Is the working girl to be barred from the Venus contest now in progress, and which has already reached from Buffalo to London?
“I trust not,” declares Miss Dorothy I Smith, who earns her living in one of the big office buildings near New York’s City Hall by operating a typewriter, and who measures up pretty well to the Venus specifications, as witness these figures:
She is pretty, too, albeit, her face is more of the Clytie than of the Venus type. She has big brown eyes under arching brows, a mouth that smiles often and delightfully, and a piquant nose.
Couldn’t office girls be a Venus?
“Why shouldn’t business girls be represented in this Venus competition?” she laughingly said. “Of course, I am sure the original Venus was not a stenographer, because she has no hands. But I believe that the 1913 ideal girl may be both useful and ornamental.
“A college girl has been compared to Venus, but such a girl undoubtedly owes her good form, at least in a measure, to athletics and gymnasium work. The London Venus is frankly a model, a girl who uses her figure to earn a living.
“But I believe that any girl who works for a living knows how to take care of herself and has a halfway decent figure to start with can stand competition in the Venus class. That is, she need not be professionally expert in the development of her figure.
“How to do it?
“Sleep eight hours and don’t go out oftener than two evenings a week. Walk all you can and indulge in any moderate athletic activities which you enjoy. Don’t buy candy or let anybody buy it for you. When you sit down, always select a stiff-backed chair, and when you stand, divide your weight evenly between both feet. Never wear clothes that are not comfortable.
“I think that ever so many business girls and women, too, make the mistake of not taking enough air,” explained Miss Smith. “They are in an office all day, and when they go home they just sit still in the house. Perhaps they don’t even go out on Sunday, or if they do manage to take a walk that day, it is a slow stroll of a few blocks.
“Personally, I make a practice of never taking a streetcar or the subway when I can possibly walk. Every day I go out to luncheon I take as long a walk as my time allows before returning to the office.”
“Do you go in for any special calisthenics daily?” I asked.
“I don’t find it necessary,” responded the stenographic Venus. “Just walking about a good bit and sitting and standing properly are the ‘motions’ I advise.
“Ever so many girls stand with the weight more on one foot than on the other. That is found to throw first the hips and then the whole body out of shape.
“Also I have found that sitting erect in a straight-backed chair with the spine perpendicular and the shoulders well back tends to lengthen the waist and decrease the size of the hips. A long waist is essential to grace and small hips are absolutely necessary for the fashions of the day.”
“What do you eat?” I inquired.
“About what I want,” she smiled. “I breakfast on coffee or a cup of cocoa and have one or two substantial dishes for both luncheon and dinner. I rarely eat candy and go slow on sweets of every description, and never lunch between meals. Otherwise, I eat anything I choose.”