Advice for girls by Maude Foote Crow
My mother was born in 1923. By the time she was a teenager in the late 1930s, some rules in this list might have already seemed a bit old-fashioned. Still, many of these rules are still sound advice today.
- Hold the head erect.
- Keep the chest high.
- Hold the abdomen in.
- Rest the weight of the body on the balls of the feet.
- Keep this position constantly, by day and by night.
- When lying down, stretch out; do not curl up.
- Make a special study of the proper times for exercise and take a normal amount of it at those times.
- Let nothing induce you to undertake severe bodily work or strain when the body is not in a condition to sustain the strain.
- When all conditions are right for it, take a good deal of joyous exercise.
- Learn some systematic exercises and practice them every day.
- Take long breaths of fresh air on rising and frequently through the day.
- Breathe always through the nose and from the diaphragm.
- Keep the air in the room fresh by day and by night.
- Breathe deeply to keep the mind clear, the blood pure, and the spirits buoyant.
- Let the weight of clothing hang from the shoulders.
- Have the clothing loose enough to allow free play of the diaphragm in breathing and of the limbs in exercise.
- Protect the feet and ankles from exposure to wet and cold.
- Keep the chest well protected, but do not over-wrap the neck.
|A girl in "flapper" garb, Moscow, Idaho, 1922.|
Image from Wikimedia
Food and Eating
- Have meals absolutely regularly and at proper intervals.
- Choose foods adapted to present needs. Study adaptation of foods so as to know what to choose.
- Drink at least six glasses of pure water daily, between meals.
- Always think and speak of something pleasant while eating.
Elimination of Waste
- Free the body from poisonous waste by keeping the bowels active.
- By keeping the pores of the skin open.
- By using a great deal of well-planned, vigorous exercise.
- By general cleanliness.
- Take a cold tonic sponge or shower bath every day when in good health.
- Take a warm cleansing bath once or twice a week.
- Keep the mouth and skin free from dirt and germs.
- Give perfect care to the hair and the finger-nails.
- Wash the hands before eating or serving food.
- Brush the teeth at least twice every day -- on rising and on retiring; after each meal is better still.
- Avoid gathering or spreading disease germs through any form of contact.
|Press photograph of three unknown girls, 1923,|
from the National Photo Company Collection
at the Library of Congress.
Amount of Sleep
- Ten and one-half hours (8:30 to 7:00) for those 10 to 14 years old.
- Ten hours (9:00 to 7:00) for those 14 to 16 years old.
- Nine and one-half hours (9:30 to 7:00) for those 16 to 18 years old.
- Eight hours (10:00-6:00) for those 20 to 30 years old.
- Lost sleep must invariably be made up.
- Try to go to sleep happy.
- When you work, work efficiently; when you rest, rest efficiently; whatever you do, do it with all your might.
- When resting, relax perfectly; let go.
- Stop worrying; think of something else; think of something cheerful.
- Do not yield to impatience or to anger; they shorten life.
- Think pure and beautiful thoughts; learn the beautiful thoughts of others and say them over till they become your own.
- Cultivate a well-balanced mind; preserve courage and cheer.
Prevention of Illness or of a Depressed State of Health
- Study the laws of hygiene and of sanitation.
- Avoid patent medicines of all kinds.
- When ill, consult a reliable physician.
- Prevent illness by following the laws of health and by regular health examinations.
Source: Mabie, Hamilton Wright, Edward Everett Hale, and William Byron Forbush, eds. The Young Folks Treasury Vol. X: Ideal Home Life. New York: The University Society, 1919. Print. This excerpt is from p. 428-430. A footnote states that the article was reprinted from "The American Country Girl" by Martha Foote Crow, published by Frederick A. Stokes and Company, New York.
|1920s bride Peggy Fish wearing a satin and net bridal dress |
Image from Wikimedia.