Susan, be smooth! by Nell Giles, 1940: Introduction and Table of Contents

I’m reproducing this book here, written by Nell Giles and illustrated by Winifred W. Coffin, because if there are secrets to the fresh-faced beauty and poise of the girls of the 1940’s, I’d love to know them. Girl power back in the day wasn’t what it is now, and a gal had to make the most of whatever assets were at her disposal to make her way in the world. Plus, who wouldn’t want to know how to be “gaily, poisonously attractive to their enemies??!”

Susan, be smooth! — a hand-book of Good Grooming for Girls, especially girls under twenty, who want to be seen and heard.

The only thing a girl can learn from a bird is the art of pursuit in reverse. Girl-birds look neat. . . and in this way attract their men. Good grooming branches from here and ends in a long life of being important to your friends and gaily, poisonously attractive to your enemies.


It’s as easy as this —

I. Give it a Thought

II. Keep it Simple with Subtraction

III. Soap-and-Water Clean

IV. s-t-r-e-T-C-H

VI. Hairsbreadth Escape

VI. Oral Exam

VII. Don’t mention it

VIII. Eat to be Pretty

IX. Make a Face

X. Fifteen Minutes a Day

XI. Proverbs

To Be Continued… 

10 thoughts on “Susan, be smooth! by Nell Giles, 1940: Introduction and Table of Contents”

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