Actress Betty Blythe fearlessly discusses the grave dangers to which the new ‘daring dresses’ expose women.
Originally published in the Competitors Journal -July 1926 –
Most of the 1920s frocks worn by girls and women today are a terrible temptation to men. They reveal as much as they possibly dare reveal.
They inflame the senses, rouse the passions, and the rest follows as the night to day.
You will smile no doubt to hear me preach on the immodesty of modern dress, I who wear the minimum requisite for keeping within the law!
Yet – better from me than some old musty vicar.
But i cannot shut my eyes to the FACTS ! They are there. You will see them, too, if you choose. Modern dress is doing a great deal of harm. It is playing havoc with our lives. But it cannot be stopped. Women want to be beautiful! Women want to be alluring. We feel that modern dress helps us achieve this. I like showing my legs, I love wearing frocks that are daringly cut in front, and I simply adore displaying the white expanse of my back. And there are thousands, nay millions, more like me.
You can’t get us to go back to the dowdy, frumpish things of yesterday. You might as well try and drive the sun back in its course. No, we will go on wearing our immodest clothes, but for heavens sake let us be honest and admit that they are a source of ‘temptation’ to men and of danger to ourselves. We are asking for trouble; and as often as not, of course, we get it. if we reveal so much of our womanhood as we now do, being human, we will become the victims to fashion and the circumstances brought about by our wearing the ‘latest modes’.
However, women are not prompted by a sense of immodesty when they choose dresses. they’re aim is to appear attractive. The dresses of our mothers in the Edwardian era achieved this without immodesty. But we have outgrown that era, those charms. Fashion has permitted us during the past few years to use her so that each one of us, far from being slaves to fashion, are in fact her mistresses – demanding more and more!
We get the utmost out of her and almost every woman appears beautiful. modern dress allows her to display so many of her charms, that she can score with beauty that was once concealed.
Modest Hearts and Immodest Dresses.
We women only look at the beauty side of it. Remember that. We compete with other women, to be beautiful and alluring. We study other women in the streets, the line of her skirt, the sheen of her stockings, the height of her heels and we determine to best her with all possible speed. It is not our fault that we tempt men. That is their problem and pleasure I suppose Nothing has changed since Eve – except that we now have more control of our destiny as women. So – bring on the daring frocks!
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