Montreal Standard, 1 July 1911, page 14
The secret of Beauty
So much is said on women’s pages about the necessity of being beautiful, that one wonders if all the world of women are really going mad on the subject of good looks.
It is true that a high value is set by the world on an attractive appearance but let no one suppose that a faultless figure, perfect features, and a flawless complexion are essential attributes to attractiveness. On the contrary, many most charming women have not been gifted by nature in these respects, and have not the time to spend in vain efforts to correct nature’s shortsightedness. What good points they have they are far from neglecting. Hair and complexion are well groomed, figure is kept trim and taste is exercised in dress. This done, they turn their attention to more lasting qualities than ephemeral beauty.
They cultivate a pleasant voice, a gracious manner, tactful speech, and grace of movement. And these charms, thanks to the powers that be, a woman may acquire by practice, even though they are not her natural birthrights, as she never can acquire a Grecian nose or a Cupid’s bow mouth. Moreover, it may be safely asserted that these graces make a woman charming, though she may have freckles and a wide mouth.
Ask anyone you know whether the charming woman of their acquaintance are beautiful, according to the strict interpretation of that term. Almost invariably the answer will be ‘no’. The charm is vivacity or gentleness, or sympathy, or tact, or that more subtle thing, womanliness, which no woman can define and no man understands, although it attracts him as no other quality in a woman can.
These things being so, it is curious that more women do not set about the cultivation of these more permanent charms. It is singular that they are not held up to girls as more valuable guideposts to happiness than lotions and creams and hair bleaches.
If it is true that a woman desires to be attractive in the eyes of men- and it is likely to be true as long as women are women and men are men- she could find no better way than to cultivate the intangible graces which make her gentle and sympathetic and womanly.