On Wednesday 14th September Retford Ladies Probus welcomed Dulcie Lewis, who gave a hugely enjoyable and sometimes hilarious talk entitled ‘Powder, Paint and Corsets’. She began by telling members that we would all have been considered beautiful at some time in history. Among the attributes she listed were white skin, blue eyes, blonde hair, long hair, long fingers and an ample bosom! Teeth did not come into it. Most people had rotten gnashers by the time they were twenty and had them removed before marriage! Poor country folk had the best teeth which were ‘cleaned’ by their diet of oatcakes.
In Egyptian times everyone wore eye make-up, including babies, because it contained medication. However, the pursuit of white skin and blonde hair in Roman times often proved to be deadly (not surprising with concoctions such as hellebore, rat heads and excrement). The advent of the crinoline made it impossible for ladies to use any form of toilet, and so, they would retreat into the garden announcing, “I am going to pluck a rose”.
Dulcie’s final quip was that women use face powder to catch a man and baking powder to keep him! She is a real tonic and I would heartily recommend her. The club next meets on 8th November at Ordsall Community Centre at 10.00am for 10.30am. All are welcome.