Cornhill Magazine,  7 (1863), 738–47.

Paint, Powder, Patches

[John Doran]




Anatomy, Anthropology, Monstrosities

    Reflecting that in 'all times, and in as many climes, there has been a certain disinclination to leave matters as Nature gave them', the author gives an historical account of the diverse ways in which humans have changed the form of their heads for the purposes of decoration. In several 'Eastern cities', for instance, the inhabitants were 'proud of such children as had sugar-loaf heads', for it was 'a sign that they were of the right tap; and when a child was born, it was the first duty of all concerned to mould its head into the figure of the conical cap once worn by Oriental potentates'. (738) Surveying the wide variety of facial adornments common in 'savage' societies, the author observes, 'I am inclined to think that I would rather make love' to the 'Tartar lady of good principles' for whom a 'couple of nostrils and no nose used to form the perfect idea of beauty' than to 'those Eastern ladies [...] whose ears, by artificial fashionable training, reached down to their feet'. Also remarks on the 'monstrosities' into which the 'prettiest lips in the world may be turned'. (741)

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