Films, Books, Musings-With the Glamour of Old Hollywood and the Flair of the Retro

Your Power as a Woman by Alma Archer- Part 1.

In Books on January 14, 2013 at 3:35 pm

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In 1957 Alma Archer wrote the book Your Power as a Woman- How to Develop and Use it. It was a guide to ‘a happier and more rewarding life’. Her qualifications for writing such a book were based on her experience as a newspaper columnist with the New York Mirror, writing a column on style that was also carried by over 1,100 newspapers. She also ran a charm school-The Fifth Avenue School for Smartness. Some of the advice is still applicable and some is outdated and will even be found as politically incorrect to some readers, but it is still so entertaining for the ‘retro’ lovers. The blurb from the back cover enticingly promises;

“Have fun losing weight with an amazing new 14 Day Reducing Diet! 9 tested tips for getting and keeping the man you want most! How to get rid of ugly blackheads and pimples – have a lovely skin! 16 secrets of being more popular at home, at work and at play! 22 practical ways to get far more out of life after you pass 40! 19 ways to make sure you pick the right clothes – and wear them with assurance and chic!”

I don’t know if the book was sold in Australia, but there are some old copies for sale in the U.S., if anyone finds an inexpensive copy in Australia-let me know! An online copy of the book (which I have used when it is not checked out) is available to borrow from Open Library.org and a pdf copy is available to buy from PDF Classic Books (which I may decide to purchase).

The first excerpt I would like to show you in this blog is titled:

Do’s and Don’ts for Past Forties.

Alma says,” Follow these rules and you’ll still be lovely at seventy. Life can be beautiful even at eighty, if you don’t lose your power as a woman.”

Some of the do’s and don’ts;

Do make a career of being cheerful and well groomed.
Do avoid indigestible foods which irritate your skin and disposition.
Do put special creams around the eyes and on the neck.
Do develop new interests, whether it’s raising Siamese cats or learning to paint.
Don’t believe vicious scandalmongers about the dangers of forty.
Dont get rusty in looks or conversation.
Dont go out without being well-groomed from head to toe.

One ‘Don’t’ Alma does leave out is ‘Don’t smoke’, but looking at the advertisement featuring Alma and her ‘habit’ above, I see that she must have believed in only preaching what she practised, ahem. Alma did, however,write this book though when she was nearing 60 and continued to impart her wisdom on charm,beauty and style for many more years.

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