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Turn on the Charm

Those Enduring Young Charms

Submitter: It’s all about keeping up appearances in “middle-age”.  I am particularly fond of Chapter 8: Your Grooming Begins with a Foundation (as in foundation garments). I am sure that many of your younger readers will have no idea that women used to truss themselves up in those awful rubber girdles, to keep their wholesome figures from ruining the line of their clothes. I consider myself lucky to be among the generation just after that, where bras and the like became “optional.”

Holly: Many of us will agree that this kind of book is fun. There is something to be said for finding books like this in the library and spending a lazy afternoon browsing through it.  If your public library has space and calls it a special collection, great!  People probably love your library!  If, however, your patrons go to the beauty section and find this and assume it’s the only thing you’ve got because all your current books are checked out, you’ve got a relevancy issue.


0 Responses to Turn on the Charm

  • Why? Why? Why is the women in her underwear wearing a lone ranger mask?

    • I was wonder the exact same thing! When These pictures were taken, this is not the kind of pictures you would see any just “any” book. I’ve been laughing.

  • I love that she is wearing the mask due to such a racy pose! Here is a modern version of that!


    yet still classy…

  • It’s the Lone Ranger!

  • In my best Queen Victoria voice–

    Good heavens–that top picture could be in a collection of old fashioned Bettie Page bondage photos.

  • Wow, wow, wow. The girdled woman reminds me of my grandmother. Virginia? Is that you behind the mask?

  • How can a book have “Those Endearing Young Charms” as a title and not reference the classic Looney Tunes that featured our protagonist playing the tune incorrectly, only to hvae Yosemite Sam or the like play the correct tune and get blown up?

  • I don’t know mystery submitter. Have you ever tried wearing a tight spanx (0ur modern version of girdles) Not too comfy either. And LOL on the Betty Page reference Deb!!!

  • Having spent many a shocked and sickened hour on PeopleOfWalMart.com I can assure you, bras are NEVER optional! In fact, I think we should bring the above undergarmet back and make it manditory for many a woman! Especially if she plans on going out in public!

    Obviously you don’t want this book in a library, but I know many people, myself included, who’d not only love to have this, but would follow much of the advice ourselves. And, while I have yet to meet one in person, I know there’s men out there who find women that follow old fashion beauty advice way more sexy then today’s modern women.

    And foundation garmets still exist. Though they’re called “shapewear” and they don’t do near as good a job as the one above.

  • I have never worn a bow in my hair when going to bed. Maybe that’s what I’m doing wrong!

  • “Sure, I’ll be in a book wearing nothing but my ‘unmentionables,’ exposed for the world to see. However, I have ONE condition to protect my dignity . . .”

  • The first picture looks like it belongs in some creepy fetish magazine that people would wear disguises to buy in Times Square back in the forties.

  • It’s a toss-up. If things were to revert to that “better age” we might not have websites like http://www.peopleofwalmart.com.

  • That mask makes it look like a fetish publication! And when I tried to follow the link for “the beautiful kind,” my library computer blocked it as pornography!

    • That’s because TBK is about sex and there are suggestive if not all out sexual pictures on it. I mean, the site has good information and probably helps a lot of people. What few minutes I was brave enough to spend on it I was impressed in how well presented it is and how tasteful. I’m just saying that the subject manner and many of the photos would make computer filters pick it up as porno.

      As for the mask – who knows. Maybe it was a fetish picture. Or maybe it’s a picture of someone whom didn’t wish to be recognized. Just like how for years the author of “The Way To Become The Sensuous Woman” went simply by “J” maybe our mask wearing underwear model insisted on it.

      Or maybe because the picture comes from The Warner Brothers Company it could be something else entirely. The picture wasn’t taken for the book, it seems, but rather a stock photo.

      • Jamie–I don’t think the top picture is from the Warner Brothers motion picture company, I think it’s from the Warner Company, which produced (and, for all I know, still produces) bras and other foundation garments.

      • I must apologize. It does indeed say Warner Brothers. That’s what happens when I don’t get my caffeine in the morning. But there was/is an underwear company named Warners. Or did I totally make that up too?


      • Don’t sweat it, Deb. I’m like that before my morning cup of joe too.

        There’s Olga Warner which is a famous bra company.

  • Re-catalogue as costume history.

    My mother wore girdles, and I don’t even wear bras (some of us shouldn’t, really.)

  • Yes, any one who knows Tim Gunn (Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style, etc.) knows the importance of the foundation garment. You trippy hippy A-cups can let it all hang out, but I prefer a more streamlined look.

    BTW, Tim Gunn’s mother was a librarian.

  • Yeah, sorry, my C-cups need at least a camisole. But yikes I’m glad girdles aren’t considered mandatory anymore.

  • I bet she has a riding crop in her other hand. I almost hate to admit it, but Granny looks kinda sexy in her Zorro mask. I do not understand the construction of her bra though. What are all those concentric lines on the underside of her boobage?

  • The top one is clearly Avenging Gran, a little known superhero of the 40s

  • Just think, if I had known about that bow thing I might have had such a different life!

  • I want this book so badly, I can’t even tell you. I collect teen etiquette/dress manuals from this era, but have never seen one for women my age. And yes, that’s the posture and upholstering that both of my grandmother’s have. Definitely a keeper for special collections.

  • I think this is great, and I wish that people still wore girdles. I’m sort of sick of seeing peoples rolls of fat peaking out from their halter tops at Walmart.

    • Oh man, I’m so glad we don’t. I get enough sternum chafing from wearing a bra too long. My hips and tummy need to be free. (Though granted I’d probably feel the same way as you, Coco, if I saw that much untamed fat on a daily basis.)

      • I, for one, wouldn’t mind an old fashion girdle for when I have to dress up. Everyday wear, no, but when I have to put on a dress or a pant suit for a special occasion.

        I’m sorry, but Spanx doesn’t work worth a darn!

    • Was “peaking” a deliberate typo? 😉

  • Why doesn’t my library ever uncover anything this awesome?

    Seriously, I would keep the book around for the entertainment value alone. I can’t stop laughing at Granny in the Lone Ranger mask.

  • I wish I looked as good as the woman getting ready for bed! Me, I wear sweat pants and long sleeved tee shirts (liberally covered with dog hair) to bed. My tolerant hubby probably wouldn’t mind seeing me in a silky nightgown once in while. And her complexion is lovely! I want to know her secrets.