Armpit Pads, Petticoats, and Porcelain: How Stylish Dolls Taught Girls to Be Victorian Women

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#1
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Before Barbie, who could become anything from a dedicated nurse to a Malibu socialite with the change of an outfit and a thousand accessories, there were the elegant and fragile “fashion dolls” bestowed upon wealthy little girls in the 1860s and 1870s.

Frequently made of bisque ceramic and leather, with fancy names like Miss Fanchon and Miss G Townsend, these dolls could be dressed in a wide variety of intricately sewn garments which mirrored adult fashions of the time. And almost anything you could buy a stylish adult woman, you could buy your fashion doll: a real fur stole, roller skates, dainty little pearl earrings, a Bible.

But the dolls actually served a greater purpose than just being pretty playthings for girls in the mid to late-Victorian period.

REST OF ARTICLE:https://pictorial.jezebel.com/armpit-pads-petticoats-and-porcelain-how-stylish-dol-1830946158
This exhibit is in your neck of the woods! @Equestriangirl93
 

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JPK Huson 1863

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#3
Thanks for this thread! Read of these ages ago then found an image on LoC of one. Most bedraggled doll you've ever seen, assumed it was only age- guessing it was from passing hand to hand, women discovering the doll's fashion secrets.

You distracted me with the armpit pads. You know, it's so odd what was permissible to be discussed and what wasn't. Era newspapers advertise any number of books on female topics, some so graphically described they'd be disallowed in 2019. Rarely see those pads advertised, almost never. Reproductive systems, advice on the wedding night? Just fine. Sweat? Apparently off limits.

" Horses sweat, men perspire, ladies glow ", still around when I was a kid.
 

Belle Montgomery

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#4
Thanks for this thread! Read of these ages ago then found an image on LoC of one. Most bedraggled doll you've ever seen, assumed it was only age- guessing it was from passing hand to hand, women discovering the doll's fashion secrets.

You distracted me with the armpit pads. You know, it's so odd what was permissible to be discussed and what wasn't. Era newspapers advertise any number of books on female topics, some so graphically described they'd be disallowed in 2019. Rarely see those pads advertised, almost never. Reproductive systems, advice on the wedding night? Just fine. Sweat? Apparently off limits.

" Horses sweat, men perspire, ladies glow ", still around when I was a kid.
Notice the difference in the ads...how shocking!
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she's showing her underpinnings AND standing with a man in a state of partial undress! Scandalous!
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They still sell the "washable" ones like the Victorians used
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#11
Yes! but then we didn't use "butt", "bo*bs", or a lot of the other terms, which are in common usage today, but seem crude to me.
Say what people may but I prefer it back when those words, especially women's anatomy, were not polite in public. It "cheapens" everyone and does a disservice to women's respect then and now. Oh I long for the days of "flowery" language that was used back in the CW era and Victorian times! I love when men tip their hats at reenactments and say "Maam" to me!" Sigh! :inlove:
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Northern Light

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#12
Say what people may but I prefer it back when those words, especially women's anatomy, were not polite in public. It "cheapens" everyone and does a disservice to women's respect then and now. Oh I long for the days of "flowery" language that was used back in the CW era and Victorian times! I love when men tip their hats at reenactments and say "Maam" to me!" Sigh! :inlove:
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heh, I makes me feel old!
 
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#13
Say what people may but I prefer it back when those words, especially women's anatomy, were not polite in public. It "cheapens" everyone and does a disservice to women's respect then and now. Oh I long for the days of "flowery" language that was used back in the CW era and Victorian times! I love when men tip their hats at reenactments and say "Maam" to me!" Sigh! :inlove:
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strange- outward appearances seemed so much more important that under or behind closed doors. all the layers fo clothing and accessorizing yet closer to the body unmentionable. thinking hygiene wise- outward gallantry and yet women had little autonomy. i shudder to think of those times older women- no husband- no $ of her own- maybe health issues. getting put aside in a mental asylum for any number of reasons! romantic -yes it could seem. i wonder what women will think of us in another 50 or 100+ years from now.
 

Cavalry Charger

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#14
Say what people may but I prefer it back when those words, especially women's anatomy, were not polite in public. It "cheapens" everyone and does a disservice to women's respect then and now. Oh I long for the days of "flowery" language that was used back in the CW era and Victorian times! I love when men tip their hats at reenactments and say "Maam" to me!" Sigh! :inlove:
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Had to come back to this when I saw the beautiful image of my avatar :inlove: A framed print of this one also hangs in my living room :smile:

It is called 'The Parting' by Don Stivers.
 


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