women did a lot in coal mines, steel mills, and in the textile and agricultural industries. Along with children, they transported coal through narrow mines. More than that, factory owners often preferred hiring women instead of men, because it was easier to make them do hard physical work and they could be paid less.
By the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, the attitude toward physical activity started to change. Girls from the middle and the upper class were finally able to play tennis, badminton, and cricket, they could also do archery, swim, and do gymnastics. The good physical shape of future mothers ensures the health of their offspring.
4. Asking questions in a conversation was bad manners.
19th century etiquette rules recommended for women to avoid asking any questions over the course of a conversation. They were not sure what could offend the other person, so all phrases were supposed to be statements, not questions.
So, instead of asking how someone’s brother was doing, women were supposed to say, “I hope your brother is doing alright.” And classic women’s conversation topics, like the weather and children, had to be avoided so they wouldn’t be called rude and unworthy of polite company.
5. Riding a bicycle was considered extremely dirty.
Women that rode bicycles on their own were judged for 2 reasons. First, they required more convenient clothing for their rides. So as a result, bloomers and special skirts appeared. And many Victorians had a very negative attitude toward bloomers because they looked a lot like men’s pants.
And second, doctors thought that riding a bicycle could be sexually simulating for women. And ladies, especially the young ones, were supposed to be clean and innocent.
However, there were people that protected women’s rights to ride bicycles. So because the bravest women continued to use this kind of transportation, society had no choice but to gradually get used to it and even admit the positive effect bicycles could have on our health.
6. Asking a man to carry shopping bags was shameful.
At that time, it was fairly easy to get rid of an unwanted man. All a woman had to do was ask him to carry a couple of shopping bags. In fact, it was shameful to appear with a lot of things, not only for a man, but also for a lady. A noble lady was supposed to only walk with a cute dog, a bouquet of flowers, or a small package of fruit in her hands. Only in some rare cases was it OK for her to carry one square-shaped box, and it had to be a small one.
7. Using lipstick was a thing that only women of loose morals did.
Queen Victoria thought that makeup was vulgar and unattractive. This is why if a woman used beauty products, she could have easily sparked negative rumors about herself. It was relatively acceptable to use powder and nothing else. Only actresses and prostitutes (and people didn’t see much of a difference between the 2 back then) could freely use lipstick and any other cosmetics. Up until 1921, the most trendy women in London used makeup secretly.
But all women wanted to look beautiful. So women used chemicals that contained arsenic and lead to bleach their faces, they put mercury on their lips, and ammonia on their faces and hair. They used some less dangerous things, too, for example, pinching their cheeks for blush or biting their lips to make them rosy.
Would you like to travel back to that time and try on their beautiful dresses? Which would you easily give up if you had to: hot baths or beauty products? Maybe you know some interesting things about the Victorian lifestyle? Tell us what you know in the comment section below.
Alexa Chung ELLE Cover Star March 2012
Lil Nas X and Wrangler’s “Old Town Road” clothing line inspires country music fan backlash
“Old Town Road” star Lil Nas X’s latest move is into fashion, courtesy of a collaboration with Wrangler, the legacy denim and apparel brand that’s become a signature element of the Western aesthetic.
The chart-topping rapper has partnered with the company to launch a capsule clothing collection inspired by his hit song and featuring graphic T-shirts, jeans, and other denim apparel. The collaboration is essentially an extension of one of the most memorable lyrics in “Old Town Road,” which shouts out Wrangler by name: “Cowboy hat from Gucci / Wrangler on my booty.”
Wrangler describes the capsule collection, which launched May 20, as “fresh remixes of classic Wrangler styles for the kind of modern cowboy that can’t be put in a box.”
That’s a cheeky reference to “Old Town Road” itself, which sparked an intense debate over whether the song counts as country music when it debuted on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart in March, and was subsequently removed. Despite its references to established Western themes and imagery — the song’s lyrics revolve around a lone cowboy riding his horse into the sunset, after all — Billboard said the song “does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version.”
Some country music fans and industry observers agreed, arguing that “Old Town Road” qualifies more as hip-hop than country. Others criticized Billboard for feeding rigid ideas about who or what qualifies as country enough, and suggested that Lil Nas X’s race played a part in the song’s reclassification; the fact that Lil Nas X is a black teenager from Atlanta and country is a predominantly white genre did not go unnoticed.
The song quickly became the catalyst for an industry-wide discussion about the definition of country music and racially tinged gatekeeping within the genre. It also became the top song in the country, and has now been No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks straight.
Just like the song itself riled some country music fans amid an outpouring of support for Lil Nas X from his own expansive fanbase, the rapper’s collaboration with Wrangler has met with a polarized response.
The Lil Nas X capsule collection is clearly intended to celebrate and capitalize on the success of “Old Town Road.” Although many Lil Nas X fans have expressed interest in buying the collection, Wrangler is also facing criticism from some consumers, many of whom are threatening to boycott.
Much of the backlash is playing out on social media, where Wrangler has received thousands of comments from customers expressing anger and “disappointment.” (It is unclear if customers have also been contacting the company via other, less public methods; Vox has reached out to Wrangler for comment.) And much of the current conversation revolves around how Wrangler seems to be promoting inclusivity by branching out from its reputation as a brand worn by cowboys and farmers.
Two recent Instagram posts from Wrangler showcasing items from its Lil Nas X collection have received more than 1,000 comments each. While plenty of people have commented on how awesome it looks or asking questions about where to buy, several have declared that the “Old Town Road” items are “ruining the cowboy name that y’all have.”
“Wranglers are to be worn by cowboys and farmers not rappers this is very disappointing,” reads one representative Instagram comment.
Some commenters have more explicitly mentioned race — or called out others’ racism.
“This is the dumbest thing i have seen all day,” one user wrote. “Wtf @wrangler? Why is it about diversity and equality ? There jeans. Quit playin politics.”
WRANGLER JUST PARTNERED WITH LIL NAS X AND THE RACIST ARE MAD GO BUY UP ALL THE WRANGLER LIL NAS X COLLAB JEANS YOU CAN PEOPLE SUPPORT DIVERSITY pic.twitter.com/gwH2G7dULj
— tyler (@tylerujhazy) May 21, 2019
Lil Nas X, for his part, seemed mildly surprised by the response.
i mean honestly white people act like they are the only ones who are cowboys. come to my town in louisiana, we pull up to mcdonalds on horses and have rodeos every weekend.
— Blair Waldorf (@teonnyspears) May 21, 2019
These comments are in the same vein as those used by some country music fans to describe “Old Town Road” when the song made its chart debut, arguing that rappers have no place in the genre (often while neglecting to acknowledge modern country’s own hip-hop influences). Lingering over this debate is race, which many Instagram users have called out in the comments on Wrangler’s posts. Country music is perceived as an insular, predominantly white genre, while Lil Nas X is a black rapper who draws influences from black artists and musical styles.
But Wrangler’s continued support of Lil Nas X is clear; the brand has been actively responding to its detractors on social media, simply repeating on that is devoted to creating high-quality products for all of its customers.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the drama over the Lil Nas X collection has only served to draw more attention to it. Some pieces have already sold out, like a pair of shorts that say “Wrangler” on the booty, in keeping with the lyrics of “Old Town Road.” Considering that items in the collection cost between $39 for a graphic T-shirt and $129 for a pair of jeans, the outcry, at least from Wrangler’s perspective, seems to have paid off.
20 Times People Snapped Something Truly Exceptional and Shared the Pics With the World
We are living in the world that is full of surprises where every single day is a new chance to see something so unusual that it makes you doubt your own vision. A treble clef in a bag of fries, a cat whose fur went gray only on his ears, or a person with 6 fingers — these are just a few extraordinary sights that made people reach for their phones and take a pic.
Here at Bright Side we can’t wait to share our list with you of pics showing the standout things people snapped on their ordinary days.
20. Someone found a treble clef in their fries.
19. The pattern on this dog’s chest resembles a cat’s silhouette.
18. Someone saw a landscape on the bottom of their coffee mug.
17. This stone looks like a pile of mini chocolate bars.
16. This cloud looks like a shark.
15. “This stick I found looks like a burning torch, flame included!”
14. “My sweater sort of matches my pillowcase.”
13. “This truck is carrying nothing but a toy dump truck.”
12. “My empanadas have the filling stamped into them.”
11. “I randomly found the tiniest snail I’ve ever seen! (standard bobby pin for scale)”
10. “My cat has double fangs on both sides.”
9. “This tree near my school track has absorbed a fence and shows the pattern on its bark.”
8. “This is an X-ray of my hedgehog.”
7. “My 12-year-old sister made this perfect cake on her first ever try making one.”
6. “I won every single prize on this lottery ticket.”
5. “I made a giant cardboard statue of my face.”
4. “My cousin’s wedding dress from last night has its own pockets.”
3. This is one million dollars in $10 bills.
2. “A customer came in and let me take a picture of her hands that had 6 fingers on each.”
1. “My aunt’s cat’s ears grayed to here a couple years ago and haven’t changed since.”
Have you ever spotted something truly rare? Did you manage to take a picture of the unusual sight?
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