Spanish Female Beauty, 1924

In Bossypants, Tina Fey, one of the world’s Very Good Things, wrote this about women’s impossible quest to be acceptably attractive.

“Every girl is expected to have caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama and doll tits.”

Of course, the standards of beauty change with each generation, just to ensure that women are forever playing a losing game. The porn-inspired standards of hairlessness, for example, and the adventures in eyebrowing which are current beauty tropes, have rather left me behind in a Generation X-rated befuddlement.

In 1924, these were the following rules of Spanish Female Beauty. At least, as according to The Gloucestershire Echo.

Tina Fey’s “full Spanish lips” were, ironically, not to be seen then – lips are dictated to be red, narrow and fine. The extreme hourglass figure is the one to gain approval – wide front, narrow, long waist and large hips.

I can’t imagine anything designated “large” being in the conception of female beauty right now.

The Gloucestershire Echo, 11th January 1924

The Gloucestershire Echo, 11th January 1924


There are thirty “ifs” in the Spanish conception of female beauty:-

If Three things are white – Skin, teeth, and hands;

Three things black – Eyes, eyebrows, and eyelashes;

Three things red – Lips, cheeks, and nails;

Three things long – Waist, hair, and hands;

Three things short – Teeth, ears, and feet;

Three things wide – Breast, front, and brow;

Three things narrow – Mouth, waist, and ankle;

Three things large – Arm, hip, and calf;

Three things fine – Lips, hair, and fingers;

Three things small – Nose, head, and bosom.


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