Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Cinderella: From Bobby Soxers to Chavs

In 1944, the late cartoonist, Martha Arguello (aka Marty Links) created the comic strip and cartoon character Bobby Sox, (and later Emmy Lou). She launched a comic strip Bobby Sox about a teenager named Mimi who was described as a"precocious sub-deb with a flair for trouble." The name of the feature invoked “teenager” like no other: adolescent girls at the time made a fashion of wearing calf-length stockings, rolled down to a bulging bundle at the ankle, and when they showed up in legions to scream their adoration of singer Frank Sinatra, their uniform footwear attracted the attention of reporters, who called them “bobby soxers”

Bobby Sox came to epitomise the life and times of teenage girls capturing perfectly the angst and confusion of girl talk of the late 50s and early 60s.

Illustrator Charles Dana Gibson (1867-1944) had done the same with Gibson Girl a half a century before.

When 50s teenage fashions changed and bobby sox (ankle length sox worn with clunky shoes) became passé, Bobby Sox the character metamorphosed into Emmy Lou. In 1960 there was a television series based on Emmy Lou Harper with the theme "Emmy Lou," sung by Frankie Avalon.

The cartoon characters Emmy Lou and her boyfriend Alvin continued to prosper, until 1979, when the artist felt the life of teenage girls had become too promiscuous to lampoon anymore.

Not sure what Martha would have made of today’s bling wearing Chavs and Ladettes. The young ASBOs believe one of their more appealing attributes are their feet according to a survey conducted by a London shoe boutique. The boutique even launched a campaign to find the new Cinderella. in order to identify the girl with the most gorgeous legs, stunning toes and beautiful feet.

Another survey commissioned by Papierdoll Fashion Magazine, revealed 82% (per cent) of women poled reported foot pain and a further 72% per cent suffered foot conditions, like ingrown toenails, fungal infections, calluses, bunions, corns, fallen arches and nerve injuries from wearing high heels. Whilst it would seem perfectly sound to implicate shoes (aka heels) there is absolutely no independent evidence to support a direct cause and effect relationship. Shoes and more precisely inadequate shoe fit may exacerbate common foot maladies but it is rarely the primary cause. Of course people prone to suffer painful feet would be better advised to avoid heeled shoes, especially when feet are difficult to fit into shies and and or the style of shoes is inappropriate for the conditions of wear.

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