Hoarding is not collection development

Looking Good

This category includes all fashion, beauty, exercise and fitness materials.

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How to Be Attractive

How to be attractive
1951, 2d ed., rev. and enl.

Submitter: The original edition was from 1948. Our copy does not have the cover shown – the library assistant who discovered this brilliant work (and read it cover to cover) found the cover on the web. We were struck by the fact that, for the most part, being attractive in this volume means being attractive to men (although there is that token glance at being attractive to women–but not that way, of course). The three-page discourse on what do to if a man becomes “fresh” (do some serious soul-searching and blame yourself) is particularly revealing. We were also charmed by the photograph of the woman moisturizing her hands (this photo was part of a two-page spread on the subject)–the child looks like he’s plotting serial murder. We are an academic library, and are happy to be weeding this little volume from our collection.

These self-care books for women in the 50’s just kill me. The woman on the cover looks like a manikin or a Stepford Wife or something. And submitter is right about the first picture below. All I can think is “It puts the lotion on its skin.”

More Beauty Tips for the Ladies:

Robot Beauty

How to be Pretty in 1974

Save Your Face!

Be a Sexy Woman with Debbie!

Ask a Man

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Embrace Some Fashion From the 1970s

Fashions of a Decade: The 1970s

Submitter: Unfortunately, there are no fashion history aficionados at our school. This is a lone volume from a series, which is probably why it hasn’t been touched in years. It’s a pretty thorough overview of 70’s trends, and covers big influences like Saturday Night Fever, Elton John, Farrah Fawcett, etc. The mix of photos and painted illustrations is odd. Wouldn’t the teen reader want to see the fashions in an authentic context? The “poster-ized” renditions would look great on black velvet!

Holly: My library has this whole series, and it actually comes in handy for those “decade reports” that kids do every year – but it probably does work better as a full series. It’s not very  indicative of real people/daily life fashion of each decade, but gives a more extreme view of fashion. Kind of artsy, even. I can see why Submitter would weed it, and I would too in her situation. This is a classic case of “know thy user” and “know thy collection.” It’s a keeper here! (I especially love the picture of Diana Ross and her painted-on “outfit” – below.)

Mary: As the representative of teens in the 1970s, every time I am confronted with the “historical” 1970s, I have a minor anxiety attack. As a teen, I didn’t embrace any of these particular looks other than an attempt to convince my mother that gaucho pants would make me popular.

More Fashion of the Decades:

Fashion for the 80s

Teen Fashion

Fashion Forward?

Dress Like Liberace

On the Catwalk

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Get Yourself Together

Get Yourself Together

Show of hands: How many of you dabbled in these awesome late 80s fashions?

Of course, I can’t believe it is still in a teen nonfiction collection. I can hear every modern teen girl going “Ewwww.” I am going to guess they don’t want to look like Mom’s high school senior photo. This book should have been weeded by 1995 at the latest.

When I was a teen, I loved this kind of book, especially the before and after pictures. Unfortunately, I always looked like the before picture.

For its time, it was a good purchase. Seriously, though the 80s (and 90s, and 00s too) are over. Let’s all move on with our lives.  Think about it, the kids featured in this book are now planning for retirement or yelling at their own teens. Soon, they will be asking about senior discounts and AARP memberships.


More Teen Fashion:

80s Style in a Nutshell

Modern Style for a Modern Girl

If only you were prettier…

The Teen I Want to Be

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