1925: Things that Turn Men Against You

Oh, my. You’re going to love this one. I found it in Elinor Glyn’s This Passion Called Love (1925) while looking in the books for something for a friend to read at her cousin’s wedding rehearsal dinner last weekend (never fear — she did not read this one).

As we can tell by a sampling of the table of contents, Glyn devotes quite a bit of room in this book to hanging on dearly to the one you love: “How to Attract the Man You Desire”, “Keeping a Man in Love,” “Why Love Often Dies,” “Preserving the Romance and Glamour of Love,” “Outwitting the Other Woman and the Other Man”… and so forth. You get the idea.

This excerpt is from the chapter on “Little Things that Turn Men Against You”:

Here are a few little things that greatly lessen a woman’s charms in most men’s eyes:
Red hands or arms.
Finger nails too highly polished or shaped like swords.
Fat women with bobbed hair.
Hair that is “doctored” in any way.
Cheap perfumes.
Whiney voices.
Earrings like chandeliers.
Knickers in the city.

Oh, don’t think the men are off the hook. Glyn wrote this in the chapter titled “Winning the Woman You Love”:

I wonder how many romances owe their ends — if the truth were known — to the man having revolted the senses of sight, scent or hearing of the woman! For never forget the love emotion is entirely dependent upon the reaction created upon the senses.

Affection can continue through offended senses, but no the love thrill. The most faithful spirit cannot feel responsive to passion if the other person smells unpleasant or is revolting to sight or hearing.

So, girls, do be very particular in yourselves, and absolutely exact refinement and delicacy in your sweethearts!