"Ladies pinch, whores use rouge."

Was that “Simpsons” joke completely made up or do some women actually pinch their cheeks hard to make them blush?

I didn’t see the joke, but if you read enough stories and novels placed many decades to a few centuries ago, you will see that pinching the cheeks was the accepted method of getting some color in the cheeks. I have no idea how long this persisted into the 20th century, however. Yes, not too long ago, I believe makeup was considered the hallmark of a prostitute.

All I have to add: Remember in “Gone With the Wind” when Scarlett pinches her cheeks when Brett shows up unannounced?

Yes, it’s definitely old (encountered often in older novels or historical accounts pre-dating, say, the 40’s). Women could not only pinch their cheeks to bring color to them, but also rake their teeth over their lips to make the lips darker and a little fuller. My mom was born in 1931, and by the time she was a teenager, lipstick and rouge were acceptable, but eye makeup was only for actresses and sluts. In fact, as a child, there was a woman in my mother’s neighborhood who not only wore eye makeup, but also (gasp) dyed her hair red! My mother was not even allowed to speak to her!

Of course, this is all cultural. There is much evidence of socially upstanding women using crushed beetle shells for eye color, kohl for eyeliner and crushed berries or henna leaves for lip and cheek color, for many centuries prior to the puritanical movement in much of Europe.

Yep, I remember someone in a Lucy Maud Montgomery novel (can’t remember if it was Anne or Emily) got in trouble from her strict aunt for “making herself cheap” by wetting a fake red rose to rouge her cheeks because pinching them didn’t make 'em red enough to impress the boy she wanted to impress. If memory serves. It’s been a while !

Yup, that was in Emily of New Moon – and it was for a birthday party Emily was going to, following her being teased mercilessly for her black dresses. She wanted to look pretty.

When my mother went to visit Grandma Bodoni for the first time, my father cautioned her not to use ANY makeup at all, not even her customary eyebrow pencil. My mother has very thin, light eyebrows and so she will usually at least put on eyebrow pencil. However, Grandma Bodoni, being from the Old Country, did Not Approve of females who used any sort of cosmetics. It meant that they were Loose Women, and certainly Unsuitable for her baby boy.

My parents were married at the time, by the way, and had either already had me or already started me.

In “Meet Me In St Louis” Judy Garland is shown pinching her cheeks to redden them before a party. The movie is set in the first decade of the 20th Century.

In the book “Cheaper By The Dozen,” which recounts a family’s life in the 1910s and 20s, the father forbids his daughters from wearing rouge, lipstick, perfume, etc. but likes it on their friends.

Just another couple of cultural referents.

From the 1919 song “The Vamp”—

She wears high-heeled shoes and fancy hose
(She’s a vamp! She’s a vamp!)
Paints her face and powders up her nose
(She’s a vamp! She’s a vamp!)

If memory serves, in Renaissance times, women would drop bella donna into their eyes to make their pupils dilate, which was considered beautiful. Bella Donna is another name for Deadly Nightshade.

Makes a little rouge seem less whorish, in my opinion.

I can’t help it…I’m a southern girl…

It’s Rhett! said with her best Scarlett O’Hara accent


Whores pinch, too. But they charge extra unless you negotiate it in the deal up front, so to speak.

I hear the Cubs are relocating to the Philippines and renaming themselves the “Manilla Folders”.

No, I’m pretty sure it was Brett Rutler.
(I was pretty hung over at 9:45 this morning :smack: )

It wasn’t Brett or Rhett. Scarlett pinches her cheeks at Twelve Oaks before she sneaks downstairs to find *Ashley. *

Since when are you a vamp maiven?

Who died and made you the authority on vamping? :wink:

When I was a kid I had a friend in the local children’s choir. They were not allowed to wear makeup for performances, so they would pinch each other’s cheeks before going onstage. Kids being kids, this sometimes led to violence. They probably would have been better off letting them use rouge.

Old fashioned women use blood.

Preferably Human blood.

Yes, she does that at Twelve Oaks, but I do believe she also bites her lips and pinches her cheeks before going to visit Rhett in prison.