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Title: Confidential Chats with Girls
Author: Howard, William Lee
Language: English
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                     Confidential Chats with Girls



                          CONFIDENTIAL CHATS
                              WITH GIRLS


                       WILLIAM LEE HOWARD, M.D.

                               Author of
     “Plain Facts on Sex Hygiene,” “Confidential Chats with Boys,”
                        “Facts for the Married”


                               New York
                            Edward J. Clode

                          COPYRIGHT, 1911, BY
                            EDWARD J. CLODE


 CHAPTER                                                    PAGE
     I. HOW TO DEVELOP INTO WOMANHOOD                          3

    II. A GENERAL CHAT                                        14


    IV. THE CARE OF THE SKIN AND COMPLEXION                   51

     V. NERVES AND THE NERVOUS GIRL                           76

    VI. HOW TO GET WILL POWER                                 89

   VII. HOW TO KEEP ATTRACTIVE                                99

  VIII. SOME DON’TS                                          115


The American girl from fourteen to eighteen years of age has been sadly
neglected in the most important and necessary part of her education.

Knowledge of unessentials and nursery physiology, along with a
smattering of academic teachings, have held her apart from a true
appreciation of her real value to herself and humanity. Physical
exercise and moral admonition have been given her, but not advice nor
instruction which was based upon the proper foundation――sex development.

Details of sex hygiene have been kept from her, and these, with the
care of woman’s greatest jewel, maternal possibilities through a
perfect sex growth, have all been left to chance and too often sad

The girl is no longer completely protected by the old home influences.
To-day she is out in the world alone, struggling for herself and
frequently for others. The high-school girl seems to be left in the
same whirlpool of moving men and things, and just now there are
unpleasant revelations of the fact that she needs care and instruction
more than her working sisters.

I have seen in private and hospital practice thousands of girls
whose health was ruined for life through ignorance or false ideas
concerning sex activities. The land is crowded with suffering wives and
broken-down girls whose woeful conditions are due entirely to ignorance
of sex hygiene and how to mentally and physically care for their sex

If I can, by my humble efforts, stop the future mothers from suffering,
worry and ill health, from bringing their daughters up in a state of
criminal prudery, I shall be proof against the slings and arrows of the
fast-disappearing SHAM.

In these CONFIDENTIAL CHATS I tell in plain language and facts the
things that, had they been told to the girls of the last generation,
would have saved untold misery.

It is a pity that the facts and instruction which should come from a
mother and a father (due quite largely to their own ignorance), must be
sought elsewhere, but this being so, I intend that these Chats shall
supply what prudery and ignorance have denied the girls of to-day.





The little buds on the rosebushes seen in the warm spring days and
which later on in the early summer open to become the beautiful
flowers, are controlled and governed in their development by the same
laws of Nature that control your development from the little girl to a
budding girl, and then into the full blossoming woman.

Every living thing upon this earth is given life, growth and
development under laws that are the same for the girl, the woman, the
flowers, the fishes, the little birds. The supreme Power which controls
us and every living being has so regulated the way man, beasts, birds,
fishes and even flowers are kept on the earth for the increase and
progression of the world, that by a plain understanding of these laws
we can live and produce better and better men and women from generation
to generation.

If you will carefully think the matter over, you will soon realize that
every living thing around us is the result of the mating of the male
with the female. Roses marry and have little children just the same as
a man and woman. The little pussy willow, which so early in the spring
sends out its little babies in furry buds, had been married to a willow
man the year before. The sweet grapes you eat in the autumn are the
“fruit of the marriage” between a male grape and a female grape――that
is, the seeds. The little chicks hovering and hiding around the proud
mother hen have for their father the crowing cock.

Here is a good example of this absolute law of the supreme Power. If
you take a few chickens, all females, and keep them shut up until they
are young hens with no rooster ever disturbing their happiness, you
can never hatch chicks from the eggs of these hens. You may put these
eggs under a setting hen and she may sit there until the hens’ doomsday
and no life is possible in these eggs. Now at the same time shut up
chickens with a rooster, and when these chickens have grown to be hens
you will be able to hatch chicks from their eggs. If you take the eggs
from your first lot of hens and in a dark room examine their eggs, by
the aid of a candle, you will see only a clear egg. Now if you take an
egg from the lot of hens who have had the rooster for companionship
and hold it up to a candle, in a dark room, you will be able to see a
tiny black or brown spot about the size of a pin’s head. This is the
vital spot, the male seed which, upon entering the vital principle of
the female egg, at once begins to develop into a chick. Three weeks
under the warm body of the setting hen causes the development of the
chick from this tiny spot.

The little black spots you see in a mass of “frog spittle” are the
vitalizing――the life-giving――seed from the bullfrog. These male seeds
lie in the mass thrown out by the female frog. Placed in some quiet
pool of warm water, warmed by the sun, the hatching goes on until the
pollywogs are born. It is the same with the fishes, the turtles――every
living thing――the male seed must enter the eggs of the female
before life commences. The playful puppies, the fuzzy kittens, the
butterflies, the bees are all brought to life by the same principle.

Always keep in your mind that no matter what the different ways of
mating are, how the little flower children are born, how the puppies
grow before birth and then come into the world; they all are God’s
creations and made according to His laws. So being made according to
God’s laws, and we as human beings having absolutely nothing to do
with these laws, but are controlled by them, there can be nothing
wrong, indelicate or shameful in knowing all about these matters.

In fact, before we can have full reverence for God and obey His laws,
we must understand and know them, what they mean to us, how we are
punished and warned for disobeying these laws and the fearful results
following the abuse of our bodies and minds through ignorance of what
our bodies require and God demands.

As I have told you, every living thing, from flowers up to babies, is
produced by the meeting of the male seed with that of the female seed.
Every female, flower or woman, has a place to keep and hold these seeds
until they have grown to be babies of some kind.

Take the roses for example. When the big rose gets fully grown in the
latter part of the summer, the little yellow dust you see in the center
is the male seed. Botanists call these male flower seeds the pollen. At
about the same time that the male rose is “going to seed” the female
rose is ready to take this pollen into her receptacle. This male seed
is carried to the female rose’s womb, the name of the organ in all
females where the two kinds of seed meet and then grow into children.

The seed is carried into the rose’s womb by the wind, insects and
birds. When it is once deposited, the rose’s womb closes tightly, and
there the seeds of the two sexes remain and grow until in the spring
you see the little babies in the buds. These gradually grow, as you
know, from the little colorless buds to the small pink ones, and when
the warm summer-time comes they burst open to become full-grown male
or female flowers, and in the autumn these marry and the next spring
become fathers and mothers themselves.

It is the same throughout all Nature. Nothing can become a living thing
except through a marriage of the male with the female.

Let us take the little birds for another example. This will show you
how the young bird comes from an egg and is born almost the same way
that you and I were born――coming from an egg――for this is just what did
occur in our case.

The female birds, and all female animals, have what we call ovaries,
from the Latin _ovum_, meaning egg. These ovaries are placed, in the
birds and all animals, in the deep region of the groin, above the womb
in the animals which keep the eggs inside of themselves until the
babies are born. Of course, the birds, fishes and all their kind, do
not have a real womb, for the eggs are laid outside of their bodies
in a nest of some kind. This nest outside corresponds to the nest――the
womb――inside of the higher animals.

All eggs are formed in the ovaries; this is what the ovaries are for,
and at first they are tiny little spots seen only through a microscope.
At certain times, like the mating time of the birds, these eggs drop
down from the ovaries, ready to meet the male seed. When this is
accomplished the eggs at once begin to put on their shells, which,
of course, are only to protect the little growing birds while the
mother sits upon the eggs. As soon as the shell is formed the eggs are
deposited in the nest, and here the patient mother sits and waits for
the little ones to grow until ready to come out and see the wide world.

Then comes the pretty sight of the mother and father flying back and
forth from the nest, carrying some big worm or bug to feed the hungry
and crying babies. Both father and mother work like Trojans to keep the
stomachs of their little children filled, and if you will watch a pair
of robins trying to feed their nestful of children, you will say that
they are the greediest little things you ever saw.

And they have to be kept crammed with worms and bugs, because their
growth is rapid and they must get strength enough to fly and take care
of themselves before cold weather comes and to get away from cats,
snakes and other animals which want them for food.

And is it not a wonderful fact to contemplate when we know that these
little birds will fly a thousand miles to a warm climate for the
winter, and will fly the thousand miles on their return in the spring
and find their old tree, limb and identical spot where their old home
was? If these little birds are watched over by such wonderful laws,
what must be the care, laws and rules by which we are governed?

As the little birds come from a shell, after being developed through
the warmth of the mother’s body, just so do we, after lying in our
mother’s nest――the womb――come to be born, after we have been warmed and
developed for nine months. So you see that what I said about the laws
of God being the same for every living thing is the absolute truth.

The Springtime of the girl is when she commences to have her eggs form
in the ovaries and drop into her womb. She commences to bud at about
the age of fourteen years, and like the delicate buds of the flowers,
if care is not taken to protect her growth, ill-health follows and
she may so ruin herself that, when she marries, she is unable to be a

While it takes only one spring and summer to make a full-grown flower,
or even a robin, the girl needs twelve or fifteen years after she
is born to get into her budding age. And her future health, morals
and happiness all depend upon how the first four or five years of the
budding age is lived. And to live so that she will reach the highest
development of woman, the girl must understand all the laws of God and
live according to these laws.

It is my purpose in these Chats to show you these laws, as well as
to plainly point out to you how man and woman have constantly been
disobeying God’s words and how we are suffering in consequence of our
ignorance and disobedience.

Your ovaries are in place when you are born. Of course they are tiny
things and not developed. They remain inactive for many years after
you are born. But at about ten years of age the blood commences to
flow through them and they gradually develop, like the flower buds,
until they reach their ripeness. Of course this development varies in
different girls according to their nationality; those from the southern
countries developing earlier than those from a more rigid climate.
About fourteen years of age is the average age in this country.

When the ovaries are developed the womb has also grown, so that every
month it gets rid of blood that accumulates there. But at this
period the womb is a very tender organ, delicate, not fully fastened
to the ligaments from which it hangs, and any rough play, strain or
carelessness at the time of menstruation may ruin you for life.

Every girl should be proud of this budding process and care for it with
a heart full of thankfulness. Just see how the little budding trees and
flowers are cared for by a good gardener, how careful he is to assist
Nature, how by this reverence and thought the wild flowers are brought
under cultivation and by the means of the pure soil in which they
are planted, by protecting them from frost and harsh treatment, what
beautiful blossoms, scents and radiance results.

The laws of God make the wonderful growth and development possible,
but man, by acknowledging these laws and abiding by them, is able to
increase the beauty and usefulness of all growths.

It is just so with us. If we acknowledge the beneficent order which
controls us, if we reverently study to understand God’s intentions,
then we are aided in all we do to perfect our own development, moral
beauty and health. The reward we receive is in having children follow
us who have benefited by our reverential and knowing efforts. It is
only by such an attitude towards Nature that we progress. Shame of
our God-given gifts, studied ignorance of all His laws, the ignoring
of our powers for reproducing our kind, all mean a going backwards in
civilization. Disease, sin and debasement is certain to follow, and
does follow, for most of the misery, disease and poverty is due to
our past attitude in ignoring the details of the blossoming period of
girls, by allowing the process to go on, paying no attention to the
soil――associations and environments――of either the girl or the boy.

Everything in nature moves in cycles――that is, moves in regular
periods. The stars, the planets, the sun, the earth, the moon, the
tides, the seasons, all go and return at certain fixed intervals.
Growths of all kinds on this earth have their periods of birth,
development, death. The active periods of every living thing is
taken up with reproductive occurrences, or the getting ready for
reproduction. The female dog has her regular periods when she is ready
to be a happy mother, so do the pretty deer, the squirrels, the fishes,
everything. When the fishes’ regular period comes around in the spring,
we call it the spawning time, with the birds the pretty name of mating.
With the woman we call it the menstrual period, from the Latin word
meaning monthly.

A pure, honest woman, honest to herself and her God, can see nothing
but a wonderful provision of God for keeping the earth populated and
the opportunities for bringing man to a nearer understanding of his

We need no orthodox religion to make man feel the essence of God within
him when he understands the laws under which he lives, and how by his
own efforts he can improve his powers and give greater ones to those
who have received his blood through a pure woman.

Such is every good and intelligent man’s thoughts, his inner feelings,
but only through a woman’s understanding of her greater powers in this
respect can we hope to bring future generations to a higher plane.

It is in order to aid you in avoiding the many illnesses which have
fastened upon women during the last thirty years or so, that I speak
so plainly in these Chats. I am obliged to say things and use words
that at first may seem a little indelicate, but if you have grasped the
fact that I am humbly trying to tell you the truth about God’s laws and
sincerely believe that I am doing right in so telling you, there will
be no misunderstanding about my motives.

So I shall take you at once into my confidence and let you be the



The average American girl approaches puberty without any definite
knowledge of what a menstrual flow means. If you are one of these
neglected girls and have had a fright when you first menstruated, had
all kinds of stories put into your head, you must try to forget the
fright and realize that all the stories are really nothing but stories.
If you have passed over one or two periods after the first one made its
appearance, it does not mean that you are going to become crazy, that
something is wrong with you, but that the fright, the tales you have
heard and the sensitive condition at your age have all affected your
nervous system, and you will come out all right after you possess a
full knowledge of these things as we go on from Chat to Chat.

The average American girl commences to menstruate at about fourteen
years of age. Now if you have menstruated two years earlier or two
years later it means nothing but a condition of your race, how you have
lived, in the country or the excitements of the city, and other social
conditions. From the time a girl first menstruates she can count on
about thirty years of activity for the ovaries and womb. That is, if a
girl menstruates for the first time at fourteen years of age, she ought
not to have any cessation of the periods until she is forty-five years
of age. So you can see that the later she is in starting, the later she
will be in stopping. Of course the same thing happens when the girl
commences to menstruate earlier, she will stop earlier.

The ovaries are two little sack-like organs lying on each side, in the
pelvis, or the groin. From each ovary runs a little tube to the womb,
which is situated beneath them right in the middle of the body. Now
every month the ovaries send down the tubes a little egg which lands in
the upper part of the womb, and when the womb is full of blood, which
occurs every month in the healthy girl, this egg is carried away in the

I do not intend to talk to you about the process of procreation or
the physiology of conception; all these matters you may read about
in the many good books which have been written upon those subjects.
What I want to tell you are facts and things not to be found in books
and which will, if you guide yourself by them, make you a strong and
healthy woman throughout all your life.

From the time you first realize that you are no longer a little girl,
but growing into a woman, you should commence to take the best of care
of the ovaries and the monthly flow. These ovaries hang in the body by
very tender and delicate ligaments. Never mind the names the doctors
call these cords or other ligaments; we are always going to speak
in the simplest language, so that you may get a clear understanding
for the advice I shall give you. These ovaries are sensitive to all
movements of the body and to your emotions. Anger, outbursts of
indignation and wrong reading, all these produce an effect upon the
ovaries, especially so when your period is in full activity.

You may be a romping, strong girl with well-developed muscles and
bones and never had to be careful of what you did. But when the age
approaches where you begin to feel strange, somewhat timid, and have
new ideas and peculiar thoughts, when the old kind of rough exercise
tires your back, it means that your ovaries and womb are receiving more
than the usual amount of blood and are in no condition to be harshly
knocked about. At this time there may be slight bleeding from the nose,
for the first time a soreness of the breasts and nipples, a light
feeling in the head and a disposition to easily get out of patience
with your companions and things about you. When these many different
feelings come you may know that the ovaries are getting ready to prove
that you are a woman in the making.

Now remember that the monthly flow of blood does not come from the
ovaries, but from the inside of the womb. The ovaries make the eggs and
send these eggs down into the womb, as I have told you. When you are
married these eggs are made alive by the husband’s germ of life and
remain in the womb, growing for nine months, when the little babe is
old enough to be born and make you the happiest woman alive――that is
if you are in good health. As long as you are a virtuous girl the womb
cleanses itself every month. Of course this does not take place after
you are married, for if so, you can readily see that the blood would
carry away the egg. And it will do this even after you are married and
have a little live egg in you, if you have not taken care of both womb
and ovaries. This condition may become a regular habit, and then you
end in being the most miserable woman on earth.

Because these things have not plainly been told the girls is the cause
for so much injury being done to the womb and ovaries while growing.
You have not been warned that you should cease all rough play, active
sports, should not stand all day upon your feet nor dance late into
the night. Some girls have been brought up to be over-active at this
time just to prove that they will not acknowledge that there is any
change or difference in them. Nature always punishes such an insult
to her laws, and the teacher who places such ideas in the girl’s mind
is generally one whom Nature has already punished by denying her any
of the sweet and powerful instincts of woman. Have nothing to do with
these unfortunate and harmful creatures. You must assist Nature in her
attempts to make you a complete woman; give in to her by keeping quiet,
not fretting nor getting angry because you have to give up some dance
or basketball game. If you do not give up many of these pleasures when
you are a growing girl, you will have to give them up later on in life;
give them up forever.

For the first two years from the commencement of your first monthly
period you should be quiet, obtain plenty of sleep and good food and
take no exercise except walking, swimming and bending of the body in
your room night and morning. Skating is not injurious if it is not
overdone and you keep your feet dry and warm. Some girls have been
injured for life――though they did not know it at the time――by sliding
downhill on sleds. They were tossed off or ran into some post or fence
and were slightly bruised. Such a slight accident caused a rupture
or strain on the ovaries or womb, perhaps the tender ligaments were
stretched and the ignorant girl continued her play with them in this

Much of this advice may seem old-fashioned to you, but in all truth
it is advice founded upon the NEW experience and knowledge of all
physicians who have seen the havoc wrought by carelessness and
ignorance in these matters.

The womb, hanging by its delicate cords, is at this time in the girl’s
life growing rapidly and consequently receiving plenty of new blood.
It has not reached full development and it takes but little to put it
out of place and have it stay there. The ovaries may be so twisted and
put out of order that nothing can be done for them in later life but to
cut them out with a knife; then you are ruined as far as womanhood is

Young age has wonderful powers of repairing injuries. If it were not
so, but few would ever reach full growth. But there are some injuries
youth cannot correct, and these are the distortions and displacements
of woman’s sex organs――the internal ones. If you jar or tear these
organs, the ovaries and womb, while you are growing, you do not know
of the injury at the time. Everything at this age is strange to you
in feeling and function, and slight pains in the back or groin,
irregularity or too little flow, you think is nothing. But it is
EVERYTHING to you when you reach the marriageable age, or when your
time comes to become a mother.

The womb is pear-shaped, big end upwards. It should hang nearly
straight in the body. The small end is the outlet which opens at the
time the baby is to be born. It also opens slightly every month to let
out the blood, then closes when it has emptied itself. Now you can
readily see that if it is twisted, tipped backwards or otherwise out of
shape, birth can only be given at great risk to both the babe and its
mother. It may be out of place so that nothing but an operation will
save life. It may be so turned backward that the child is smothered
while trying to grow, and then must come a horrible operation. Even
the unmarried woman will suffer from any of these misplacements of the
womb. Every month the blood tries to pass off it finds obstruction;
pains, griping pains occur, sometimes the blood cannot pass away but
remains to cause inflammations and tumors, and unless corrected by an
operation the poor woman’s life is one of torture and invalidism.

Ignorant, never having been told of these important matters, you
may have tried to vault in the gymnasiums, played a fierce game of
basketball or gone to a dance when your flow was on. This, strange as
it may seem to some, is the most frequent cause of “Women’s Troubles,”
“Female Weakness,” etc. Now there is absolutely no reason for a woman
to have “troubles” or “weakness.” Nature has so made woman that in
reality she can stand much more strain and endurance of a certain
kind than man can. At the start she is possessed of everything which
makes a strong and well being throughout all her life. She has to be
of this nature, for just think, she does the work of two beings. While
the child is growing in the womb she has to watch and feed herself to
give the little one good blood――HER blood. When it is born, she has
to do the same thing――give it good, health-giving milk. Then as the
child leaves her breasts, she has to watch and care for all its growing
years. Besides all these cares she has her household, her husband, her
hundred and one duties to perform. Surely all this requires a strength
of body, a determined will and an all-absorbing love. No man could or
would do all this――Never!

A perfectly well woman, a woman whose sexual parts are in their
places and strongly attached there, does all this tremendous work
happy, smiling, and reaches the grandmother’s chair with the sweetest
countenance to be seen on a human face.

It used to be so; we see but few happy and uncomplaining mothers now.
And there is but one cause for all the present misery and race suicide.

Ignorance of sex laws and prudery in all the most vital matters
pertaining to young girls is the reason and cause.

No exercise which puts a strain on the body should ever be taken by
the growing girl. Especially true is this when you are having your
menstrual period, for then you should be as quiet as possible. In many
cases it would be best for the girl to remain away from school. If you
have to go to school, that is if you cannot make your mother understand
the matter, you should be allowed to sit and not stand at your lessons.
Every girl should be placed in the unembarrassing position to leave and
go home at any time during school hours.

Thousands of girls have been ruined in health because their male
teacher or gymnasium instructor could see only a pupil and not a
growing woman, because a condition which should excuse one girl or make
allowance for another, or a state of sexual nervousness which means the
girl ought to be sent home at once, are subjects that are not talked
over between a male principal and a woman teacher――that is, not as they
should be talked over. It is an old story to the doctor, these nervous
and sexually-ill young women. Taken unwell in school, perhaps suffering
pains caused by a previous “standing it out,” the poor girl increases
the injury to her organs, and besides being unable to put her mind upon
her school work, she suffers the humiliation of a low mark.

But we cannot do these necessary things at the public schools, girls so
often tell me. Well, there is but one answer to such a complaint. If
the schools are so regulated that a growing girl cannot have the best
of care, consideration and instruction in these vital matters, we had
better close them all――every one. But what we can do is to have schools
for girls only, and these must have teachers whose first thoughts
are the physical welfare of all the pupils and who are thoroughly
conversant with sex hygiene and all this means to the future women of
our land.

I have to speak of this most important matter to you girls because in a
few years most of you will have daughters to send to school, and as it
is almost a hopeless task to bring the present generation out of their
mucilaginous prudery, YOU must take hold as mothers and demand that
such care and instruction will be given your girls that we shall no
longer have this sad condition of suffering and childless women as has
existed the last forty years or so. You will find the young men of your
generation aiding and forcing these common-sense forms of education,
for they, too, are being instructed in the matter from their side of
the question.

I remember a beautiful girl of fifteen years of age, who was brought
to me suffering from a nervous breakdown. There was nothing the matter
with her except everything. Never having had that care and instruction
she should have had, one day in school her pains became unbearable. She
cried, and when she went to ask her teacher to excuse her, this misfit
of a teacher sent the embarrassed girl to the PRINCIPAL. Of course she
would not go and tell HIM what the trouble was; she left of her own
accord and was marked for it. But this was not the worst of it; some
evil-minded boys in her class laughed at her when she returned a few
days afterwards and uttered those despicable hints which go straight to
a good girl’s heart. And she never told her mother, because her mother
had never told her anything. A girl in the school――oh, there are a lot
of these kinds, I dare say you all know one or two of them――told her
what to do to keep the monthly flow away.

So she finally had to go to the doctor, who found a frightful state of
things――one ovary ruined for life. For three years she remained an
invalid, and the shock she received, added to the drugs she had taken,
had made her one of those many unfortunate women which fill our land.

All heavy lifting is dangerous to the womb and ovaries during the
growing period; therefore all the apparatus in the gymnasiums for
testing the strength of arms and back should be avoided. Many a foolish
or uninstructed girl has made herself a girl of muscles, but ruined her
WOMANLY POWERS in so doing. Save all your strength and force for what
Nature intended a woman to DO; don’t throw it away in doing gymnasium
stunts. No real youth or man likes to see a girl do these things; his
applause does not come from the heart, but only from the head. Such a
girl may have strong arms in which to carry a baby, but the chances
are some other woman will have to give her the baby to carry. Of
course every girl should exercise, but it must be such exercises as is
governed with her sexual organs ever in view. As an example, dancing is
good recreation and exercise, but it should not be indulged in two days
BEFORE the menstrual period and not until two days AFTER.

Another thing which affects the womb――retention of urine. That is,
keeping the bladder full. Many girls have been brought up in such
ignorance and under such false ideas of prudery that they will suffer
pain from distention of the bladder rather than allow the slightest
hint to escape them that they need immediate relief. This brings about
not only a weakness of the bladder, which will in later life be very
annoying and really embarrassing, but the pressure of a full bladder on
the surrounding parts――the womb and its attachments――is apt to displace
it and irritate it. Then again, a girl may be within a few days of
her flow, and here the pressure of a full and hard bladder may set
up an inflammation and bring on the period before its time. All this
tends to start an irregularity, and when this irregularity is fairly
established, the girl’s, and later on the woman’s, life is only an
existence full of misery.

In fact, I think I am justified in saying that ninety per cent. of
the women suffering from nervousness, hysteria, restlessness and
pain, comes from the sexual organs being out of place, twisted, early
inflammations and general lack of care of them from want of knowledge.

And it is so easy for a girl to grow into complete womanhood, full of
life, good health and scarcely any unnatural knowledge that she has
ovaries, womb or breasts. Most women to-day only know they have a womb
from the severe pains and that “bearing down” feeling about which they
constantly complain.

Please understand that in this CHAT we are only considering general
and common conditions which injure all growing girls and result in
miserable health in after life. I am only hinting about the errors due
to ignorance which produce our hysterical women and childless wives.
And I want to repeat this fact, that there is absolutely no reason for
all this invalidism and suffering among women and girls.

The general rules I shall give you for perfect condition and good
health must be followed by all girls and young women, but I shall have
to devote some time to the special needs of girls who work in shops,
large stores, factories and those who are brought into close intimacy
with men in offices.

Those dragging pains in the small of the back so many suffer from
during the menstrual flow, and those racking headaches, are not
natural. The pains mean that the womb is dragging or else pulling upon
its supports; that you need to rest and keep off your feet as much
as possible. If you are a schoolgirl, you MUST stay at home and rest
upon your back much of the time. There is no excuse for your not doing
this. To force you to go to school to take an examination or make up a
certain lesson is criminal. STRIKE! It would be a good thing if you all
formed a union for the protection of your future health, and demanded
your sex rights. Rest you should, and must, from all mental or physical
excitement if you wish to be a woman who will be a blessing to those
around her instead of a burden.

Which had you rather YOUR daughter should have, a certificate of
perfect health, with the knowledge that when she marries she can
become a mother without danger to herself and child, that she can
remain happy in the nursery instead of miserable in the hospital, or a
diploma stating that she can read French poetry and write an essay upon
“Woman’s Career”?

Some of these statements you girls will have to read to your mothers.
Then if prudery has blinded them to the truth, take the matter into
your own hands. It is upon you, in the future, that depends the decent
regulating of instruction in the public schools. The girl who goes to
dances or any evening entertainment lightly clothed, low neck and short
sleeves, while she is menstruating, as thousands do, will certainly
land in the doctor’s hands or become one of those pitiful things, a
drug fiend. And the drug habit starts from taking “some harmless thing”
to ease the pains or stop the flow.

That curse of the American girls, constipation, does as much if not
more, to hurt the womb than a full bladder. We shall have a lot to say
about this matter later on in our Chats about the skin and complexion.

When the menstrual period first makes its appearance the swelling and
tenderness of the breasts, the itching, a feeling of fullness in the
region of the womb, are all natural and should not cause any worry.
If you are in perfect health and KEEP so, these little symptoms will
become less noticeable as you grow into full womanhood. So do not get
frightened, do not take any medicines nor act upon the foolish advice
from other girls. The flashes of heat, frequent blushing, dizziness and
the frequent desire to pass your water, are all natural. There are some
fortunate girls who approach and pass this first period without all
these uncomfortable symptoms, but most of you will have some or all of

The itching of the skin, pimples on the face and body, sometimes a sore
throat, all these are nothing but indications of the great revolution
you are going through from being a girl to becoming a glorious woman.
Then there are the toilet duties to be done at this period and
throughout your life which make for perfect health.

Oh, yes, I shall tell you all about these matters and what to do.

During the periods of the first year or so you are in a
condition to catch many of the diseases all around you, such as
tuberculosis――consumption――erysipelas, tonsilitis, scarlet fever and
the mumps. Remember I do not say you are liable to catch such a disease
as consumption, only that you are in a condition when the germs can
find lodgment better than at other times. Of course you should never
sleep in a room with a consumptive or even be around one at any time,
but should it happen that during your developing period anyone with the
disease was liable to be brought into contact with you, keep away, away
in the open air.

At this period also mumps may be a serious matter for you, so if you
have a little brother or sister who is suffering from this disease of
childhood, you should keep out of the room and, if possible, out of
the house. No matter if you did have the mumps when a little girl. If
you catch the mumps during the first years of your young womanhood the
affection MAY go to your ovaries. This, of course, produces a painful
swelling and, if not attended to by a reputable physician, will go to
destroy the usefulness of the ovaries――prevent you from ever having
children. This has happened in girls who did not know――or rather their
mothers did not know――what the danger was, and when the girl grew up to
be married and no children came, she was blamed, often accused of being
one who did not want children. Many a time when a young woman had been
married several years and was childless, I have asked the mother if her
daughter had the mumps when she was growing into womanhood, and if she
suffered pain in the groin and back.

“Why, yes, Doctor――but what has that to do with it?”

“Didn’t you know that the mumps sometimes went to the ovaries and
destroyed their function?”

“Why, no; it can’t be possible?”

“Yes, possible and probable. Your daughter can never have children
because you did not tell her all about her sex organs, and when her
little brother had a swelling and pain in the glands of throat and
jaws, you did not know enough to send her away or keep her away from
him, telling her plainly why you did so.

“But you were never allowed to mention these things when you were a
young woman――you never knew these important things? Exactly so, and
this is the punishment thousands of mothers and daughters are receiving
for this prudery.”



Civilization has brought many unnatural effects upon the monthly
period of women, and ignorance of how to care for the body has made
matters worse. It is with these unnatural disturbances that you are
mostly concerned. The inability to understand certain symptoms of your
menstrual flow, the consequent neglect of these symptoms or ignorantly
taking drugs and medicines for the troubles, are the causes for so many
girls and women being miserable and invalids struggling on under most
distressing conditions.

There is always a good cause for any irregularity or stoppage of the
monthly period; some reason why the flow is scanty or too profuse.
These causes can readily be discovered when the girl knows herself and
all that pertains to that self.

In the healthy girl the flow should come and go without any marked
pains or distress. Of course during four or five days there will be
a feeling of weakness, lassitude, a “please-let-me-alone” attitude,
and in many girls, a desire for pure love and caresses. These various
feelings are natural and only go to show that you are a full-blown

There is nothing to be ashamed of in this feeling for love and
caresses, this peculiar desire to want protection and a something that
you cannot exactly explain to yourself. It is really an awakening of
all your womanly desires, and these are your greatest powers over man,
children and the best of everything in the world. These feelings should
not be suppressed, but kept under control. They should be carefully
saved, for they are the feelings which bring future happiness, and you
want to give them as little attention as possible except that attention
which keeps them pure and holy.

Avoid all women who scoff at motherhood, who deride the domestic life
for women, who stand and shout their demands in public places instead
of sweetly using their influence for a better condition for men and
women so that the future babies will have a proper birthright. No
discussion or knowledge which will make better fathers and mothers can
be wrong, but every attempt to ignore the subject is sinful.

There is nothing to be ashamed of in maternal feeling and impulses;
what a girl is to be blamed for is a want of control over these natural
instincts and giving way to them. The care of the company she keeps,
the kind of thoughts she lets get into her mind and the way she cares
for her body, are the factors which make for a good and chaste girl or

But how can we blame all those girls who accidentally go wrong? I
certainly do not. They have never been told just what to do, where the
danger lurks and all the consequences. Should we blame and shun the
girls who have been sent out into the world amid the dangers and snares
laid for them; young women who see chastity mocked, virtue a thing
to bargain for, the glitter of gold pouring into the laps of those
thousands who find “the easiest way” out of their poverty and struggles?

Yet the truth is, hard as it may seem and as often as it has been told
to you, that virtue and chastity in deeds and thoughts DO bring rich
awards. These awards may be a long and tedious time in coming and the
struggle is hard, but in the end all this will be proven to have been
worth while.

As I have told you, the monthly period should come and go without much
physical pain. It should last from four to five days and be regular in
recurring about every twenty-eight days. But it is seldom so normal in
the average American girl, the girl who has been left alone to solve
her own mysteries and go her own way. This is equally true of the
high-school girl or the working girl. And why? Because she has been
brought up through her early developing days to go on and disregard all
her sex functions――the greatest factor in all life. The high-school
girl has been mixed up with all kinds of youths and not kept away from
tantalizing and embarrassing conditions. The shop and working-girl has
been forced to do her work, day in and out, standing upon her feet or
working at a machine while the sensitive and full-blooded womb was
trying to empty itself.

Let us first consider the girl whose monthly flow is scanty or entirely
absent. She has arrived at the age of sixteen years and has not “seen
anything.” But every month, for a year or so, she has had headaches,
felt extremely nervous, had some pains, the breasts have felt tender
and sore, and altogether she has had a miserable twelve months of these
symptoms, but no relief from a flow. What is the matter with such a

Remember I told you that the womb was pear-shaped, the small end
hanging down. Here is a little opening, through which the menstrual
blood flows, and then out of the body. The womb is in reality only a
big bunch of muscles so arranged that it can relax and empty itself
and then tightly close. In the unmarried woman, or before one has given
birth to a child, this little opening is completely closed except
during the period. Even then it is only very slightly opened, but open
and shut it must if a girl is to be in good health.

A girl may have over-exercised or injured herself when she was twelve
years of age or thereabouts, and brought about a little inflammation,
which at the time she knew nothing about. The womb was already
getting prepared to do its monthly work, and as the weeks went on the
inflammation increased. Inflammation always means some kind of an extra
growth at the injured spot; like a scar, for example, after a wound has
healed up.

The womb itself is not a sensitive organ to the touch or to slight
inflammations at the lower end, hence the little girl does not, at the
time, feel any pain. She may feel uncomfortable in that region, but as
she has been brought up NEVER to mention any matters concerning her
sex organs, of course she keeps silent while the injury goes on. The
little inflammation heals up, but in healing what does it do? Leaves
a scar, of course. Now this scar may be big enough to have CLOSED the
outlet for the monthly flow――to have made the entrance of the womb grow
together. It is under these circumstances a sealed bag; nothing can
come away from it.

The girl’s time comes, but the blood does not. All the other signs
being present, she watches and worries. Sometimes, alas, too many
times, she has never been told just what should happen. Backache
troubles her, headaches often drives her to take some harmful drug, she
becomes fretful, loses control of her temper in the simplest things and
finally loses friends because she “is so horrid, says so many cutting

Yet she does not mean to be disagreeable; she simply cannot help
it. How could she? There is a clot of blood in her womb that cannot
come away; it remains and hardens and each month is added to by the
banked-up blood.

It is a very sad condition, and one that often continues until a tumor
is formed, or some other complication makes an invalid of her in the
prime of her life――or what should be her prime.

This condition is frequently the cause of hysteria, of desperation, of
a gradual mental failing.

There is another condition which goes to ruin a girl’s health and
happiness, for the effects are the same as in a closed womb. There
is a membrane in all chaste girls called the hymen. This closes the
entrance to the vagina. Now there should always be a little opening, or
several little openings in this membrane to let out the blood. In some
girls this is closed from birth; so completely closed and tough that
the weight of the first monthly blood cannot break through it. Then we
have all the symptoms of the stoppage we have in the closed womb, only
the blood packs and hardens in the lower parts instead of the womb.
Often this produces greater distress than when the same conditions
exist in the womb. Here great bloody tumors form and the state of the
poor girl is certainly pitiable.

From birth also the womb may be closed, grown together. Then there are
some girls so nervously constituted that the least touch on the muscles
of the womb will shut it up spasmodically. Such a girl’s womb is not
grown together, but when the first drops of blood are trying to ooze
away, the womb shuts tightly. In all these cases the results to the
girl is the same as I have described.

The remedy for all this misery is simple, almost painless, and will
not detain you from your duties but a few days; sometimes not at all.
By simply cutting or snipping apart the growth at the entrance to the
organ, or opening it by a little stretching instrument, the fault is
remedied; the girl cured. And all this simple knowledge could have
saved thousands of suffering girls and women. No, it does not interfere
with your proof of virginity. The snipping is too slight. But supposing
it should? What of it, as long as you know in your own heart that your
are a chaste girl? Do you want to be a miserable wreck of a woman just
on account of an ancient superstition, a foolish and harmful idea of a
lot of old women and medieval theologians?

It is a sad condition――this closed womb――and should not be allowed to
sicken a girl for one hour――IF SHE KNOWS.

Alas! she has not been allowed to know these things――just allowed to
suffer and be blamed.

If you have reached the age of fifteen years or thereabouts and
for a year or so have had all the nervous and mental symptoms of a
period occurring every month and no blood comes, then go at once to a
reputable physician. Be certain you go to one in good standing. Never
go to one who advertises “women’s troubles,” or to one whom you do not
know by the best of repute. Remember that honest and true physicians
do not advertise in the papers. So whenever you see an advertisement
of a doctor who says he can cure you of THAT trouble, keep away from
him. Never mind what the other girls tell you about a doctor or some
medicine that cured them, probably the cause for their trouble was an
entirely different one.

Naturally, your mother is the first one to consult, but I fear that if
you have a mother who has allowed you to suffer month after month, and
constantly said, “Oh, don’t bother about such matters; it will come out
all right when you get older;” such a mother will not exactly be the
one to go to――go to a RELIABLE physician.

Never, under any circumstances, take medicines for this trouble. Let
“regulating pills” alone as you would a rattlesnake. Now that you know
the cause, common-sense will tell you that pills, or any and all things
of the kind, are not only useless, but harmful.

“But, Doctor, how about the girl who has had several good periods and
then stops for several months, or even skips a month and only flows
every other month? There can be no closing of the mouth of the womb
under these circumstances?”

No, in such cases the cause is entirely different, or rather the
causes, for there are many. Most of you can find out for yourself just
what YOUR cause is for being irregular, after I point out to you some

Many times it is only Nature’s way of preserving your health. For
instance, if you have not sufficient blood in your system to allow
you to lose a certain amount every month, Nature will prevent it going
to the womb to be thrown away. Some girls will have “nose bleeds” once
or twice a month and this takes the place of the monthly flow. This is
not a sign of good health, just a sign that something is wrong――see a
good doctor, he will know and tell you what to do. If you are troubled
with headaches (especially in the back of the head and neck), if your
appetite is poor, if you lost too great an amount during your last
flow, or if your nervousness increases, it means that you are in poor
condition. Perhaps you have danced too much and lost too much sleep,
been unduly excited or had some great grief; any of these things will
affect in some way your menses. Anything, in fact, which lowers the
tone of your general health will affect the menses.

If you are over-fat and growing fatter every day, this unhealthful
condition will stop your menses. I don’t mean a plump, jolly, happy
amount of fat,――this is a good state for a growing girl,――but I mean an
overplus of fat with white cheeks, flabby flesh, swollen ankles and big
stomach. Such a condition indicates some disease.

There are many diseases which leave you in a condition of suppressed
or irregular menstruation; such as typhoid fever, kidney affections,
chlorosis――lack of red blood――consumption, scarlet fever. If you have
gone through any one of these illnesses and your periods are irregular
or scanty, don’t worry; time will put this matter right as you recover
from the general effects of the disease. If you have reason to fear
consumption, be grateful that Nature is preserving your blood to help
you get well; for, as you know, you can get well――can completely
recover from consumption――if you WILL EAT AND SLEEP IN THE OPEN

Most of the causes for irregularities and scanty flows are due to your
unhygienic methods of living and playing. Sleeping in rooms where
fresh air only gets in through a crack, insufficient and improper food
and too much tea and coffee, will soon cause irregularities and other
menstrual troubles. Catching cold or getting wet feet, damp skirts
flapping around thinly-clad ankles just before or during the time of
your monthlies, will also bring you to some womb trouble.

Then the influence of the mind upon all these matters plays a very
important part in your health. Evil suggestions from girls or youths,
seeing plays which you ought not to see, reading all that rotten
stuff put out for young women and girls to read and dream over――I
don’t mean the nasty ones, but all those which unduly excite the
imagination and throw a false light upon life――the Duke, the Prince
and Villain kind――the virtuous blonde maiden and the hard-working hero
stuff, you all know what I mean. There is plenty of good literature,
exciting stories, to be read without reading a lot of cheap tinsel and
ready-made romances which have no more to do with real life than a mask
has to do with the human features.

You can over-exercise, become too much excited over contests in the
gymnasium, use up force to such an extent that your growing womanly
functions become weakened and sometimes dried up. No girl of a nervous
temperament should go into any athletic contest, team or personal. Such
a girl should not play basketball, attempt any stunts on horizontal
bars or flying rings; nothing, in fact, which calls for a strain upon
the nervous system. The function of the womb, as well as of all the sex
organs, are directly affected by the nervous system. You can never be a
strong woman, complete in all that belongs to a woman and her career,
if you, as a young woman, over-strain the nervous system.

Hundreds of girls who are playing contests of basketball, to see
which team is to be the champion of the state or the town, are going
to suffer from all this excitement. Your teachers do not take into
serious consideration your growing sex organs. They do not seem to know
what it means for a girl to get over-excited at any time during her
development, that there is nothing except alcohol which will arouse
dangerous impulses more than athletic excitement. So do be careful of
your exercise.

On the other hand, no exercise will also produce some disturbance of
the menstrual period. If you do not take some form of useful exercise,
poisons accumulate in your system. This causes unnatural fat to pile up
around your ovaries and kidneys; in fact, it will bring you to a sad
state in middle life if you have neglected to exercise in a careful and
regular manner when you are growing.

The girl who works in the shop, the department store, or follows any
of the numerous careers which are open to her, as a rule gets plenty
of exercise. To be sure it is not the best kind of exercise by any
means, but as she has to be on her feet almost all the day, for her
to take any gymnasium work at night is harmful. She needs the fresh
air, to eat proper food and to obtain plenty of sleep――all she can get
or steal. The girl who is so situated that she can walk to and from
her place of employment, is fortunate; the girl who cannot, must get
walking exercise in the open air some way if she wishes her periods
and general health to be perfect.

Profuse menstruation, that is, too much blood flowing and for too long
a time, is always a sign that something is wrong with the womb as well
as with your general health. It is not a sign that “you have too much
blood in your system,” but a symptom that the womb is weak, has lost
its tone and does not close up tightly at the finish as it should.
The cause is one of the many I have told you about; too long standing
on the feet, going to parties or dances when you should have been in
bed, improper food or too little of it, undue excitement at a time
when you should have been quiet. Search well your own heart, and some
of the causes you will be able to discover yourself. In other words,
any irregularity or little errors in your conduct will bring about
irregularity in your menstrual functions.

No girl should use the sewing machine when she is unwell, or do any
work which involves the movement of the thighs and legs.

Food, nourishment and clothing have a lot to do with all the
irregularities and disturbances of the sex organs, but we shall have
to chat about these important matters when dealing with the skin and
complexion, so leave them here. It will save repeating.

One great curse――for that is what it really is――of all American girls
and women, is constipation. False modesty, ignorance and not drinking
enough water are the principal causes for this injurious state. But
never mind the causes, let us get at the effects.

Every portion of your body, including the bones, can be in a state of
good health only when constantly supplied with fresh water. Coffee,
soda water, chocolate or other makeshifts do not take the place of
pure water. You should get the water into you daily, by the quart. I
wish I could go into this matter so thoroughly as to make you all see
and understand the importance of this fact. However, I can show you in
these Chats how necessary it is even to your sex organs and what they
throw off, to make you, I hope, drink plenty of water throughout all
your lives.

The bowels must be emptied every day. Any keeping of the cast-off
material of the intestines in the bowels means an odorous skin, foul
breath and other disagreeable odors, no matter how clean you may
be OUTWARDLY. Then there is another very important feature of this
dried-up state. As you grow older the arteries harden, they cannot
expand and contract as the blood pressure demands they should, and when
any strain comes upon the heart or blood vessels, these latter burst
and apoplexy is the result.

But before this takes place there has been a failing of the memory,
perhaps of the intellect, because the proper amount of blood needed to
nourish the brain cannot pass through the tiny, but important arteries
of the brain. So some kind of softening of the brain follows. “She
died from apoplexy” is said. No, she died because, when a young woman,
she would not drink water in sufficient quantities to keep her organs
flushed and clear of accumulated material. Now, if this absence of
water in the system so affects the brain, its arteries and veins, just
imagine what trouble the womb will have in getting enough water for all
its needed blood.

But there is a more important effect that the absence of plenty of
water in the system has upon the girl. It is a very serious matter to
her, as it affects her attractiveness and happiness, and this is what
we want to get at in these Chats.

You all know that at certain times girls will have more or less an odor
from their skins and breaths. It is very noticeable in some girls,
and in others of the most careful cleanliness and habits it will be
detected. Perfumery only makes matters worse; the attempt to cover the
natural odors is too marked.

These odors are all caused by acids and other chemical materials which
exist in the natural secretions of the body; the perspiration, breath
and other secretions. The less water there is in the human system, the
more will these chemical odors pervade the atmosphere surrounding the

It is the lack of plenty of water that causes the skin to give forth
odors. If you have exercised to the extent of bringing on profuse
perspiration and have not drank plenty of water before, during and
after the exercise, no amount of bathing will prevent an odor coming
from the skin. If you are going out to a dance or any place where you
will be in a warm room, you will not be able to disguise the chemical
odors coming from the skin.

But if you have filled your system with water two or three hours before
going out, your skin will have a delicious, natural odor.

During the menstrual period every gland in the growing girl is very
active. The skin throws off an extra amount of perspiration, the
glands under the arms are very, extremely, active. Then at this time
the breath comes faster than usual and throws off its poisons in large
quantities. All these off-castings of the body are loaded with material
that must leave the body if we are to keep in good health. But here is
the point. You can so saturate your system with pure water that all
these fatty and acid odors become highly diluted and scarcely any of
them will make their presence known to those around you.

Drinking water will make you fat? Nonsense. That is some old woman’s
tale――some old woman who tries to excuse herself from drinking water.
Water will not make you fat nor make you lean; just keep you in the
good health and state you were born to be in. Then it helps keep the
bowels clean, gives a good flow to the blood and keeps the womb free
from any little clots being left over from your last menstruation.

How much water shall I drink? Two tumblerfuls every morning before
breakfast, two between each meal and as much at meals as you want.
Don’t bother yourself about the fads of drinking water, such as none at
meals, for instance.

Look at a horse; he drinks when he is thirsty and he drinks all he
wants. Take water away from a horse, keep it away from him as it has
been kept away from girls and young women, and you would soon see his
coat become dull, sticky, and the light go from his eyes.

Remember that a horse’s coat of hair corresponds to your skin; it is
his complexion. Deprive yourself of water and your skin becomes dull,
sticky and malodorous. But we shall have a lot to say about the skin,
so nothing more now.

With all this good habit of drinking plenty of water must go the
application of water to the outside of the body. This you must do
to wash away the dried crystals of all the chemical materials sent
out from the skin and glands. Warm SPONGE baths, while you are
menstruating, are necessary. I know that you all have been told never
to take a bath while your period was on, but you see that you must get
rid of these tell-tale odors now that you are out in the world. Of
course you must be careful not to take cold; you should not use any but
warm water, and then jump into bed warmly covered. Use no scented soap,
not even under the arms, just plain castile or a similar PURE soap.
After the flow has ceased be certain to wash your external parts with
a soft sponge and pure soap. You want to consider this part of your
toilet just as important as washing the teeth or ears, and it should be
done in the same unconcerned and unthinking manner.



All girls want a good complexion and a clear skin. The skin and hair
are the glories of a healthy woman. Most of you can have this desired
state of a clear skin and pure complexion. A good complexion merely
means a perfect state of health. A clear skin does not depend on what
you apply to it, but what you keep off it.

The clear, satin-like skin, the skin which looks like a transparent
piece of silk laid upon a soft cushion of white flesh, and that sheeny
skin resembling fine velvet, seen in the pure blonde type of girls, are
all the effects of the blood beneath and how that blood is treated by
the emotions.

Muddy and contaminating thoughts will cause a muddy skin. Clean and
clear thoughts will give you a clear skin. Jealousy and anger will, in
time, affect the flow of blood through your tiny skin-veins and give
you the appearance of age. Any emotion which causes indigestion will do
the same thing. In fact, the state of mind and the manner in which you
control your thoughts and temper are reflected in the tone of the skin.

It is during the first few years of menstruating that the girl who does
not understand these matters commences to ruin her complexion. While
your body is developing, the tiny glands in the skin are undergoing
great changes. These changes cause the glands to pour out oily matter,
perspiration and other material, all of which naturally bring about a
muddy complexion in some girls and redness of the nose, or pimples on
the face, in others.

These conditions are natural to the growing girl. The skin is clearing
itself of all the little girl’s activities and making ready for the
woman’s complexion. It is Springtime with the skin, and this dirt――or
what looks like dirt――is the result of all this skin-cleaning. Hair
is appearing on certain parts of the body; that almost invisible
down which all women possess, is growing on all portions of the body
and face. The monthly periods are causing congested blood vessels
throughout the whole body and especially the tiny arteries of the skin.
Every part of your system is really undergoing a great change and does
not get into a state of perfect health until you are eighteen years
of age and over. As in all things in which a decided revolution takes
place, there is more or less of a disturbance.

This is the time when a girl commences to worry about her complexion.
She frets and becomes anxious about the little spots appearing upon
her face. If she has not the proper home advice, but hears all sorts
of tales and sees all sorts of things in the school or shop, she soon
resorts to the drug stores for a face lotion, powder or cream. She may
have been told by an older girl that, “No, I never had anything but a
good complexion; you’d better take something for yours, I would,” and
much more of this kind of foolish advice.

Some girls go through the period of development without any marked
change in their complexion; others, especially brunettes, will have a
“broken-out-face,” a hot and oily skin and not infrequently pimples
on some part of their bodies. Girls of nervous temperament are apt to
have more or less of a spotted complexion during the first few years of
menstruation. In all these girls it is more of a sign of good health
than otherwise, and if the skin had been left alone,――which it has not,
because you have never known the truth,――the quack advertisements of
“face creams,” “skin food,” “complexion wafers,” and all the other skin
poisons and complexion-destroyers, would never have been put out to
swindle girls and women.

Pimples most frequently show on the shoulders and upper arms, and
unless the girl knows that these really mean a splendid complexion
when she has grown to full womanhood, she worries herself to a point
that makes her little life miserable.

This is the point in a girl’s life where she starts in to ruin her
complexion forever. She commences to fill in the openings made to let
out the fatty and other substances in her skin, by powdering, applying
some ointment which keeps these pores closed, or goes to bed with
greasy or other injurious “skin foods” upon her face. In fact, she
does just what in the end will give her a pasty complexion instead of
a clear one. Of course she will later on take to the rouge and powder
puffs and have to keep them in constant use until her skin becomes like
that of a dried codfish.

Please remember that what you need during the first years of your
menstrual life is to allow full freedom for the skin to get rid of
all the material your state is producing behind the outer skin. This
material must come away if the skin is to be a clear and healthy one.
Banking up, stopping this sweating process of the glands of the body,
will ruin your complexion in time. You would not attempt to clean a
room by sweeping all the dust under the carpet and not expect this dust
to be always flying up and making the room dusty and ill-smelling? But
you do about the same thing when you do not let all the dirt and dust
come away through the spring cleaning of the skin.

The period of your development is the Springtime of your life, and you
must expect all kinds of disagreeable feelings and little annoyances to
occur during this period.

Each month, just as your menses are coming on, you will find little
pimples or some redness on your face, nose or shoulders; perhaps on
the arms. You should not want to go to dances or entertainments at
these times; in fact you should not; but at no time during your growth
into full womanhood should you wear gowns with short sleeves and low
necks. For even between the menstrual periods there will be some
indications upon the face or skin which tell the story. To hide these
little eruptions or redness of the skin you have to apply powder to the
neck, shoulders and arms. What are the consequences? The perspiration,
due to the heat of the room and the exercise of dancing, keeps the
inflammation active under the powder and may cause such pimples that
the scars are left forever.

And right here is where you “catch cold.” Drafts, sleeping by an open
window or going from a warm room to a colder one do not give you a
cold. You may catch cold by doing these things, but the cause is
something which has brought about a too rapid loss of heat from the
body; such as any wrong way of clothing or underclothing yourself;
low-neck dresses for winter; or covering the skin with powder or
enamel, through which the perspiration cannot have free play and keep
the temperature of the body equal; these are the reasons you “catch

Those girls you occasionally see with a pitted skin on their faces
and shoulders, are those who in all probability prevented the natural
grease and other substances from getting out when they were in the
first two or three years of their development. They have generally
brought about this disagreeable complexion by attempting to dress as
full-grown women and covering face, shoulders and backs with some kind
of lotion, powder or cream.

The girl who was noted for her fine, soft and smooth skin when she was
eight or ten years of age, commences at puberty to have pimples and
blackheads on her nose, cheeks and forehead. This being about the time
she takes more notice of herself and others around her, these little
facial blotches worry her. It is the opening of a new life and much
attention is given dress, hair and complexion; to her whole appearance.
She brushes and fixes her hair with great care; tries all sorts of
experiments. She probably uses the brush of her older sister or one
belonging to some of her family, or more frequently it is the common
one at school or in the store. She does not intentionally use a dirty
brush, nor will she use one which she has the least suspicion has been
used by the unclean. But even the brush of her mother or sister carries
germs that at this time do much injury to her skin and scalp, because
the skin of the forehead is affected by the germs which get to the

This germ is one which is always to be found in the glands of any
person’s scalp or hairy portions of the body. These glands are known
as the sebaceous glands. They are the ones which secrete the oily
substance that is necessary for the health of the skin and hair. You
have enough of the oily substances in your own hair and skin, and it
is usually free from germs at this time if you have used only YOUR
OWN BRUSH. But the moment you use a brush belonging to some older and
full-grown woman you carry to your own scalp these germs. If some of
the other germs which are sometimes found upon common brushes get onto
your scalp, there is another trouble for you to combat――dandruff.
In the first case you simply add oily stuff to your own supply, get
over-much of the oil; in the other case, dandruff is piled thick with
the fatty material and then comes scalp disease.

This may go on for some time and not noticeably affect you, but it may
cause in a few weeks a certain form of eczema about the forehead and
even the face. This is a very important matter for all girls and young
women to remember. I have shown you that on the approach and for some
time after puberty, all the tiny glands of the skin are enlarged and
very active, so you can now see that there are hundreds of thousands of
little holes for the germs to get into, and they do so from the brushes
you are in the habit of using――that is, most of you. When these germs
have located themselves upon the scalp, they soon commence to show the
fact by giving you a muddy complexion. Sometimes you will be accused
of not thoroughly washing your face, so marked is the line around your
forehead and neck made by the attack of these germs. When the openings
of the glands begin to gape, the effect is not agreeable to you nor to
your friends.

The pimples commence to irritate you on account of the increase of the
oily substance, and soon you see that little creamy spot, then you
or a misguided friend will squeeze it out. Often before this harmful
procedure is gone through with, a formation of a little cocoon-like
body is formed and then you have blackheads. This is not all dirt as
is generally supposed, but a little cylinder filled with fatty stuff,
water and some dirt from the skin. If these blackheads keep coming and
if you go on squeezing them, if you insist upon covering the pimples
with powder or lotion, a real skin disease will be the result. This
skin disease we call acne, and it is a difficult and trying one to
cure. Never mind all those fetching advertisements in the papers which
claim to cure acne in a few applications. Don’t touch such harmful
stuff. All these advertised lotions simply COVER UP the symptoms of the
disease, drive it further into the skin, and when you finally have to
go to a reputable doctor, too much harm has been done for him to save
you from being marked for life. Never trifle with advertised cures, go
to a well-known doctor, or if you cannot afford to pay a specialist’s
price, seek one at the outdoor clinics. There you will receive the same
kind and careful treatment you would if you went to his office in an
automobile of your own.

What are we to do to keep from having all these disagreeable pimples
and their after-effects? Prevent them. You understand; not cure, but
prevention; for I want to put you all in a position to keep from having
any trouble which needs a CURE in the medical sense.

The first thing to do is to look out for your scalp as soon as you
recognize the approach of puberty and for ever after. I do not mean
that even a little girl should ever have her scalp neglected, but that
you must, as soon as your menstrual time comes, NEVER use any other
brush than your own and this must be a new one. No matter how old you
are, get a new brush every few months and guard it as you would your
jewels or your most precious gift. You should consider a brush for the
hair as sacred as the one for your teeth. You surely would not think
of brushing your teeth with any old toothbrush which happened to come
along; neither should you use any other hairbrush but your own.

And all this is such a simple matter, for whatever you do, wherever
you go, whether you attend school, work in an office or store, you can
easily carry with you your own hairbrush as you do your own toothbrush.
Of course the same rule applies to comb, soap and towel.

The habit some girls have of brushing and combing each other’s hair
is all very well if only your brush is used upon your hair, and only
upon your hair. As a rule girls take one brush and go over each other’s
scalps, thereby contaminating all the scalps; carrying oily matter
from head to head. The scalp of a blonde-haired girl is not kept in
good condition by the same quality or amount of secretions that a
brunette requires; a woman’s scalp that has been neglected will carry
to a young woman’s sensitive skin germs which will affect her scalp and
complexion, but would not probably affect a middle-aged person. So let
no person use your brush and allow no other person’s brush used upon

The habit of promiscuously kissing each other that some girls at this
age of puberty so often have, is a dangerous habit, because you may
have placed upon your lips some of the germs which cause pimples, and
then comes trouble again. Anyway, a girl is too young to be kissed and
not old enough to kiss――without danger to herself.

There are many, many more little things which cause a poor complexion
in the girl and grown woman. First of all is that curse of American
girls and women――constipation――the result of our false and injurious
prudery. I warned you we should have to refer to it again and again,
for it is a condition that enters into the cause of many women’s
illnesses, indispositions, tumors, open sores, headaches and other
avoidable troubles.

Allowing any of the cast-off material of the stomach and intestines
to remain in the lower bowel will most positively cause a muddy and
pimpled skin. The reason is plain. This material is dead stuff meant
to be cast off out of the body EVERY day. If it remains in the body
it putrefies, forms gases and acids, which are REabsorbed into your
system, taken up by the blood, which later on shows it in your face.
Just think of it! Would you like to go around with all the signs of
putrid matter being kept in your body? Of course not; yet you will
outwardly show these signs if you do not keep your lower bowels always

What is the best way to keep the bowels clean?

Regularity in your habits of toilet is, first of all, the most
important factor. Drinking plenty of water――you see I am at it
again――in the morning, is next in importance. Your breakfast food can
be so arranged that the bowels will empty themselves every morning if
the habit and water drinking have been carefully looked after. Fruit,
stewed or ripe, should be taken every morning. Little or no meat is
needed nor advisable for you in the morning. Cereals――real cereals, not
the sawdust and roasted bread crust stuff――are good for the morning
meal. Plain, old-fashioned oatmeal comes first, then hominy or similar

The idea that buckwheat or other breakfast cakes cause pimples is
all nonsense. The same is true about syrups, butter or sugar. If you
have flushed your stomach and intestines with water and fruit, you
may eat all the cakes and sugar you wish. Candy does not affect your
complexion, neither do cakes, pie, nor any sweets which ARE PURE AND

All our grandmothers’ scare and advice about eating candy and other
sweets is due to the fact that they DO harm in this way. Candy and
other sweets are too often eaten between meals or early in the morning
and thus cause a lack of appetite. With this loss of appetite, the
body cannot get its nourishing and bowel-cleansing food. It is the
loss of this nourishing food and the natural result of having nothing
in the intestines which will wash these food tracts out, that does all
the harm. It is living unnaturally to be in such a condition, and any
unnatural way of living will bring about unhealth, and this will be
shown by a poor and nasty-looking complexion, a hot skin and flabby

Young women and girls often need sugar in their system and at certain
times will crave it. Other girls will crave something sour――pickles,
forget that first you must have had a breakfast free from these
substances, have thoroughly emptied your bowels and had a good noon
meal. After these good meals you may eat candy, pickles, ice cream,
any old thing――IF THE MATERIALS ARE PURE. This is a very important
matter. Eat nothing that has been exposed to the dust of the streets or
any filthy place. We shall have something to say about “dope” drops and
candies in which are brandies, cocaine and other drugs.

The girl who goes out at noon and buys for her luncheon éclaires,
doughnuts, cream puffs and other pastry, and makes a meal of this
stuff, is positively going to have a pasty complexion, be constantly
constipated and unable to do her full amount of work――school, house or
office. If she has taken some good soup and eaten a little nourishing
food, THEN the pastry will not harm her; perhaps do her good.

I have said nothing about eggs or fish. I think most of you are glad of
it and know the reason. I have had thousands of girls and young women
under my charge and but few of them could eat either eggs or fish; and
to many, milk was positively repulsive. At certain times these kinds
of foods are nauseating to many girls and young women. Now and then a
young woman will take an egg or a few bites of fish, but all through
the active portion of her life she abhors a diet of such eatables. It
is a case of――

    _Jack Spratt could eat no pie,
    His wife could eat no fish;
    So betwixt them both
    Each had a separate dish._

Do not force yourself to eat anything that you do not enjoy. In good
health the body will know what it needs. If it needs sugar, it will
give you a craving for sugar; if you need beef, you will want it. The
cravings for sweets or sours only become unnatural when they are eaten
to the exclusion of nourishing food. If you have the HABIT of eating
sweets in the morning, you must break this habit. You got into the
habit because you gave in to a natural desire at an unnatural time.

If you are hungry before going to bed, then you will benefit by taking
some nourishing and easily-digested food. Eating at night will NOT
injure your complexion. It is eating indigestible food which ruins the
complexion, and before bedtime you are too apt to eat those foods which
lie all night in your stomach and ferment there. This is a sure and
quick way to bring on a muddy complexion and a red nose.

Never drink milk with beef, pork or ham. But I do not fear this tough
combination in girls or women, only it is best that you should know
that such a combination will remain all night in your stomach and let
you know it for a few days afterwards.

I know that the majority of girls and women who are out in the selfish
world, including schoolgirls, do not fully realize the great importance
of proper food eaten at the proper time, that is, the bearing it has
upon all their growing powers. If they did, we should not have all
these patent medicines for skin, womb, stomach, headaches, and all the
other doped stuff, which is ruining hundreds of thousands of those who
ought to be the mothers of the future generation. I say ought to be,
because unless you girls take hold at once and absorb these facts I
have been telling you, and shall tell you, many, yes, most of you, will
weep throughout a childless life.

What shall I apply to my face?

Nothing but water and pure soap.

Does not washing the face in water, hot or cold, bring on wrinkles?

No, never. Did you ever see wrinkles upon your canary bird? Don’t you
have a bath ready for her every morning? What made the Greek and Roman
maidens so beautiful in face, figure and complexion? Baths, bathing
their bodies and faces daily.

But they used facial ointments, powders and creams. No, not the pure
maidens or matrons; only the other kind.

If a woman, when young, was foolish or ignorant enough to use powder or
grease upon her face and kept it up, when she gets to be thirty-five
or so, she has to resort to enameling her face. If now she allowed her
face to be thoroughly washed by either cold or warm water, she would
have wrinkles, big, deep ones. She, of course, does not believe in
water on the face and will tell you so; she has her reason. And the
reason is this: For years she has been maltreating her skin by stopping
the natural oil from leaving the skin glands. As time went on she has
applied the necessary powder――necessary to her――then had to use some
form of facial cream, increasing the amount year by year. There has
been no opportunity for the skin to stretch or relax, to work out
its secretions, it remains almost immovable; consequently ridges and
furrows form, and a good wash brings out the wrinkles and also her

There is no harm in having the face massaged when you are tired, dusty
and your skin feels tightly stretched. But having it gently rubbed and
washed with cold water, then protected by a veil as you go out into the
fresh air, is an entirely different matter from having it rubbed by one
who fills in the open pores with a “facial cream” or some “beautifier.”
There is only one beautifier, and that is GOOD HEALTH. And once you
get it you do not have to apply it every day. It will stand the rain
and the sun, will defy heat and salt sprays, will be always by your
side wherever you go and not put you in the awful condition of a
well-known professional beauty I once knew.

This woman was traveling and became ill. I was sent for, but when I
arrived I was told by the maid that Madame could not see me at that
hour. Now the case was important; the woman was suffering and in
danger. Never mind, she simply COULD NOT see me for several hours. She
went into a delirium and was finally taken to a hospital for mental

Why wouldn’t she see me? Because her fine and notorious complexion had
been left behind, and as the suffering from her pain had caused her to
freely perspire, the perspiration had opened up all her wrinkles and

Unless the skin of the whole body is freely washed, the neglect will
show on the complexion. A bath every morning is the secret of many
bright and rosy cheeks. If you are so situated that you cannot get a
tub bath every morning, winter and summer, you certainly can get a big
sponge and have a sponge bath in your room. Let the water run down your
spine, especially down the small of your back. Give your face a good
dose of cold water. A shower on the face will keep wrinkles away until
late in life. Do not stop your bathing because you are unwell, only use
warm or tepid water. I know that many girls are told not to even put
their hands in cold water while menstruating. This is utter nonsense,
if the girl is otherwise in good health. These old ideas have done much
harm and kept girls from benefiting themselves by helping Nature in all
her growths.

Cold baths will keep your flesh firm and hard; will take off fat if
you are too fat, and put on flesh if you are too lean. Like everything
in nature, the improvement comes slowly, but it certainly comes. You
should commence the baths in the summer and keep them up so that when
the cold weather comes the change is not very noticeable. Of course all
this should be done in a warm room and you should have a warm rug to
stand upon. Be sure to take a good rub with a coarse towel.

This brings us to some simple form of exercise you can do at this time
which will help the bowels to empty themselves by toning the muscles of
the abdomen――the stomach, you call it.

These exercises consist in bending the body from your waist several
times, then swinging from side to side. You do this with your feet
close together and with straightened knees. Bend forwards and
downwards, touching the floor with the tips of your fingers without
bending the knees. Keep it up until you can do it without effort.
Then swing your body from side to side, twisting and turning from the
hips. Nothing will give you a more graceful figure than these forms of
movements. Keep up this exercise all through your active life, and with
all the other advice I have and shall give you, you can be attractive
even when the gray hairs have made their appearance.

It is not the purpose of these Chats to advise you in purely medical
matters, that is to tell you what to do in illness and what medicines
to take. The purpose of these talks is to put you in possession of
knowledge that will bring you to full womanhood, a strong, healthy
woman to whom marriage and children will be a state of happiness for
both husband and wife, or to a state of content, if you choose “single
blessedness.” But in the matter of constipation, I think it will do no
harm to tell you that, if you will take once a week a tablespoonful of
SODIUM PHOSPHATE, you will be benefited. This sodium phosphate should
be taken before breakfast in a full glass of water.

What about thin hair, split hairs, that dead-feeling hair?

If this condition is found in the young woman, it is ninety-nine times
out of a hundred her own fault, or due to her ignorance of what the
scalp and hair need.

It is because she has piled a lot of dead and often diseased hair on
top of her healthy and growing hair. Put a bunch of dead matter upon
live and growing matter and what is the result? Death, decay!

Most of the fashions in hair and dress originate in those whose lives
and age compel some artificial aid to attract attention. These foolish
and freakish fashions are not for the young woman to adopt. Take the
fashion of long trains, for example. The women of Paris seldom walk,
they go about in automobiles or carriages. Now, sitting in these open
conveyances it attracts attention to have a long folding train wrapped
around the sitting figure and pulled up at the ankles to show a dainty
slipper and silken hosiery. Don’t you see how ridiculous it is for a
good young woman who has to walk to her daily work or school, to try
to copy a fashion which is intended for an entirely different class of
women? Yet, when trains were the fashion, you all did it.

You are doing about the same foolish thing now with your head.
Head-gear――that is the best name for it――is intended for women whose
age has depleted them of much hair or whose lives have been such
that their hair has become dead through bleaching or other injurious
processes――these women must repair the damage. Wigs are too evident,
so these women buy the hair which once graced or disgraced some other
women, and pile it up in freakish forms and call it the latest fashion.
The American girl and young woman immediately follow “the fashion,” and
then you ask me what to do for thin hair and dead tresses!

Now, if you keep up this heathenish fashion of ruining your own
beautiful hair, many of you will not only have thin hair, but become
BALDHEADED. False hair, such as “puffs,” “rats,” frames, pads,
“transformations,” “pin curls” and “mouse-traps,” will do the trick for
you. Even the artificial means used to puff out the natural hair will
ultimately injure it――injure it beyond repair.

All the false hair with the appliances to keep it in shape, press on
the scalp and impede the circulation of the blood, and the part of the
scalp it should supply will wither and lose all life. The result of any
pressure on the blood vessels of the scalp is that the roots of the
hair become impoverished, and in time the hair gets so thin and weak
that it drops out.

Very little, if any, air can get to the scalp when you are “following
the fashion,” which is just now in vogue. Stop this injurious
and ridiculous wearing of false puffs, pads, and especially

I have seen schoolgirls and typists with enough rigging of false hair
and rusty wires upon their heads to give a strong man a constant
headache and make him bald in a month. Your hair also falls out rapidly
and constantly, but as you are blessed at the start with more luxuriant
and more active growth in the scalp, it takes longer for the injury to
show. But it is only a matter of time, not effect.

Then there is another matter which you do not fully realize――all good
and worthy men detest this ill-smelling and dead hair you pile upon
your heads. You lose all your fresh appearance, all the looks of a
maiden, all the proofs of innocence. Your complexion takes on the hue
of the dead hair, and when the fashion passes you can never get back
the shining, luxuriant tresses men so dearly admire. Men and youths
may not have told you these truths, but way down in their hearts they
will pick a girl for a wife or sweetheart who has not the smell of a
dead Chinaman, or whose hair has been the abiding place for an old
“mouse-trap” and left the mousy odors.

The best way to insure a good head of hair is to wear it loose and
free, without any artificial aids and appliances. Of course you may
dress it any way it pleases you, but aside from pins it should never
have any other pressure upon it.

The hair should be washed frequently in water with a little powdered
borax, but remember you wash the hair only to clean the scalp, nothing
should be applied to the hair directly.

There is another fashion which has made many a girl suffer from
headaches, thinned her hair and injured her complexion. This is the
wearing of tight collars, neck bands, and those torturing things with
points you wear stuck right up under the ears. I forget now what you
call them, and I won’t tell you what I call them, for it would not
sound nice to polite ears. But if you keep on wearing them a man will
be able to say almost anything without you being able to hear him; for
you will be deaf.

The reason these tight collars do so much injury is that they compress
the arteries and veins of the neck, which at this part of the body
are near the surface. They are large, full-blooded vessels and bring
the blood to and return it from brain and scalp. I have known girls
to faint simply from the compression due to tight collars or bands
around the neck. They will almost invariably cause headaches, and every
one of you know of the great relief you derive from taking them off
and putting on a loose wrap or dressing sack. I have known women to
suffer violent pains in the head, then dizziness and final collapse,
by preventing a free circulation through the brain. The same blood
vessels supply the skin, and when these are stopped from nourishing the
skin what do you get? A poor, pale and finally diseased skin, a starved



It seems that not anything worth while in this world is gained without
self-fighting and worry. The great things that are accomplished by
men and women are accomplished only through will power, determination
and concentration. Determination is different from will power in this
respect: one may be determined to do a thing but find that she has not
the nervous power to carry out the determination. In other words, the
nervous force is really the basis of all will power. So all the factors
which go to make for self-control and concentration upon whatever
you have decided upon doing, are dependent upon a good and perfectly
adjusted nervous system. Without a powerful nervous force we would be
nothing but eating and sleeping animals.

The men and women who do not know from any personal feeling that
there is a tremendous force in a trained nervous system are those
who do nothing for the world’s progress; they only eat, sleep and
automatically labor. Many who have plenty of nervous force but do
not know what it means, and hence cannot control it and use it for
the benefit of man and themselves, are those who throw it away in
dissipations, abnormal excitement and riotous living.

To have a highly-sensitive nervous organization is the greatest gift
a woman can have; but unless she early knows its value and how to
train it, it becomes a curse to her. It will run away with all her
impulses――good and bad――and finally separate her from her womanly

We hear a lot about “nervous women and girls;” and that the condition
is increasing, due to our rapid way of living and all the pressure of
trying to keep up the pace civilization has set. I have lived most of
my life among nervous women and girls, and have come to the conclusion
that the truth of the matter is, that instead of being due to our rapid
pace of living and working, it is really due to the fact that most
girls have never been taught to train and control their nervous forces.

These nervous girls and women are mostly those who are not
over-nervous, but simply never have developed a nervous force that
could keep pace with their physical and emotional activities. It is
for this reason that their impulses get the better of them, they
crave abnormal excitements, want to be on the go constantly, cannot
be contented with simple and honorable home duties and finally merge
into a condition where they have to seek the doctor or else go to a

Now just consider for a moment some simple facts. You are taught, early
in life, the necessity of exercising in order to develop and be able to
control your muscles. You are told to “learn to control your temper,”
but unless you are in perfect physical condition, with plenty of
reserve nervous force, which is really will force, to use when you need
it most, how are you to “control your temper”?

I have tried to tell you how necessary it is that all your organs
should be kept in perfect condition by knowing what they are, and what
they do and how to help them in doing the right thing. Your teachers
are constantly at you to make you train your memory, to keep your mind
upon your studies, or else your employer is nagging you to pay more
attention to what you are told. And how many of you try to do all this
and do not succeed!

“Train every faculty, build up your abilities;” do this or don’t do
that; always something is dinned into your ears about what you should
do to improve yourself. But the one force, THE power which is at the
bottom of every impulse or act, nerve activity, is left unmentioned as
a force to be trained first, always and last of all the forces in your

“She has such a bad temper” is a remark we hear time after time.
“If she would only learn to control her outbreaks; don’t get out of
temper,” and similar expressions are only too frequently heard in
homes and at school――everywhere. No wonder the helpless girl becomes
discouraged and disgusted when she is scolded for petty explosions
which she would gladly know how to stop.

A girl without a temper doesn’t amount to much. It is a proper attitude
of revolt against personal wrong or injustice. It is the birthright
of every normal woman. It belongs to her protective instincts. And
what is temper? Just the explosion of a highly nervous temperament.
Explosion, mind you, not a decent expression of righteous indignation.
The difference is that one is uncontrolled nervous force, the other is
the same expression of nervous force held in check, governed by long
training and handled for some forthright deeds. It is the preserving
of this nervous force so as to be able to utilize it for some valuable
work, that makes the difference between wasted energy and useless
efforts and applied energy with useful results.

The nervous force in woman, including the brain, is the last to become
fully developed, but it should be the first to be considered in your
training. It means self-control, and there is no better evidence of
good birth, well-poised personality and perfect physical health, than
control over one’s impulses and words.

A girl with these qualities will soon get a husband who will be kept as
a husband.

To get self-control you must go at it in the same systematic manner as
you do physical exercise. In this latter matter schools and clubs have
gymnasiums for you; there are athletic games played under instructors
of physical culture who teach you how to exercise along lines which
will give you good bodily health; but the apparatus you need first
of all, that for building and strengthening the nervous system and
the nervous energy which goes into your sex development, are merely
mentioned in some homes and schools and in some others never mentioned.
You need a perfectly-balanced nervous organization and one under your
complete control before you can benefit from any physical exercise.

“But,” you say, “is not physical exercise a means of building up the
nervous organization?”

No, only indirectly. This body of ours, the mere bones, muscles and
organs, is only the frame of our human machine, just as the steel body
and wheels are that of an automobile. No matter how strong that frame
is, no matter what fine material has gone into the workmanship, it is
absolutely worthless unless the motor which is to drive it is powerful
enough to send it along with ease, and moreover be one which can
readily and safely always run under control.

The motor that runs our bodies is the nervous system, and if you have
a body so highly developed as to fatigue the nervous motor, then a
nervous breakdown is certain to occur. If you have a nervous mechanism
too strong for the body it will run away with you and then we have
another kind of “nervous breakdown”――hysteria, melancholy, insomnia,
drug habit or worse.

The nervous affections of girls and women are generally due to one
of these causes I have outlined――unevenness in bodily development or
nervous development. They should balance each other, work together and
both become tired and demand rest at the same time.

The secretions of the skin, kidneys, liver and other internal organs
are controlled through the nervous system. So are the functions of
the womb, ovaries and even the heart. Why does your heart beat so
rapidly after a fright or great excitement? Because your nervous
motor is running beyond your control. Why does a girl’s monthly
occurrence sometimes stop after a great fright or skip a period or two
during some deep grief or emotional experience? Because the nervous
organization of the whole body was put to excessive work and then had
to stop for a rest. Having become temporarily exhausted the fine little
nerve endings in the organs cannot do their allotted work, hence no
secretions can push their way out of the closed cells. For these nerve
fibers open and close the cells which secrete the materials that should
be cast off at regular intervals.

Not being able to do so the girl becomes “tired,” has headaches, feels
“all out of sorts.” Then she thinks something is wrong with her, her
good mother gives her “tonics” or “blood medicine” and she is told to

What she needs instead of exercise or medicines is rest; as much
rest and food as she can contentedly stand. The only exercise such a
condition calls for is deep breathing and this more to furnish fresh
blood which the full lungs give, than for the exercise itself. If we
could conveniently get fresh air into the lungs by some method other
than breathing it, it would be better still, for even the effort of
deep breathing calls for some use of the nervous force, and the least
possible disturbance of this force, the quicker will the girl or woman
recover her full nervous strength.

If you have exercised beyond the power of the nervous system to send
full impulses to the skin so that it will pour out its poisons, some
of this poison remains in the body and sets up a condition known as
auto-intoxication, which only means self-poisoning. All kinds of
nervous affections arise from this state.

The same conditions are brought about by the poisons of the liver, if
the delicate nerves of this big sewer of the body are too tired to open
up all the little ducts and channels and let out the poisons which the
liver has taken up from the blood in your body. And so we might go on
into more physiology, showing you that much of the nervousness among
girls comes from over-exercise, instead of under-exercise. Probably
more of the trouble arises from exercising at wrong times; at times
when the nervous organization has all it can do to regulate sex growth
and development of the girl. At this time to pull out a lot of nervous
power to make muscles work and grow big, must result in some nervous
organ being deprived of its needed nerve cell assistance.

In these facts lies the cause for so many nervous wrecks in young
women and wives. Nature gives the nervous system of all growing girls
constant and concentrating work to do. It has to take care of all the
new organs of secretions, see that the breasts are fully supplied with
cells ready to do their work when motherhood approaches, fit its tiny
but powerful nerve endings to the womb and ovaries, develop the brain
and instincts along proper and healthful lines, furnish power to the
million cells of the scalp and skin, watch that the stomach pours
out a proper amount of digestive fluid at a time when the girl has a
craving for strange “eatables” such as slate pencils or gum arabic. The
hard and enduring efforts of the nervous system to keep the girl well
balanced in her thoughts all the time she is undergoing these necessary
changes, should never be overlooked.

No girl between fourteen and twenty years of age should ever train for
physical contests or any form of athletic competition. A girl should
train for her future work――motherhood――and for this wonderful and
glorious contest for bringing onto the earth the best possible men and
women, she must have the highest form of nervous development, with all
that this implies.

The best way to help all this effort of Nature to give you a nervous
system which will stay by you when the worries and trials of life come,
is never to over-exercise at any time, and not to exercise at all for
a few days before and a few days after your periods. This is the time
when your body needs all the reserve power for one purpose.

How can I tell when I need rest instead of exercise?

The best sign is when you think that you ought to exercise but don’t
feel like making the effort. Many, many a girl has become a nervous
wreck because someone forced her to exercise when she needed to be
quiet and at rest.

Never exercise unless the anticipation of the play or game is a
pleasure to you. When you get into that state of mind such as, “Oh, I
don’t feel like making the effort; I’d rather sit here and read, or
talk”――if you feel like that, if you have to make up your mind that you
must exercise, but it is difficult to find any pleasure in the thing
you are thinking of doing; don’t try to do it.

If you make determined efforts to do any physical work that is
distasteful to you, if you work by the clock, then you are injuring
yourself every minute you are at it. You are drawing upon your nervous
capital, not upon the interest. This is the secret of all exercise,
brain or muscle: work must be done upon saved-up interest, not upon the
capital. If you use the capital, it only means for the body what it
would mean for the purse――bankruptcy――sure and certain failure.

Any physical effort which leaves you feeling worse than when you
started, is injuring you. This does not mean a good physically tired
feeling, one in which your cheeks are aglow, when you feel elated
at what you have done, when a cold shower bath feels good instead of
making you shiver and covered with “gooseflesh,” but that feeling of
complete exhaustion, pale cheeks, a feeling of shivering if cold baths
are mentioned and a longing for something to drink that will brace
you up. When this latter state is yours, you have over-exercised or
else exercised at a time when your nervous motor needed a rest, not

You sometimes hear it said, “Why, she is the last girl in the world I
thought would ever get nervous troubles. She is the best girl on the
team――Oh! you ought to see her muscles.”

Yes, but you should also see those worn-out nerve cells.

Misdirected ambition, a forgetfulness that she had only a certain
amount of nervous power, an excitement which blinded her to her real
condition; these were the factors which made her drive her motor far
beyond its powers. Finally there was no more nervous energy to move her
over-developed muscles without fatigue, and fatigue has its own poisons
which penetrate the whole body and then comes a collapse. This was the
cause for this “strong girl’s” nervous breakdown.

No girl is strong, or ever will be as a woman, whose body and muscles
have been developed at the expense of her nervous system. The really
strong girl is one who has power saved up, and when a time of great
stress or work comes, has this extra power to put out and not become a
nervous bankrupt.

Exercise, like your daily work, should always be a pleasure instead of
boresome labor. Only by doing things in this state of mind can you ever
be successful.

The drilling, training and developing of the will――powers of
self-control――must be a constant part of a girl’s self-education. It
is all very well to tell a girl to “use will power,” but before she is
blamed for the lack of control, it would be only just to her to find
out just how much of this power she has to use.

Will power depends upon a perfect nervous system. The reason one cannot
call to a will power to stop an evil or disagreeable habit, is because
the habit has temporarily destroyed, or rather put to sleep, the power
to will. If there has not been, in the beginning, a well-drilled
self-control――or will power――how can you expect a girl who flies off
into an unreasonable temper, to immediately control this temper and
keep it under control?

The will power is the rudder of life; the steering control over our
human ship as it voyages on the seas of life. Now if a ship should go
to sea without a rudder, you know just what would happen to it. If it
goes on a voyage with a weak rudder, or one which has been damaged and
not repaired, the best sailor in the world cannot keep it off the rocks
when a storm comes.

It is just so with our brains and bodies; they must be controlled by a
strong and well-attached rudder, the will power. With such a power one
can accomplish wonders; in fact, everything that seems marvelous to us
in man’s work has been due to perfect steering of right impulses into
new harbors where an unsteady human ship would be wrecked in trying to
pass the hidden rocks and roaring reefs.



But just what must one do to get this power?

I have told you something about the body’s poisons, how they accumulate
in the body and cause illness and nervousness. The first thing to do is
to see that your body is free and kept free from these poisons, for if
not kept free, the nerve cells become affected and then a perfect will
power cannot be developed.

Here are a few practical things to do and not to do to keep the nerve
cells so you can develop them. Sleep always alone. Sleeping with
another person is unsanitary. The skin needs to get rid of its natural
poisons and not take up any from another person. You would not think
of breathing the air coming from another person’s lungs. Well, when
you are under the sheets and blankets with another person, you can
breathe through your skin the poisons coming from this companion. If
you have to sleep in a room with another person, you must have your own
little bed. Sleep with as little covering over you as is possible with
comfort; window, of course, as I have warned you, wide open at the top.
You can become accustomed to lighter clothing by gradual methods of
reducing the number of blankets.

No underclothing of a material to absorb and retain perspiration should
ever be worn. If you keep over your skin any clothing which has become
moist through perspiration it will injure your chances of keeping a
good nervous force. Take off such clothing before it becomes soggy and
cold. Then take a sponge bath and put on dry clothing.

Personally, I believe that porous linen underwear is the best for all
growing girls――yes, and for all women. It allows a free evaporation
of perspiration, and so prevents a more or less sodden garment from
remaining in contact with the skin, which so frequently happens with
those who wear woolen underclothing. There is another harmful effect
that woolen underclothing is apt to have; the beginning of a rheumatic
condition which later on in life becomes a painful chronic rheumatism.

In girls who find that in winter linen underwear is too cold, a thin
silk vest may be worn over the linen. This will be found to constitute
a thoroughly warm, comfortable and safe form of underwear.

Don’t try to keep awake either by mental effort or that injurious
resort of drinking coffee. Sleepiness should not be overcome as a
rule, as it is Nature’s signal to stop work. In fact, Nature has
signals for almost all dangers, and when we can read these signals all
goes well along the road of life.

If efforts are continued in spite of the fatigue, the quality of
the work is poor and the exhaustion to your nervous system will
be difficult to repair. High-school girls and college young women
constantly make this error and then wonder why they become so nervous
at times. All sorts of things are tried to keep awake in order to study
or dance, when if they would go to bed and rest, they could accomplish
far more in half the time in the morning with little or no fatigue.
For remember, I am trying to tell you how to get a grip upon that will

Yet there are times when sleepiness and fatigue must be overcome
without resort to stimulants which will surely weaken any will power
you may have been cultivating. These times are when you have to
watch by the bedside of an ill mother or someone dear to you. When
so situated, go to an open window and take deep breathing exercises.
This will burn up the fatigue poisons in your body, for remember these
poisons are gathering in everyone’s body when real fatigue commences.

Morning is the time for all mental work if you are a high-school girl
or college woman. The afternoon should be devoted to some form of mild
exercise and for “low pressure” work.

Shouting, yelling and all extra efforts of the throat muscles will aid
in exhausting your nervous powers, to say nothing about the unpleasant
and unladylike attitude it places you in before the public. A low,
sweet voice, even under excitement, is a sound pleasing to all men and
a certain mark of good birth.

I need not repeat the facts about the advertised “remedies” for this
trouble or that pain, for I have already warned you to let all drugs
and “cures” alone as you would snakes. But there are some drinks that
you should be warned against. Never take those soda water fountain’s
stuff advertised as “nerve tonics.” Don’t believe the young man or boy
at the fountain when he says that “Dopie” or “Bromo Tonic,” “Phosphate
for your Nerves,” or “Dockine” and other similar rotten stuff will do
you good and that they contain no drugs or injurious materials. Don’t
believe a word of all these misleading statements. The boy or young man
is there to sell, not to understand or care about your condition.

If such stomach wash and nerve destroyers contain no drugs, then what
good are they? If they contain nothing but plain water charged with
carbonic acid gas, then why not take a glass of plain seltzer or
soda water? Supposing, for example, these advertised drinks do not
contain harmful drugs――most of them do, however――they are colored
and sweetened. What are they colored with? What is the chemical that
sweetens them? If you really knew you would be unable to keep them
down, the knowledge of how they are concocted would be revolting to you.

These restrictions do not apply to pure soda water and pure syrups, but
even here you must be careful to drink only those which are pure, and
only the very best drug stores are safe in this matter.

Most of the bottled drinks sold at five cents should be thrown into
the sewers, and how many diseased lips do you think have touched the
glasses passed around at the circus and similar shows? Those glasses
containing dyed water, a little chemical acid and glucose, with
second-hand lemon peel to give the appearance of lemonade, are almost
as dangerous as the fangs of a viper.

Don’t dress in a loud and gaudy manner unless you wish to attract the
men of loud and loose principles. The personal appearance of a girl
makes a great difference in the manner she will be received. To dress
in good taste and with every appearance of neatness and modesty, is
essential for the girl who seeks employment or respectful attentions.
Good taste in dressing simply means that a man can say that the girl
was well dressed, but to save his life he could not tell just what
she had on for clothes or hat. The dressing of the feet is, perhaps,
the first thing a refined and cultivated man looks at. To be well and
sensibly shod is always a hall mark of good birth and cultivation. The
girl who wears thin shoes on a wet and cold day, the young woman who
displays high-heeled shoes and thin silk stockings on a winter’s day,
may attract attention, but not respect. A man well knows that if a girl
wears a fur coat and low shoes on the street, she will, as a wife, be
continually complaining of her indisposition, pains and altogether make
his home a place to flee.

No man wants a nervous and complaining woman around his house, and a
girl who thinks she is attractive on the street is not the girl who
will be attractive in a home. That is, one who dresses her feet for the
street in the manner they should be dressed for the house or ballroom
proclaims herself a careless girl and one who is not liable to take
care of her health.

You have heard much about psychotherapy, suggestion and a lot about
certain Movements in church circles. These all proclaim an infallible
remedy for “Nerves.” There is a lot of nonsense written about this
mental method of healing the nervous and soul-sick person, and, on
the other hand, there has been a lot of scoffing at it. There is more
in the drilling of our inner selves than the old-time physician has
been willing to admit; he has so long been accustomed to consider
woman a physical being of bones, flesh and whims, that her real inner
self has been sadly neglected. The consequence has been that a number
of well-meaning and progressive men have taken up the treatment of
troubles without understanding just what relation the gross bodily
organs and nerve cells bear to this inner self which we all possess. I
shall not bother you with any digression, but get at once to what you
can do for yourselves in this matter.

Start early to get inside of yourself; to get at that self which so
bothers you at times; the thing which makes you “feel out of sorts,”
that “getting mad with yourself;” the feeling that you have not said
or done just what you would like to have said or done, but which some
uncontrollable impulse, at the moment, made you say and do. This is
the inner self, but it belongs to all the other parts of your body; is
really the best part of you and will be able to put out the best in you
when you have it under full control.

Take a half hour at the time when you can be alone and see into
yourself. Search well your heart and learn just what you said or did
that you regret. Then find out what caused you to be disagreeable,
what has put you out with your better self. Write these thoughts and
desires down where you can privately refer to them daily. Take the
first mistake and stick to the memory of it so that, when the impulse
comes to repeat it, you can check yourself. Drilling yourself this
way, you will soon learn to conquer this one fault. Then start in the
same way at another fault and conquer that. Don’t try to exercise all
the powers of resistance at once, for if you do, there are bound to
be failures and too many of these make for discouragement, and then
follows recklessness. You would not try to develop a weak back by going
from an apparatus meant to develop the thighs to another one for the
chest, and then back again for a few moments to that for strengthening
the back muscles. No, you stick to the work which develops the back
until you have made some decided progress. The inner self, the will,
the good girl in you, should be developed in the same way.

You want to go to a dance or perhaps the theater, “all the other girls
are going,” but your mother has good and sufficient reasons for not
allowing you to go. Now, instead of arguing, complaining and going off
to your room in a huff, saying unkind words to your good mother, words
which tear and gnaw at her heart, speak to that inner self; call it
out; go to your room and peer straight into the trouble with YOU, not
that wrong idea that the fault is with your mother.

Think deeply of this fact; she is your mother, nothing that would
add to your pleasure or advantage would she deprive you of――not for
an instant. But as your mother she knows what is best for you; she
may know something about the other girls, about the kind of youths
going with them, she may know something about your health that is not
advisable to tell you just at the moment. In your room think all these
matters over; throw out that unreasonable and false self, and when you
have done so, go to your mother, ask her forgiveness and also beg her
to tell you her reasons.

Now that your inner self is in control, your mother will tell you
confidentially her reasons, and when they are clear to you, the
happiness which follows is far beyond any mere physical pleasure you
can ever obtain. After a few times of this self-drilling, the obedience
to your mother will be a second nature.

Still more fights with your inner self will have to follow, but one by
one, you can conquer the enemy. Never become discouraged if you fail,
just keep on trying and in the end you will win over all evil and wrong

A girl who disobeys her mother or father is the girl who as a wife will
be divorced.

The girl who wants to “be a good Indian” will, when a woman, be a
repulsive savage.

The girl who deceives her mother will deceive her husband.

All men know this fact.

Remember that marriage does not make a happy woman, but a woman has it
in her power to make marriage a happiness.

The most reasonable woman will have hours of being unreasonable, but
these are the hours you should be unreasonable with yourself while
searching for reasons.



The jolly, vivacious girl; the girl who is happy obeying her mother,
contented in school or laughs while at work, is really a girl in whom
every organ and function are properly adjusted. In other words, a girl
who is in perfect health is a joy to herself and makes life worth
living for others. It is the same idea that I have given you regarding
a perfectly-running machine――every part works harmoniously and there is
no complaining, no feeling of harshness in life, no grinding or jolting
as you go along.

And almost every girl who starts right can be put in this desired state
and keep herself so. But she must understand that it is in her own
power to have red cheeks, happy thoughts, vivacity, pleasure in what
she does, and to bring sunshine around her.

Doctors cannot do this for her; patent medicines, “blood purifiers,”
“eye drops,” tonics and complexion foods; all and everything of the
kind will injure her and prevent any chance of obtaining and keeping
perfect health. I purposely repeat this statement, for we are now
going to chat in detail about many of those little things you can do
for yourself better than any doctor――even the most experienced. Of
course you cannot do all this until you understand the causes for those
many little annoyances which come to every growing girl.

Your complexion, your spirits, your physical form, all depend upon
what the body takes in and what it casts off. This cannot too often be
repeated to you, because the simple facts are so easily understood when
clearly explained and are under the control of every girl.

It does make all the difference between a vivacious and attractive
girl and one who is constantly complaining, who knows that her eyes
and complexion are dull; how life appears to each; all the difference
between happiness and misery. And this difference arises from the
methods of eating, thinking, and getting rid of the body’s poisons.
One girl does not know that all the cells in her body are constantly
undergoing decay and new ones taking their places and so neglects to
give her body such food, rest and exercise as will keep the body’s
outgo and input evenly balanced. The other girl with red cheeks and
laughing mouth, has this evenly balanced condition during the body’s
constant changes.

Too many of you have been taught to neglect the proper feeding process
of the body; you have been allowed to eat proper food at improper
times and not been shown the necessity of doing just the opposite.
But few of you have ever considered the true relation of food to
health and happiness; the fruit market has been neglected, the butcher
disinterestedly visited and the greengrocer never considered as an aid
to perfect health. What have taken their places? Patent medicines,
all sorts of poisonous “tonics,” drugs, fake foods and hundreds of
dangerous concoctions to replace the want of real nourishment.

Instead of nourishing the body and of course the nerves, these fake
foods directly injure every cell in the body. They cannot keep up the
repair daily needed in every tissue of the human system. Do not forget
that every day your body undergoes more or less wear. In the growing
girl it is unstable, sometimes through much worry or fear the wear is
greater than the ability to repair, and unless the girl realizes this
and at once commences to give extra aid to the repairing process by
eating proper food and plenty of it, resting from all physical and
mental excitement, she will reach full womanhood with some little nerve
or tissue lacking its full strength; and she can never repair the

Each day, too, by radiation, her body loses a large amount of heat,
and for the perfect health of man or woman the temperature of the
body must be maintained. Now this loss of heat has to be replaced
constantly. It is only done through the regular supply of fuel. This
fuel is the food we eat. It must be of such a nature as to burn up in
the body and give out its heat. This fuel――food――has to be supplied
according to the amount of work the body and brains do every day――yes,
every hour. If you have to keep the furnace going to warm your rooms,
you well know that it must have good coal about so often; according to
the amount of work it is compelled to do. You also know that putting
clinkers, shavings or newspapers into the furnace will not give your
rooms the needed heat. Well, it is just so with your body.

Also, if you allow the clinkers from good coal to remain in the bottom
of the furnace, soon there comes a time when no amount of coal will
give out the full strength of its heat, and finally the fire goes out.
Again, it is just the same thing that happens if you keep the clinkers
of your fuel in your body; the waste products left over after the
food has given out its heat. You know how these waste products are
eliminated from your body――through the bowels, skin, kidneys, lungs and

Now, please remember this most important fact――Food, including water,
is for the sole purpose of supplying heat to the body and to replace
the dead cells which are constantly being cast off in every portion of
your body. This decay and birth of the cells of the body goes on in
every living thing. When the decay is greater than the repair, some
part of your body is dying. In such a condition, you are a fit subject
for the attack of some of the many disease germs all around us. It may
be a serious one or merely some form of skin disease; then goes, whack!
your good complexion.

A girl needs more food and at more frequent intervals than a grown
woman because, besides keeping up the heat of the body she also has to
supply the material for the growing process active in her. The building
up of the frame, the full strength of the nerves, the hard working
blood, must all be supplied by a surplus of food, for if she eats only
enough to supply heat, the other needs of her body will suffer and
finally become useless.

Now, girls, eat plenty of food that will aid in all your growth. I know
some girls who think it is unladylike to have a good appetite; I have
treated girls who were really starving themselves because they dreaded
to become fat, and I have seen others whose appetite was unnatural
because they denied themselves proper food. It is not necessary for
me to say any more about the kind of foods to eat; we have already
gone into this matter, but remember this, that the degree of energy
essentially depends on the nutritiveness of the food you do eat.

Not a single gland in the body can do its proper work unless it is
supplied with its proper stimulant; and this stimulant is food. If you
wish to have a soft, smooth and attractive skin, you must always keep
in your mind the fact that it is the glands of the skin that exist for
this very purpose. I have said something to you about perspiration and
exercise, but beside this activity of the glands, produced by exercise,
there is constantly an “insensible perspiration” taking place in every

This unnoticeable perspiration amounts daily to about two pints
of watery fluid. Think of it! A quart of water leaving your body
through the skin every twenty-four hours and in such a way that you
do not notice it. You see now why I have laid so much stress upon the
statement that you should drink plenty of water, and why the average
American girl suffers from poor complexion and constipation.

Fat is poured out in this “insensible perspiration.” Even the finger
tips will secrete it. If the palm of the hand is cleansed with soap and
then with ether; held in the sunlight and observed with a magnifying
glass, you can see little bubbles arising which immediately evaporate,
leaving tiny drops of an oily substance――fat.

If this is so――and it is a scientific fact――is not the statement I made
to you, that water will help reduce fat instead of making it, easily
understood? But, then, why will drinking water also make fat? Because
it simply balances the physiological functions, brings about a proper
chemical action throughout the whole body and in doing this enables the
tissues to extract from your food the elements which go to make up fat,
flesh and blood.

In other words, give the body its needed supply of water, air, food and
exercise, and it will take care of itself――give you the amount of fat
you really need or take off the fat you do not need.

All these matters of controlling the action of the skin are dependent
upon special nerves; nerves which have nothing to do but look after
the health of the skin. These are the nerves which close or open the
pores to let out the “insensible perspiration,” which keep the body
temperature equal under all conditions of exposure and rest, which
allow the blood to get through the tiny arteries and veins of the
cheeks and make for a good or poor complexion.

Don’t listen to those who tell you that your unsatisfactory complexion
is due to “bad blood.” There is really no such state in the good
girl or woman as “bad blood.” Affections of the skin such as a muddy
complexion, greasy looking skin, rough skin, pimples and blotches are
not signs that there is something the matter with your blood. Generally
speaking these are signs of some faulty adjustment between nerves and
blood vessels, sweat glands and the tiny muscles of the skin.

These muscles of the skin are very delicate and sensitive muscles and
easily prevented from working properly. When they do not do their work
constantly and correctly, what happens? Wrinkles of course, then a
tightening of the skin which prevents the outpour of the “insensible
perspiration” and the escape of the oily substance. This latter,
remaining, causes the greasy skin; the tiny wrinkles keep behind
the outer skin some of the inward dirt, and then you have the muddy

Another way you can see the action of these tiny skin muscles is in
“gooseflesh.” “Gooseflesh” is due to the general contraction of these
tiny skin muscles. They contract into the little pin-head knobs which
make the peculiar appearance we call “gooseflesh.” The contracting
or expanding of these skin muscles is absolutely necessary for good
health, as the action regulates secretion and excretion and also
protects the body from sudden temperature changes. When you jump into
bed and find the sheets cold, you immediately have “gooseflesh;”
that is, the skin muscles close at once all the pores. If they did
not do this, the contact with the cold sheets would reduce your body
temperature and disturb the even working of the organs of the body.
The reason fear and shock also bring on “gooseflesh” is due to the
nerves of the skin being affected by the fright you have had, and so
the muscles become uncontrollable. This causes the skin muscles to
contract and its bunches are the “gooseflesh” skin. Very often a fright
or emotion is the cause for a bad complexion, for as you can readily
understand, all the functions of the skin being disturbed, it cannot
remain healthy.

It is for this reason you should avoid all thoughts, reading or
association which will affect the nervous system, if you wish to have a
clear and beautiful complexion.

Proper clothing has, of course, a great deal to do with preventing a
disturbance of the nerves of the skin and through these nerves the
muscles of the skin. I have warned you about keeping next to your skin
any garment soggy with human excretions or secretions――perspiration
with its fats and acids――and explained why a daily bath is the only way
to be certain of a healthy and hence a beautiful skin. The changing of
underwear by a set rule――such as once or twice a week, is barbarous.
Undergarments should be changed as often as they have absorbed any
unusual amount of perspiration. Always change after exercise, and
in the warm weather every day. It is not absolutely necessary that
clothing worn during a morning’s walk should be sent to the laundry,
but it should be hung where it can dry, then put where the fresh air
will go through its meshes. This being thoroughly done it may be used
during the next form of exercise. But if it has been soaked with
perspiration, then it should be thoroughly washed and dried in the air.

Carelessness in these matters is often the cause of skin diseases;
especially of that distressing affection, eczema.

Woolen undergarments are a prolific source of mischief in most of these
cases. In fact, as I have suggested to you, woolen underwear is not
the thing for a girl or young woman to wear if she wishes a clear and
attractive complexion.

Even in cold weather you can wear silk, muslin, or linen undergarments
next the skin. Be certain to have them white, or at least undyed, and
have no colored ribbons where they can come in contact with the skin.
Outside of these garments you may wear woolen articles required for
warmth. Another little matter of importance to the growing girl――fur,
velvet or cloth collars of garments worn tightly about the neck, the
lining of gloves, dyed stockings and even the lining of your hats,
sometimes will start a skin trouble which will be difficult to cure.

Your sleeping garments should be as loose as possible――especially
around the neck. They should be such that you can turn IN them and not
have them stick to your body when turning.

Turning while in bed is one of Nature’s ways of giving all the skin
covering your body a chance to get air and allow of the evaporation of
that “insensible perspiration.” Now, if a certain part of your body
has gotten rid of its inside poison――the region over the liver, for
example――and in turning over to give that portion access to air, your
garment simply sticks and goes with it, don’t you see that you are
sleeping with a soggy bit of clothing pasted right over the region
which needs fresh air and a chance to evaporate its perspiration?

During warm weather you will find bran baths not only very soothing,
but giving to the skin a very smooth and pleasing appearance. About
four pounds of bran to a bathtub of water is what you need.

There is an annoying skin affection, though not a disease, which may
embarrass the most careful girl. It is a summer occurrence and I dare
say that most of you know something about it. I refer to “prickly
heat,” a most annoying thing to the girl who wishes to enjoy her summer
outing and has to keep away from the bathing beach and the pleasures of
all her friends. This trouble may come out suddenly all over the body,
sometimes it is confined to certain large areas, more often to the arms
and shoulders. It is accompanied by excessive sweating and intolerable
itching, prickling and tingling.

You all can avoid this distressing condition. Light clothes, linen
undergarments of the flimsiest material, the use of plenty of water
taken inwardly, the avoidance of hot rooms, no exercise, such as
dancing or tennis, are the things to remember.

Do not put anything on the skin such as powder, ointment or ammonia.
Bathe in cool water; put into your bath a handful of bicarbonate of
soda. Take every morning a full glass of some saline water or a glass
of water in which you have dissolved a lithia tablet. Eat plenty
of green vegetables and fresh fruit, but avoid spiced food. Rice,
chicken, mutton, will not harm you, but pork, ham and underdone beef
at this time should be let alone. At night you should sponge your body
with vinegar and water.

Whatever affects the skin affects also the hair and nails, for those
are only extensions of the skin. I have told you about the hair in a
former chat which leaves little more to say; for after you understand
the secret of beauty――good health――common-sense will dictate to you
what to do. However, here are a few more things about the care of the

In trying to get rid of some of the dirt which the hair will collect,
don’t use a fine tooth comb. This cannot, without difficulty and
injury, be made to take hold of the dirt, because when it does, it will
pull so severely as to pull out or break the hairs. This is especially
true of the thick hair of the brunette. Use a comb having large smooth
teeth. Your brush should have bristles moderately stiff and the tufts
of these bristles should be well set apart. Never use a brush whose
bristles are short and closely set. Pearline is a good washing material
in which to soak your combs and brushes. In drying the brush be certain
to place it in the sun, bristles down, so that the water drains off,
instead of soaking into the back of the brush. If this latter condition
is allowed, the moist roots of the bristles will take up all the dirt
and germs floating around and they will then be transferred to your

The number of times the hair should be washed depends entirely upon the
amount of dirt or dust it has accumulated. But the rule is, as I have
mentioned, that washing the hair should be done only when there is an
accumulation of dust, for the more it is let alone the better hair you
will have. In washing the hair you remove the protective oil and this
leaves the hair dry and brittle. All applications of oil or vaseline to
the hair are injurious; man cannot make the artificial take the place
of the natural. If you must use any oil, then use pure olive oil.

Never attempt to remove superfluous hair from the face or neck. If you
do attempt it yourself, unsightly pimples will follow, perhaps ugly
sores and in the end the roots will be left to send out larger and
darker hairs. If troubled with superfluous hairs, go to a reputable
physician. He can, by a method of using an electric needle, rid you of
your trouble. Never go to an advertising man or woman for this trouble
or any other.

Never try to beat Nature――you cannot do it. Help her and she will do
the best thing for you. I make this remark because I know many girls
who have straight hair want to have curly hair and try all kinds of
methods to get curls.

Curly hair is due to the angle it is placed in the skin of the scalp.
Straight hair simply means that the hair grows straight up from the
scalp. You can now see that it is impossible to get a natural curly
hair from straight roots. If you persist in this useless process, you
are bound to disturb the roots and ultimately find that your hair is
dropping out.

Then there is another fact to remember. The face and skin develop along
their own lines and in harmony with each other. A face and complexion
made for straight hair will always look somewhat out of proportion
surrounded by artificially curled hair. This gives the head and face
that “frowsy” look so often seen in the most carefully dressed girl.
Such a girl thinks she has beaten Nature. But it is the other way about.

Don’t use a HAIR nailbrush. In doing so you are liable to tear the
tender skin at the base of the nails and open opportunities for germs.
A rubber nail brush is the very best to use. Such a brush is generally
called a flesh brush. It is a rubber plate with many cylindrical
projections rising from one of its flat surfaces. These little rubber
projections do better work than the bristles of a hairbrush and get in
under the nail better and do much less damage. The flesh brush, beside
cleaning the nails well, and with little damage to the surrounding
skin, is itself easily washed and sterilized.

The finger nails ought to be trimmed so that they may fulfill their
function of supporting and protecting the pulp of the fingers. They
therefore ought to be cut in a line corresponding to, but slightly
behind, the round of the finger tip. They should not be cut too close
at the corners. The manicure method of cutting the nails close at the
corners and trimming them too close, is injurious and dangerous. The
finger nails can pick up more poisonous germs than any other portion
of the body, and unless they are protected by their tough surroundings
they will carry into the body deadly microbes. Never use a knife or
nail scissors in pushing back the skin lying at the base of the nails.
Gently work it back by the tip of your fingers or thumb.



Don’t think because you hear so much about the dangerous germs to be
found everywhere, that you are certain to catch some horrible disease.
True, there is great danger in ignorantly living around these germs,
but the danger is mostly in ignorance and not in the fact that the
disease microbes are always with us.

The old idea that such germs as those of scarlet fever, typhoid,
smallpox, etc., could be carried from the ill to the well on clothing,
books, toys and other similar articles is not strictly true. Equally
true is it that these kinds of germs do not stay long upon walls of
rooms, floors or ceilings. They will stay and breed diseases in such
places if they are allowed to thrive under moist and dark conditions.

Sunlight and fresh air are deadly enemies to all germs except those
of venereal origin. If a smallpox patient has been confined to a room
and after being taken away the room is fumigated and then closed, the
chances are that the smallpox germs――some of them――will remain and
increase. Hence, to again occupy this room would be dangerous. But if,
instead of fumigating the room, if all the windows were open; if every
corner and floor could receive the rays of the sun for many days; the
last germ in the room would have to give up the ghost.

Don’t think that fumigating and washing clothes or other articles which
have come in contact with a diseased person make for absolute safety.
But do remember that SUNLIGHT and fresh air are deadly enemies to most
disease germs.

There are certain diseases which are carried around by persons in whom
you would never suspect danger. Typhoid germs, for example, may be
carried around in the intestines of a person who is in apparent health.
Now everywhere this person lives, or uses the toilet, the germs are
deposited, and if they happen to get into the drinking water――wells or
streams――or are carried by the flies’ legs to the food or milk, you run
great risks of getting typhoid fever.

Those germs of two horrible diseases which are to be found upon public
toilet articles, public drinking cups, upon the leaves of common
books――in fact everywhere man or woman is to be found, are _not_ killed
by sunlight or fresh air. This subject should be thoroughly understood
by every young woman, but it is of too great importance to be dealt
with here in a few paragraphs.

The breath of a consumptive patient will not carry directly the germs
of consumption to another person. Oh, I know that is what many of you
have been taught, but we are dealing with the facts as they are known
up to this very year of 1911. It has long been the general idea that
disease germs were carried from one person or thing to another person
or thing. Now this is not strictly true. All germs increase and thrive
in moist and dark conditions. The throat of a consumptive patient is
one of these conditions. The germs are sent out into the air of the
room in surrounding moisture. They land somewhere; on the tablecloth,
in the carpet, or hide in a dark corner. In these places they dry and
become dust――germ-laden dust. Now stir up this dust and then you have
the germs free to rush into the healthy lungs around them, and then a
person runs great risk of contracting consumption.

Don’t stir up a room by dusting if that room has been occupied by a
diseased person. Don’t wash the walls or floor of such a room and then
close it, unless you want to go into the business of breeding germs.

Knock out the windows of such a room――open it up for the sun’s rays to
penetrate and kill off the enemy. Take all carpets out and put them
where nothing but DRY air and sunshine can get at them. Do the same
thing with every movable object in the room.

Don’t do anything but just this with rooms where scarlet fever,
diphtheria, measles, whooping cough and other contagious diseases have
been running their courses.

I spoke to you about the hands being the greatest carriers of
infection. They even carry around the germs of typhoid fever. They have
been found on the cleanliest person’s hands after using public toilets.
On the fingers, especially.

You are safer in kissing a person who has consumption, than you are
in wetting your finger to turn over the pages of a book that has been
thumbed by scores of other persons. A person may have the cleanest
habits possible yet be a menace to others as well as to herself.

I watched the other day a pair of young schoolgirls trying on each
other’s gloves. Up to the lips would go a finger or two, then these
moist fingers would clasp the glove fingers and in this way work
the glove onto the hand. You all know the process better than I can
describe it to you. Now supposing that the girl who owned the glove
had rang the bell or turned the knob at the residence of a friend who
was ill with, say, consumption, to inquire how the friend was. Don’t
you see that it was more than probable that nurse, maid or mother had
conveyed moist germs of the disease to the knob or bell push, that the
germs dried but had not been long enough in the sun to be killed, and
this girl’s glove picked these germs up and then you transferred them
to your lips? Dried germs which only wanted the moisture of your lips
to become virulently active.

Don’t wet your fingers in trying on gloves――new or old.

Don’t hang on to car straps with ungloved hands. The same don’t applies
to water closet chains, handles and many other germ holders you will
call to your mind.

In studying the peculiar habits of girls I watched a group in the
“Ladies’ Hat Rooms” at a theater. They took off their hats after much
pulling of big daggers――beg pardon, I mean pins――out of hair and hats.
These dag――pins, were all promiscuously laid upon a dressing table
covered with germ-laden dust, only to be taken up again and held in
the mouth. The same process was gone through with when they again put
on their hats. Pin after pin was taken from the germ cloth and put in
their mouths while they adjusted the angle of their hats.

“Say, Mame, lend me a pin, will you? I’ve lost one.” So out of Mame’s
mouth came a pin, which was immediately put between the lips of the
borrowing girl.

Nasty? Of course. Dangerous? Frightfully so.

Don’t put pencils, pins, string and other articles of the kind in your
mouths. Why does a girl think her mouth is a receptacle for every
little thing she wants to use temporarily?

I have seen girls and women step up to a box office and as soon as the
ticket seller had shoved, with his bare hands, a ticket or two through
the window, immediately grab up those dangerous pieces of pasteboard
and place them between their lips and hold them there until they passed
down the line and into the theater.

And probably, shortly after, this same girl or woman will wonder why
she has pimples, blotches or sore lips. Then she goes to the druggist
for a “face balm” which temporarily hides the real trouble. Finally she
has to go to the doctor, who finds it is too late to repair all the
damage done through ignorance, foolishness and the drug.

Don’t use arsenic in any form for your complexion or to give your face
a plump appearance. Some of you will tell me of a girl you know who has
a nice plump face from the use of arsenic wafers. “She used ‘to be a
fright’; skinny in the face and deep lines.” Certainly, and now she
looks to be in good health.

But she is not; she is in a dangerous state, and if she keeps up the
arsenic poisoning she will discover this fact.

In the girl, arsenic will produce a certain amount of fat――unnatural of
course――in hollows or pits which full growth will attend to if the girl
will have patience. Poisoning herself with arsenic makes fat in the
undeveloped tissues of the face. This gives her a plump appearance. So
will plenty of whisky, and in about the same manner. But if the fatness
was confined only to the cheeks the harm would not be so great, but
like whisky again, it puts fat around delicate internal tissues. A girl
who has plump cheeks from the use of arsenic has also a “plumpness”
around her kidneys, fat over her growing ovaries and inmeshing the tiny
cells of the liver. Fatty degeneration of these organs takes place for
which there is no remedy.

All headache medicines, such as antipyrine, are not only dangerous, but
will ruin a complexion; bring out pimples as certain as the sun shines.
The habitual taking of any kind of bromide, bromo seltzer, bromo
quinine, and all the other kinds of advertised “sedatives,” will cause
a peculiar rash not only upon the face, but upon the body. I frequently
see girls in shops, stores and even in the high schools, whose faces
tell the story of some kind of drug-store “treatment.”

Lately there has come to the surface another kind of patent medicine
fake which is apt to fool the most open-eyed. This is one you all know
of but not about. It is that kind of advertisement which has nothing to
sell. It purports to be the outpouring of some philanthropist’s heart
who wishes to do something for his suffering fellow man――or generally
woman. You see he has nothing to sell――don’t want your money, simply
spend thousands of dollars every week to tell you how to get rid of
“that uncomfortable feeling.” No matter what is the trouble――house
care, worry over your studies or “who sent me THAT valentine”――liver,
womb or rheumatism――it is all the same; just go to your druggist and
get these simple remedies and take as directed.

Then follows the prescription. At first glance, yes, at the second, you
or your mother read the simple home remedies such as tinct. rhubarb,
olive oil, simple syrup, extract of quassia, etc., and think that such
a recipe must be harmless and certainly good. The advertisement tells
you just to get your druggist to fill the recipe. Well, how can there
be anything wrong with such harmless and free advice? But you will see
inserted among all these harmless and simple and well known remedies,
some such direction as “two ounces of badum” or “tinct. of fulum,
original package.” Now you see the nigger in the woodpile. The whole
scheme is to get you to purchase the fake “badum.” This is distributed
among the druggists and when you go to pay the bill you find that the
simple prescription is an expensive one. The druggist tells you that
the “badum” is a very expensive ingredient. It probably costs the
fakers a few cents and is simply sugar of milk or some equally harmless
and legally allowed drug.

Don’t kiss anyone but your mother and father.

Don’t forget that flies are the most dangerous germ carriers we have,
and don’t buy or eat anything which has been exposed to flies and
street dust.

Don’t have any pity for the flies or insects――kill them.

Don’t be a giggling girl. The practice of giggling will certainly
develop those tiny skin muscles in a way to make your face show some
kind of distortion.

I remember a young girl who was brought to me for her constant habit
of giggling. It had grown into a habit and really looked like a case
of hysteria. But because I told her mother it was a form of hysteria
and should be treated as such, she became offended and took the girl
elsewhere. I saw the girl, or rather woman, when she was twenty-four
years of age, and recognized her by the peculiar conformation of her
face. It was the face of a girl giggler. Her facial muscles had become
so developed by her uncontrolled girlish habit that nothing could be
done for her. I felt sorry for the young woman, for she had grown to be
a very charming and estimable one, who was constantly embarrassed by an
expression of contempt.

Good laughter, a hilariousness which has for its cause a real sense
of humor, is beneficial to everyone. Such expression of humor gives
motility to the face and develops a pleasing appearance.

Don’t swagger around in public nor attempt to thrust yourself forward.
A modest girl will not let herself become prominent in public places.
Dressing, acting or talking in any way to attract undue attention will
soon ruin a girl’s reputation.

Now a little about corsets and a good, supple and attractive figure.
I have no objections to corsets as corsets, but every physician knows
only too well that a growing girl is injured beyond repair if she, at
the developing stage of her life, compresses in any manner the internal
organs. Really, this is about all there is to this corset question.
If a woman has reached full development with lungs, ovaries, kidneys,
all the pelvic organs, having had full play and room for their growth,
the proper wearing of corsets will not do her harm; nay, they will do
more, they will be a source of comfort to her. Moreover, such a woman
will not lace too tightly because always having had full play of her
lungs and other internal organs, she will be distressed if they are too
tightly confined――their own needs and development send her warning when
she has gone too far.

But it is sadly different with the young girl who has from fourteen
years or even from sixteen years of age, worn corsets made for the
full-grown woman. Every inch of a girl’s waist, all the region of the
pelvis and the upper portion of her body, should be absolutely free
from any pressure. Just take a little growing twig and tie a string
around it. Next year you will see a deep constriction. The following
years you will notice that the twig does not grow well, that the sap
cannot run freely up, that when it does blossom, the blossoms are
poorly nourished and lack the luster of its unconstricted companions.

Dress so that there is no pressure upon the pelvis or around the
lungs. Try, when you have on one of these modern coats of armor now
made for the fat or thin woman, the deep breathing exercises I have
recommended. You cannot go through with the exercise.

Oh, but you say, we take off those corsets when we take the exercises.
Certainly, but when you gird yourself up again and squeeze, punch and
groan while getting into one of those “can’t sit down” things, you are
undoing all the good the exercises have done.

Let your clothes hang from the shoulders. Shoulders were made to carry
weights, the waist and the pelvis to carry and protect the greatest
force in nature――the power of motherhood.

If you knew that when you grew to full development you would have to be
a carrier of wood or water upon your shoulders, that this would have to
be your career, would you go to work and place some constriction or in
some way injure the growth of your shoulders――do something which would
prevent you from doing what you were born to do?

Of course not. Well then, take the best care of your pelvis and their
contents. Give them exercise, shape, health, beauty, by letting
them grow unrestricted. You may not know it; but the condition of a
woman’s pelvis tells in her face. Broad hips mean happy and painless
motherhood. Early constriction of the lungs and internal organs means a
miserable existence for a woman, married or single.

Early constriction of the body means lack of bust development. This
means that your little baby, so hungry for its mother’s milk, will have
to be artificially fed.

Don’t think that there is any other way of a complete bust development
than freedom of bodily action while growing. Those advertised things
are more than useless; they are positively injurious. You can never
have the ability to nurse your child if you fall into the hands of
these criminal advertisers of “bust developers.”

I have now outlined in a cursory manner the main facts in modern
physiology, which, if you allow to sink into your memory, will make
for a life of perfect health. Don’t think that life is all pleasure or
all misery. It is a happy combination. Happy because all our burdens
are for a purpose, and when these purposes are well understood, the
burdens cease to be real burdens, but tasks whose outcomes are seen to
be pleasure.

The real reasons for so much misery among girls and women is unhealth,
rather than ill health. Unhealth is avoidable; so is much ill health.
You all know how and why.

I have said little to you about morals because when a girl is in
perfect health she is moral. By this I mean, perfect mental health, as
well as purely physical.

Let me explain. A girl has good physical health, she is also in
good mental health, hence she is morally healthy. She has had good
home instruction――but not as thorough as is now needed――and has no
uncontrollable evil thoughts. Some of her companions tease her upon her
moral nicety. One day, with a party, she is persuaded to take a glass
of beer or champagne. She takes another. Well; she loses her chastity.
Bad girl, immoral girl? Not a bit of it. She fell because she was
not MENTALLY in good health. What injured her mentally? The beer and
champagne. They will do it every time.

Don’t touch them!

Don’t think that you know more than your mother about what is best for
you. You don’t.

_Sex Knowledge_

judiciously imparted is the greatest insurance toward the development
of sterling manhood and womanhood. It is the duty of every man and
woman to be informed upon the subject of sex and the care of the body.
It is a subject vitally important to every individual.

Dr. Howard presents facts as they are, and speaks from a knowledge
gained through years of study and experience in the great hospitals of
the world. He shuns no details and presents a clear cut analysis of the
wages of sin and ignorance.


    _Plain Facts on Sex Hygiene_
    _Confidential Chats with Boys_
    _Confidential Chats with Girls_
    _:: Facts for the Married ::_

Price $1.00 Each, Descriptive Leaflets Free


    The author says, “I want to make clear to the world through
    these books that right sex living is of as much, if not more,
    importance, than right physical living; that sex laws must be
    as well known and observed as those of eating, sleeping, and
    the general rules for bodily health.”

EDWARD J. CLODE, 156 Fifth Avenue, New York

       *       *       *       *       *

    Transcriber’s Notes:

    ――Text in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).

    ――Punctuation and spelling inaccuracies were silently corrected.

    ――Archaic and variable spelling has been preserved.

    ――Variations in hyphenation and compound words have been preserved.

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