Antoine Le Camus wrote Abdeker: or the Art of Preserving Beauty in 1754. It is half “oriental tale” and half recipe book filled with cosmetic recipes. In the book Camus claims that “the face is the chief Seat of Beauty.” But Camus also asserts “beauty is that Form of an entire body, which pleases every one our senses.” Based on his beliefs, he also devised a model of the perfect woman and here are his deductions.
- “The Form of an entire Body, that can be consider’d as beautiful, ought to please our Eyes by its Extent.” This meant a person was not be too fat or too thin or too big or too little.
- “The Colour of the Parts is one of the Articles that Nature should observe in the Composition of a handsome Body.” Skin was to be fair in color because brown, yellowish, or freckled skin was said to be “accounted ugly.”
- “The Number of Parts that compose an entire body is so determined, that it neither can increase nor diminish without a remarkable Deformity.” A woman could not have one eye or two noses and be considered beautiful. Nor was she to suffer from any other imperfection, such as a wart, pimple, or pox mark.
- “Beauty consists in the Disposition of the Parts.” Irregular teeth, uncombed hair, or a sloven appearance were all things that affected a woman as a whole and would so they should be considered ugly.
- “There ought to be an exact Proportion between all the Parts.” This meant a small head on a large body was undesirable, just as a large nose on a small face was considered ugly.
- “The perfect Texture of the Parts is absolutely necessary towards the Formation of Beauty.” Rough scaly skin, pimples, or other such imperfections, displeased the eye and prevented the “formation of beauty.”
- “Our Sense of Smelling out to be satisfied in the Enjoyment of those Thing we account to be beautiful.” Essentially, this meant no bad breath or bad odors were to emanate from a woman’s body.
- “A pleasing harmonious Voice is necessary.” No woman was considered beautiful if her voice was squeaky or high-pitched or if she was rude and uncouth.