|Choosing Mr. Right|
|And Making Sure He Chooses You|
|One of the major concerns for a country so young was population growth, so it isn't any wonder that guides to selecting and keeping a mate were geared toward procreation rather than marital bliss.|
|From Search Lights on Health, Light on Dark Corners, (B.G. Jeffries Toronto 1894), men are told what women look for when choosing a mate: "Women love sexual vigor in men, this is human nature. Weakly and delicate fathers have weak and puny children, though the mother may be strong and robust. A weak mother often bears strong children, if the father is physically and sexually vigorous. Consumption is often inherited from fathers, because they furnish the body, yet more women die with it because of female obstructions" (huh?)"Hence women love passion in men, because it endows their offspring with functional vigor. All men would be of good size in frame and flesh were it not for the infirmities visited upon them by the indiscretion of parents and ancestors of generations before".
Of course women were also told what men looked for when choosing a wife: "No weakly, poor-bodied woman can draw a man's love like a strong, well-developed body. A round, plump figure with an overflow of animal life is the woman most commonly sought. A woman with a large pelvis gives her a superior and significant appearance, while a narrow pelvis always indicates weak sexuality. In the female beauty of physical development there is nothing that can equal full breasts. As a face looks bad without a nose, so the female breast, when narrow and flat, produces a bad effect. Small feet and small ankles are very attractive, because they are in harmony with a perfect female form, and men admire perfection. Small feet and ankles indicate modesty and reserve, while large feet and ankles indicate coarseness, physical power, authority and predominace".
This represents a bit of early genetic engineering, though the vision of the "perfect woman" with huge breasts, broad hips and tiny feet, seems almost comical. Heck, she would probably tip over. Of course there were other credentials that the Canadian male sought in a bride. As early as 1842, N.P. Willis in Canadian Scenery, lists the attributes of a good wife: "Her skill is known in the art of manufacturing maple sugar, candle and soap-making, baking, cooking, salting meat and fish, knitting stockings and mittens; spinning woollen yarns, feeding poultry, managing a dairy; and lastly; in mending and making clothes for herself, her husband and children. These are the occupations of an emigrant's wife; and if a female cannot resolve to enter upon them cheerfully, she should never think of settling in the woods of Canada or New Brunswick". This article was published in London and while it was written to encourage English girls to come to Canada in search of a husband, it also made them aware of what would be expected of them.
Further advise was given by Search Lights on Health to determine disposition and character:
By the Nose: "Flat noses indicate flatness of mind and character, by indicating a poor, low organic structure. Broad noses indicate large passageways to the lungs, and this, large lungs and vital organs, show great strength of constitution and hearty animal passions."
By Stature: "Tall persons have high heads, and are aspiring, aim high. Small persons generally have exquisite mentalities".
By Laughter: "Vulgar persons always laugh vulgarly and refined persons show refineness in their laugh".
By Eyes: "Those who have their eyes half shut are peek-a-boos and eaves-droppers"
By the Hair: "Coarse black hair and skin, and coarse red whiskers, indicate powerful animal passions, together with corresponding strength of character. Abundance of hair and beard signifies virility, and a great amount of character, while a thin beard signifies sterility and thinly settled upper storey with rooms to let, so that the beard is very significant of character".
And Further: "If a man wears his hat well down on his forehead, shading the eyes more or less, he will always keep his own counsel. If criminally inclined will be a very dangerous character"...and..."Do not marry a man with a low, flat head, for, however fascinating, genteel, polite, tender, plausible or winning he may be, you will repent the day of your espousal".
So I guess the "perfect male" would be tall with a large broad nose, coarse whiskers and a pointed head who always walked about with his eyes wide open, just in case you tipped over on your tiny little feet.
|The following Cartoons are from an 1856 Harper's Magazine and shows what could happen if you didn't choose wisely|
| BLIGHTED AFFECTION
"Give me a quarter's worth of your deadliest Poison!"
| GROWING AFFECTION
"Doocid pretty Gal than Pon Honour"
|The Perfect Young Woman|
|NEXT: Igniting the Spark|
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