Beautiful mouth or lovely eyes? (1913)

Beautiful mouth or lovely eyes? (1913)

Beautiful mouth or eyes?

Which Billie Burke do you like best?

by Billie Burke

“Which makes the ‘most beautiful woman,'” asks a correspondent, “beautiful eyes or a beautiful mouth?” And then she adds: “Somewhere I seem to have read that you think a beautiful mouth is most to be desired.”

I don’t remember that I have ever been as emphatic that in the matter, but I do not remember, ever seeing a woman with a beautiful mouth who was not beautiful, and I have seen women who had beautiful eyes who were only commonplace.

One can hardly tell just what makes, us call one woman beautiful and another not. Some of the women who are famed for their beauty have not regular features or even a beautiful complexion. The adage that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is certainly true.

The eyes and the mouth give the expression the face, and it is just this expression which makes or unmakes beauty. Both the mouth and the eyes depend more on their shape than their color, although “coral lips” have been one of the charms which the poets have raved over, and “eyes of heavens own blue,” etc., etc., are to be found in almost every novel one reads.

I have seen beautiful eyes of every color. Black, brown, blue and gray, but the most fascinating eyes I ever saw were blue-gray, flecked with spots of golden brown.

The golden spots seemed to be just swimming about in a blue gray pool. The girl, however, was far from a beauty, as her mouth, and teeth were impossible.

A friend of mine who had the typical Irish gray eyes put in with a “smutty finger” and a wide, smiling mouth was about when I was talking of this theory one day and said, “Nevertheless, Billie, I’d rather have a beautiful pair of eyes than a beautiful mouth.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Well,” she said, “suppose you were sitting down with someone you wished to charm, you could keep a fan or a handkerchief up to your mouth — and if your voice was sweet and your eyes looked bright he would never notice your imperfection.

“But, if your mouth was a Cupid’s bow and your eyes were ‘crossed,’ how would you ever cover them up while your sweetheart sat beside you listening to what you had to say?”

She was right about that, and the beautiful Empress Josephine invented the lace handkerchief, which she kept at her lips most of the time when she talked, as her teeth were bad. If her eyes had been “crossed,” the history of France might have been written very differently.

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