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.
How Self-Hatred Can Insensibly Poison Our Lives
American woman Shelli Wilder Netko wrote a post about what worries all the women in the world — self-hatred, inevitable aging, and the race against time that will definitely be lost. But instead of worrying about these things, we should just focus on loving the people around us. Her post was so moving that we feel for her from the bottom of our hearts.
Here at Bright Side, this post has moved us a step closer to the most sincere love for ourselves. We hope it will do the same for you.
I have never really liked my hands. I have short, calloused fingers, wide palms, and messed up nail beds from a nail-biting stint when I was in grade school. Add to it the effect of knuckle-popping, which I became obsessed with after I saw the cool kid on the block do it in second grade. But nonetheless, I’ve always referred to my hands as looking like “dog paws,” versus the long, graceful hands that my sister has and that I’ve always wanted. I’ve always thought I was in the wrong line when God sprinkled “beautiful hand fairy dust” on the babies.
To add to my hand shame, since my 20s I’ve had the biggest, juiciest veins in my hands and forearms that have always been a phlebotomist’s dream come true, causing my hands to look a bit masculine and old if you ask me. When my kids were young they liked to sit by me during church and “play” with my veins to make the time pass more quickly. They would sometimes ask why my hands were “like that.” The standard mom answer applied here, “They just are, Hun.” But I always liked it — having one of them holding and touching my hands, no matter where or when or why.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve done my part to win the anti-aging race with my body and face. Eating healthy, exercising, and spending far too much money taking care of my skin. And yet, when I look down at my keyboard countless times a day, I still see these hands that look much older than my heart feels, and appear as if they could use a nice rest.
When the photographer stopped me to pose for this photo at my wedding in March to capture my sash and ring on the lace pattern of my dress, I automatically blurted out, “Can you edit the picture? I don’t like my hands.” Everyone has something they don’t fully embrace about themselves, don’t they?
But when the wedding photos came back I saw my hands in a whole new light. This picture is so beautiful, it captures everything. I saw the hands that had baked about 200 Birthday cakes, a truckload of cookies, changed thousands of diapers, wiped away a million crocodile tears, and clapped till they were raw cheering my kids on through every sport.
I saw this picture and I saw a gift. These hands may not be the smoothest, most graceful, longest, most feminine hands, but they are perfectly suited for the work that was laid out for me. These hands have been blessed with holding my newborn babies and grandbabies and holding the father of my children as he took his last breath.
I will find a beautiful frame for this picture to remind myself constantly of the love and purpose and duty I have in this life, and to remind myself that I have my mother’s hands — her gift to me.
What do you think of this story? Is there something about your appearance that you don’t like? Tell us in the comment section below.
A Daughter Wanted to Brag About Her Gorgeous Mom on Twitter and Accidentally Started a Beauty Contest
We’re totally used to social media sites that turn out to be an unpredictable phenomenon today and any post has the potential to go viral. This is what happened to a girl whose screen name is Your boyfriend’s best friend who posted a photo of her 43-year-old mom on Twitter and accidentally started a beauty contest. And even though it was just moms who took part in this sudden marathon, it was a dad who won!
Bright Side couldn’t stand aside and has decided to show you some women who know about the secret of eternal youth. And the winner, of course.
In just one day, a daughter made her mom popular: her post got 23,000 likes and caused a lot of hype in the comments. Twitter users were really interested in her beauty secrets, because this 43-year-old woman looks really magnificent. So some people asked for her cosmetologist’s contact details and others tried to find out the woman’s phone number, promoting themselves as potential suitors.
Some people also wanted to show off their beautiful moms, so they started posting their photos in the comments. As a result, the post turned into a real beauty contest.
The more women who have managed to stop time there were, the more they were suspected in using magic.
Some users even doubted that they were relatives with their moms at all. Let’s agree: when a mother looks better than her daughter, the suspicions about whether they have common genes or not are pretty relevant.
Undoubtedly, all these women are extremely popular with men, even the younger ones.
It’s hard to believe that these hot beauties have 3, 4, or even 5 kids.
The finalists were women who were older than 60. When you look at them, you realize that age is just a number.
But the winner was a dad. Apparently, a user who calls themselves Taste Booster wanted to dilute this beauty flow with a touch of masculinity. All in all, the photo of a man lying down among all the fish he caught, a cat, and a dog hit the jackpot: the picture got 1,700 likes and became more successful than any of the other photos in the comments. The only exception was the photo of the person who started this beauty contest.
Undoubtedly, all the moms who participated in this viral post deserve admiration, but the picture “Dad and some bream” is an amazing sensation. Which one do you like the most?
Costs of raising pets and changing pet market consumer trends
반려동물 1마리 키우는데 드는 비용과 소비 트렌드 변화
In the past couple of decades, it’s become far more common in Korea to own a pet.
Owning a pet, of course, usually costs some money.
In this report, our Hong Yoo looks at how much that might be and how the petcare market is changing.
More than 10 million people living in South Korea have a pet.
That’s one pet for every four households.
According to a pet report by KB Financial Group, raising a dog costs an average of 85 U.S. dollars a month and raising a cat requires an average of 64 dollars a month.
Most of that money goes on food and treats.
The rest of the money is used for medical care and grooming.
But people are happy to treat their pets because these days pet owners think of their pets as a member of their family.
In Korea, these people are called “PetFam”.
The pet food market alone has seen an average of 19 percent annual growth on the back of this trend.
And because people think of their pets as part of their family, they want to take their pets along with them on trips.
So tour companies have started creating “pet tours”.
“Because there are people who want this kind of tour, we saw the potential of such a product in the market and so we came up with our Jeju pet tour. Pets can accompany their family all the time during the tour to Jeju Island including at the restaurant, tour spots, and the hotel because this tour is pet-centered.”
There are even home spa products for pets such as skin moisturizers, scaling products and grooming mists labeled as premium products because they are organic, eco-friendly, and pet-friendly. They can cost up to 40 dollars.
“Before, people used to think about pets as a living thing that you can buy just like a toy. But because people think of their pets as a part of the family, the pet market has become similar to the baby market. So now, owners are turning to premium products for their pets.”
And there are also luxury pet shops which sell premium products that can cost up to a thousand dollars.
That is the cost of a pet bed made out of oak in the style of the bed of King Louis the 16th.
And at this luxury department store, the most popular dog food costs more than 50 dollars for just 1-and-a-half kilograms.
These changing consumer trends in the pet market show how owners are willing to spend a lot on the best quality products for their pets now that they are seen as part of the family.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.
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