Regular readers will know that I am a big fan of the old problem page. I don’t know what it is about them that fascinates me so much. My favourite new hobby is sitting down with a cup of tea and reading the problems from the magazines I’ve bought. I love reading the ones concerned with uncertainty about manners and the right clothes to wear, to 50’s fears about seeming loose and whether you can safely wear make up without undermining your reputation, and sadly, one from the 70’s from someone who was worried they were lesbian and requesting advice about how to go about not being one. I think it must be the voyeuristic nature of the problem pages that appeals to me; you are reading the cold stone fears of people, what their greatest fears are in terms of what they might do or be doing wrong, or what they are willing with all their might to change.
I would love to follow these stories to the present – speak to the women that were so worried about their manners, their lipstick, their sexuality and see how their fears changed or disappeared or perhaps not, over the course of their lives.
As well as these problems below, I’ll blog a few more problems over the next few days.