Improving And Beautifying The Bust
( Originally Published 1918 )
IF there is one feature in respect to which nearly all women are most interested in improving and beautifying themselves, it is in the matter of bust development. And furthermore, if there is any one particular in which the majority of women need improvement more than another, it is in this very respect.
The reason for this nearly universal desire for a perfect bust is not based purely upon the de-sire for beauty, although that is a very large factor. It is also partly due to an instinctive recognition that a good bust is the indication of superb womanhood. A normal bust development is regarded as implying the possession of all those qualities that make for true womanliness, not merely in the physical sense, but in a mental and spiritual way as well.
Femininity is not a purely physical quality, but is both mental and physical in nature. It is manifested through the brain and nervous make-up as well as in such external characteristics as absence of beard, refinement of features, greater delicacy of hands and feet and the characteristic pelvic structure. Femininity consists not only in the bodily conformation, but in the manner of thinking and manner of feeling.
All of these womanly qualities are suggested by a perfect and beautiful bust development. It conveys the impression of fitness for wifehood and motherhood. 0 n e does not look for masculine qualities in such a woman. The elements of womanliness a r e found to be highly developed. In other words, the possessor of a good bust is found to be perfectly sexed and in every way suited for the bearing of healthy and vigorous children.
Starting with this fundamental conception of the true underlying meaning of the bust, the reader will at once understand the general conditions necessary to a good development of this part of the body. It will be seen immediately that the woman who is lacking in vitality, who is poorly sexed, who has few of the natural instincts of womanhood and is generally far from fitted for maternity, would perhaps not be expected to show an ideal development of the bust. You can, in fact, take it for, granted that the expectations of deficiency aroused in sue h cases will be realized.
The first requirement for improving the bust is to build constitutional vigor and those vital and nervous forces which are at the basis of a well-sexed condition. In other words, to build a superior quality of what may be termed womanhood, it is merely necessary to build vitality and constitutional strength. And having developed these qualities of all-around bodily and nervous vigor, you can depend upon an improvement in the condition and appearance of the bust corresponding to the altered state of health.
In another chapter may be found general instructions for accomplishing these results. Plenty of sleep is perhaps the first requirement. Women commonly need a little more sleep than men. Often they secure less. The wife who sits up nights mending stockings after her lord and master has retired and found oblivion, and who then gets up first in the morning in order that his breakfast may be hot and ready when he finally rolls out, is not likely to make herself exceptionally attractive to him unless she finds some plan for getting a little sleep in the after-noon. In addition to this, a diet of live foods—that is to say, a diet containing a considerable quantity of uncooked food, thus giving the necessary "vitamines," with plenty of outdoor life and sunshine, and sufficient exercise to insure a vigorous circulation and a good general bodily development, will usually enable one to acquire that state of vitality that is the basis of either superb womanhood on the one hand, or virile manhood, on the other.
There are two radically different types of requirements for bust improvement among women: On the one hand there is the need to reduce the bust and on the other to develop or build it up. In the first case the difficulty is often largely a matter of obesity, and a general fat-reducing program of food limitation and exercise will be necessary. In some instances the fatty tissue seems to have a tendency to localize itself in this region. In that case, special exercise and the general methods which will be suggested later will cover all requirements.
The more difficult case is that of the woman just past the flush of youth who is lacking in bust development, or who presents a too "flat-chested" appearance. In such a case there is a special need for the vitality-building program just mentioned, together with more or less locally stimulating natural treatment. It should be remembered that the breast is a glandular structure, and when these glands are either undeveloped or atrophied, the breast will naturally be undersized. Now, increased vitality and the development of all womanly qualities will mean a natural improvement in the quality and size of these glands, thus giving the bust the fullness it requires. Exercise alone will not build up the bust, because the bust is not primarily a muscular structure, but exercise is necessary to give tone and firmness to this region and to give the bust the capacity for supporting itself in the normal position, without drooping.
It is not merely the size of the breast with which women are concerned, but the question of its firmness and shapeliness, or lack of the same. The tendency to sag or droop is altogether too common, even among many very young women. It is only natural that this result should follow when the bust is exceptionally large, inasmuch as the larger the bust the greater its weight, but this flabbiness is even experienced by many women with small breasts. It is due entirely to a condition of weakness and loss of muscular tone.
In some cases the use of bust supporters and the wearing of tight brassieres, or other artificial means of confining the breasts, are very largely responsible for the weakness and laxity of these tissues. In other cases, the use of tight bindings following childbirth may have served to destroy permanently the shape of the breasts. If one has suffered the results of such influences it will be all the more difficult to restore a normal con-tour. It may be even impossible. Exercise is the one most effective method by which these parts can be strengthened and improved in tone. If only the breasts could be given appropriate firmness, that would in many cases be sufficient to beautify them. Exercise is the supreme means to this end.
But exercise is also essential to improve and round out the chest, which is equally important. The chest serves as a foundation, so to speak, for the breasts, and the improvement in the development and contour of the chest as a whole naturally gives the bust a better appearance.
Even the normal bust on a flat-chested woman would appear undeveloped and would tend to droop, whereas with the chest well filled out and properly carried, the same breasts would have the appearance of beauty.
Cold-water bathing is another ideal means for invigorating and giving firmness to these tissues. For reducing the bust, cold water is especially important. But for the woman lacking in bust development it can also be highly recommended, since it improves the circulation in a marked degree and thus stimulates the activity and growth of the glands. In this case also, bathing of the parts with hot water, or the application of hot, wet cloths for five minutes, followed by a quick sponging with cold water to contract and invigorate the tissues, should form a valuable part of the treatment.
Where reduction of the bust is desired, massage is another helpful measure. It may require a great deal of massage to bring about a small reduction, but it is one of the helpful agencies. In applying massage for this purpose, it is important to avoid any downward strokes, inasmuch as this would only accentuate the dragging and drooping tendency, which is always marked when the breasts are large.
For lack of bust development, any influence which improves the local circulation would be helpful in stimulating the glands. On this ac-count, some form of vacuum or suction treatment which does not unduly stretch the tissues would be helpful. The old-fashioned suction treatment applied by the placing of a hot bowl over the parts involved can be suggested. As the bowl cools, the air contracts, forming a partial vacuum and thus drawing the blood to this region. A simpler method is found in the use of the ordinary breast pump, sold at drug stores for the relief of nursing mothers, but which may be used for this purpose if applied not only over the nipple but successively over other parts of the breast as well.
A great many women of normal development think themselves lacking in this respect because of a false impression as to what is the proper size of the bust. The normal and healthy breast should not be over-large. It is only during pregnancy and lactation that the breasts become very prominent. Women with exceptionally large breasts very often fail to nurse their children, whereas the woman with a comparatively small, firm breast more frequently rises to the occasion. The ideal development is that popularized in the masterpieces of sculpture. It is firmness and shapeliness that is desired, more than excessive size. And if the chest is properly built up, such a bust gives one the contour and out-lines of true womanly beauty.