Fashion & Beauty Superstitions

In honor of the impending doom and imminent danger that will befall us all before this Friday the 13th is over, here are some age-old fashion & beauty superstitions along with their originations.

Break a mirror and receive seven years of bad luck.  This stems from the thought that your reflection in the mirror is actually a reflection of your soul, and that breaking the mirror results in a damaged soul.  I like to compare this to Voldemort’s horcruxes.  Don’t you judge me.  The 7 year stretch comes from the ancient Romans’ belief that life itself was renewed every 7 years and could only be healed by time and time alone.  Antidote, please?

Vintage Girl with Mirror

Jean Angelou : Girl with Mirror 1919 (vintage-spirit.blogspot.com)

White shoes after Labor Day?  Now that’s just bad taste.   This one sparks quite the debate!  The most logical explanation that I have seen is that since the rise of the middle class in American cities, it has been thought that only those well-to-do enough to have a summer home/respite wore white during the hotter months.  While the middle class workers trudged tirelessly through the dark and dirty cities from Labor Day on through Memorial Day, those in gauzy dresses and linen pantsuits dictated proper fashion decorum, lest the workers exhibit poor taste with dirty shoes.  The fashion elitists were dead serious about this back in the day, too.  These days, it’s just quirky to wear white shoes (Who’s that girl? It’s Jess!).

Vintage White Shoes

1930's white t-straps (pickled vintage on etsy)

Cleopatra’s forever stone: land a man with a diamond.  This one you may not have heard of; it was thought way back in our favorite ancient Egyptian pharaoh’s time that the sparkle of a diamond ignited the undying burning fire of love.  She gave one to Marc Antony in hopes that their love would never smolder and reduce to ash.  Seemingly, it didn’t quite work out the way she planned since Marc Antony, upon learning that Cleopatra had betrayed him and feigned her own death, promptly fell onto his own sword.  This of course sparked our girl Cleo to poison herself with a cobra bite.  So, I suppose if you’re into the whole star-crossed-lovers thing, start handing out those diamonds!

Cleopatra and Marc Antony

Cleopatra and Marc Antony (imbd.com)

Bathe in virgin blood and be young and beautiful forever.  Oh, what to say about Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed…she was our beloved Blood Countess, ‘the most prolific female serial killer of all time’.  It is thought that she tortured and drained close to 650 young girls in hopes that their pure blood would restore her own youth, aging skin revitalized by innocence.  After the trial, she was locked away in the castle of her wrong-doings, a punishment fit for vampire royalty. If Csejte Castle isn’t haunted, I don’t know what is.

Elizabeth Bathory Bathe in Blood

(randy.whynacht.ca)

For more superstitions and folklore, check out the Encyclopaedia of Superstitions, Folklore, and the Occult Sciences of the World by Cora Linn Daniels and C. M. Stevans available on Google Books (yeah, free knowledge!).

Bisous and bon chance on this Friday the 13th!

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