History of Fashion – Beauty Spots

Women in Georgian England were often ridiculed for their peculiar fashion choices, such as in this illustration ‘six stages of mending a face’.
Beauty SpotsIt was suggested by the satirists that most of a woman’s beauty regime was about covering things up, rather than enhancing their beauty. Wigs were used to hide baldness, makeup to mask wrinkles and beauty spots or patches to cover up marks. The idea that Georgians used heart-shaped patches to cover syphillitic and other undesirable marks was mainly spread by William Hogarth, the 18th century troll of the day, but was probably partly true. Another way that patches were used, like the Victorians with their subtle fan language, was to send messages to people at parties. The specific placement of a patch on someone’s face acted like a Facebook relationship status, letting everyone know if they were single, married or if it was ‘complicated’. Georgian face patches don’t actually seem too bad until you learn that some were made with animal skin and stuck on with bits of fish bladder.

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