A Short Bobbed Hairstyle for Young Ladies called "Shingling" became the RAGE across the South during the War!

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lupaglupa

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My exact sentiments on both issues! In fact, I wonder if long hair styled in an elaborate way was akin to status symbols meant to say "I've arrived" back then.
Or a way to show wealth - "I have servants who can do my hair." So much of fashion is about wealth. I've never forgotten being told that men in the 19th century buttoned all but the bottom buttons of their waistcoats (vests). The unbuttoned bottom button hole was to show you were too fat to button up - i.e. you had enough money to overeat.
 
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lupaglupa

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And speaking of Coco Chanel - she is the fashionista credited with making a tan fashionable. For many years it was desirable to have pale skin - paleness was a signal that you were wealthy enough to be inside during the heat of the day. Tanned skin meant you were a poor working slob (dark skin from work is where we got the term "redneck.") But as work moved indoors with the growth of factories, many people were pale and it wasn't a signifier of wealth anymore. Chanel spent the summer on the beach in the French Riviera and came back with her skin bronzed. Now being tan meant you were wealthy enough to have leisure time in the sun!
 

CLuckJD

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Or a way to show wealth - "I have servants who can do my hair." So much of fashion is about wealth.
Yes, it is. And wealth to buy your own dedicated onsite slave hairstylist was the exact point I meant to make in my last message. There is also a sinister flipside to hair length in the 19th Century. Short cuts or bald shave for a female slave were common ways to punish or humiliate them into submission. Linda Brent's volume Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl mentions how "master" went into a fit of rage and cut her long hair off close to the scalp when she rejected his sexual advances. Likewise, the famous novel Clotel by self-liberated freeman William B. Wells also tells a story of how Thomas Jefferson's great-granddaughter lost her crowning glory. As an octaroon, she was very fair-skinned with long hair to her waist. But her dad's new wife had it cut off at the scalp before putting this young lady to work under hot sun weeding a flowerbed with no head covering so she'd tan dark faster. Another source I can't recall right now mentioned how a half-white house slave fathered by the "master" had waist-long hair cut at the neck by the 'mistress' because the slave's long mane put their white daughter's to shame.
 

diane

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I really hadn't thought about CW short hair being a style choice - just thought illness. Long hair is a real pain when you're stuck in bed, that's for sure. It's killed every roller brush in every vacuum cleaner I've ever had - I'm worse than the cats and dogs!

Native hair was brought up. Like CluckJD says, cutting by somebody else was to let that person know who was in charge. That was the first thing done when kids were brought into a boarding school, especially the boys. The hair has spiritual power and, at least in our tribe, it was made into many things used for religious purposes - like the Ghost Dance belts. They were usually made of the hair of someone who had been killed and, it was hoped, would be resurrected by the dance. Whenever anybody cut it for mourning reasons, it was braided and kept in a special basket. Some of the Ghost Dance belts were made of horse hair, too - if the warrior is coming back, he's going to need his horse!
 
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Steph-GB

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having always had hair right down my back to now having it short.. its made me realise how much effort keeping long hair was.. and how much of an inconvenience it could be! Having short hair is so much quicker and tidier, along with lighter in the hotter weather! so I could imagine that those that did brave the cut also discovered how much easier it was to keep clean and neat! I bet they enjoyed the extra time they had with not having to spend so long looking after and sorting their long hair!
 
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Steph-GB

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They would have eaten differently.. had way more outdoor exercise, more lifting etc even for lady of leisure! hotter kitchens to work in, im sure they sweated off a lot! .. plus corsets!! im sure if we all body trained ourselves with those corsets then we would indeed still have that size waists!
 
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Yankee Brooke

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Most of us could have a 13" waist. All we need is a corset, an ear of corn and slice of pork per day, provided the harvest was good and the pigs were stout. Some beef if we were lucky and had a good cow or two. Lug the laundry to the river for washing, then return to fill some buckets with water for use in the home. Lug those big heavy buckets back. Cary firewood in for the stove, once per day in summer(gotta cook that bit of pork ration for the family), multiple times per during the colder months. Wear layers of heavy wool clothing all year round, burn even more calories that way. Easy right?
 

lupaglupa

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How did they maintain a 13-inch waist that was so fashionable back in that day?
Why do you never hear of women fainting today and yet fainting was so common in the 19th century people carried smelling salts to revive women. The corsets women wore to achieve those slender waists pushed the organs normally present in the abdomen into the chest cavity, leaving less room for the lungs. Any exertion or excitement that required extra air left women light-headed. Crazy to think about! But fashion makes people foolish.
 

CLuckJD

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... fashion makes... foolish.
I like that one! It makes an ideal fit with the real facts at play behind the scenes. Which quite aptly describes the true cause of southern white bell fallout routines. FAKE as hell! Had nothing to do with undergarments IMHO, but just part of their everyday act. They were expected to be weak, delicate fragile things held up on a pedestal. I recall one quote from some famous novel set in that time where such a gal went so far as to confess "It's 'genteel' to be anemic." She was 100% correct. Why else did poor white and Black slave women manage to withstand long hours of hard labor in all kinds of weather without fainting?
 
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John Hartwell

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Shingled hair was something of a fad in the North, as well as the South, with the same motivation: "in sympathy with the sodger boys." In the summer of 1863, this "Warning to Women who Wear Short Hair" circulated among numerous northern newspapers.

Weekly_Wisconsin_Patriot_1863-07-04_3.png

An 1863 letter to the Mobile Evening News offered a more practical reason for southern belles to shear their locks:
Centinel_Of_Freedom_1865-04-04_[4] - Edited.png
 

lupaglupa

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I like that one! It makes an ideal fit with the real facts at play behind the scenes. Which quite aptly describes the true cause of southern white bell fallout routines. FAKE as hell! Had nothing to do with undergarments IMHO, but just part of their everyday act. They were expected to be weak, delicate fragile things held up on a pedestal. I recall one quote from some famous novel set in that time where such a gal went so far as to confess "It's 'genteel' to be anemic." She was 100% correct. Why else did poor white and Black slave women manage to withstand long hours of hard labor in all kinds of weather without fainting?
Could be they weren't suffering from arsenic poisoning in their face powder! Another insane fashion mishap....
 

Eleanor Rose

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I think Émilie Marie Bouchaud, better known by her stage name Polaire, may have been a trend setter with shingling. At least she was sporting the look on stage in the 1890s. Did shingling refer to the length of a woman's hair or the styling of her short hair with lots of curls? I always thought it was the latter, but now I'm wondering.

Polaire%2C_actrice_française.jpg

(Wikipedia)
 
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Eleanor Rose

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I find that the young lady in the top photo looks mighty fine to me!
She was painted by many artists. I've always found her to be fascinating, but she took "tightlacing" to the extreme. She was famous for her tiny, corseted waist, which was reported to have a circumference no greater than 16 inches. Yikes!!!
 
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