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You've come a long way, baby...

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You've come a long way, baby...

Postby zilch » Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:39 am

...not only are you women allowed to smoke now (anyone else remember the Virgina Slims ads?), but you don't have to worry about bicycle face any more. Bicycles were seen in the 19th century as a tool of feminism, empowering women to move around as men did, and of course that was threatening to many. One response was the claim that bicycling would lead, especially for women, to the dreaded "bicycle face":

"Over-exertion, the upright position on the wheel, and the unconscious effort to maintain one's balance tend to produce a wearied and exhausted 'bicycle face,'" noted the Literary Digest in 1895. It went on to describe the condition: "usually flushed, but sometimes pale, often with lips more or less drawn, and the beginning of dark shadows under the eyes, and always with an expression of weariness." Elsewhere, others said the condition was "characterized by a hard, clenched jaw and bulging eyes."

Strangely enough, photos of female cyclists from the time don't seem to support this claim:

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