Health and Beauty are not synonymous, to be sure, but so closely are they connected that a discussion of the one cannot be complete without mention of the other. Health is, assuredly, the foundation of beauty, and, except for the fea- tures, no part of the body can be really beautiful unless it is healthy. Skin, hair, figure—these may make or mar a person’s looks, even though the features may be classic in their beauty. And no one can have a beautiful skin, glowing with natural color, or luxuriant, glossy hair, or a trim, well-developed figure, unless she has health.
Every child is brought into the world with a right to be healthy, and every baby girl with an equal right to be beautiful, inasmuch as beauty is the age-old attribute of woman,a right expected and demanded of them by man. It is scarcely fair that man should expect so much, and yet be the first to criti-cise the woman who deliberately cultivates beauty. Our man-made code of morals connects beauty with sex, and our woman•made code of morals regards sex with a certain shrinking, as if itwere not an innate truth of our being, but rather a distortion of the truth. If the question of sex were faced squarely, and the rela-tion of beauty to sex recognized in its true value, there would be
A woman preserves her beauty until after marriage—or per-haps Nature preserves it for her during her youth; then she feels that she need exert her charms no longer, she allows herself to get careless about the care of her skin, her hair, her hands, her figure,she spends less thought on her clothes, she becomes the slave of her household. For a time, her husband may not notice this.
Then, probably as the result of meeting other women who havecontinued to cultivate beauty, the realization comes to him with a sudden shock, he does not appreciate the fact that it is in sacri- ficing herself to his demands that his wife has let her youth and beauty go from her, and he turns to other women for what his wife cannot supply. It is unfair; but it is unnecessary.
In the long run, it is sacrificing the home and the children more disastrously, and more lastingly, than giving some time each day would have been throughout the years when beauty was still within her grasp.
Intellectual women are beginning to realize this fact and to study how to keep their youth and beauty, how to improve upon what Nature has endowed them with, and how to fill in the deficiencies. This is no longer considered a sign of moral depravity, a thing to be concealed, but it is recognized as a right. To this end, it is essential that women should know the facts that make for beauty, and not try out the unauthenticated remedies of quacks and ama- teur beauty columnists. And the fundamental fact is Health.
The rules of health should be taught in early childhood. Fortunately, the educational institutions are beginning to incor- porate health and hygiene instruction in their curricula, and the most important facts of healthy living are taught to children from the primary grades up. Instruction is given on such fundamental things as the care of the teeth, the care of the eyes, the importance of right posture, the necessity of regular exercise, the need of sys- tematic eating and noteating between meals, a certain amount of sex hygiene, and so on. Unfortunately, many of these children come from and return to homes where the simplest rules of health are ignored, and the school instruction is ignored.
On the other hand, many of the children of foreign-born parents are teaching their parents, and gradually helping to bring them to an apprecia- tion of the value of healthful living as a means to greater effi- ciency. The public will be educated by slow degrees, but they will be educated eventually. Meantime, it is amazing how many peo- ple do not know the simplest laws of right living.