The High Forehead Theory

My forehead circa 2008
Once I get my act together and get an updated
picture taken, I'll include the rest of my face!
I got to thinking the other day about high foreheads – no, not my own, although it might qualify. The foreheads I’m referring to were those of an earlier era. I’ve heard it was quite fashionable to have a high forehead, even for women, and mothers would sometimes spread walnut oil along their daughter’s hairlines to keep the hair from growing.

Queen Elizabeth I
Source: Wikimedia Commons
I always thought of Queen Elizabeth I as the "queen of high
forehead" so to speak. I use to feel kind of sorry for her until
I realized she was following fashion.
However, I wonder if high foreheads became fashionable due to the cosmetics used back in the day. As most of you probably know, lead was a common ingredient in cosmetics. It helped to give a woman’s skin that milky white look that was so coveted.  Even mercury was sometimes used. Both of these ingredients can cause hair loss. (I assume, although I don’t know this for a fact, that the greatest hair loss would be at point of contact along the hairline.)

Those with the greatest access to cosmetics would be the wealthy. And, who sets the fashion? The wealthy, of course. So, in the end, I’m thinking the high-forehead fashion was simply a results of fashion following a naturally occurring phenomenon. Sound plausible?


P.S. I do find it amusing that no author I’ve ever read (including me) describes her heroine as having a high-forehead!

No comments:

Post a Comment