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It’s going to be a family decision, but it’s not one we have the discomfort of making right now because we’re not being offered options.
“It wasn’t long before Ryan admitted to Ali that he was falling in love with her.

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“This was an asset whether you were selling handkerchiefs or selling yourself.” Elinor Glyn, writing for Cosmopolitan in 1926, referred to personality simply as “It,” which was, according to Weigel, “a mysterious kind of animal magnetism.” “With ‘It,’ ” Glyn wrote, “you win all men if you are a woman — and all women if you are a man.” Glyn’s article was adapted for a movie starring Clara Bow as “a shopgirl who has ‘it,’ ” and the concept of the It Girl was born.

Weigel tells of a 1915 New York Times article on a lecture by author Susanna Cocroft, who seized on the trend by writing books like “What to Eat and When,” and this now-remarkable title, “Beauty a Duty.” “‘Beauty is no longer vanity; it is use,” Cocroft said.

‘I’m going to be an executive secretary and marry the boss.’ ” The other alternative was for women to take jobs in high-class department stores where rich men were likely to shop.

These women became known as “Shopgirls.” Donovan spent two summers working at a department store to research a book, and later reported she knew of “several marriages and heard of a great many more where the husband was far above the wife as measured by the economic scale.” Magazines began running articles such as, “How Shopgirls win Rich Husbands.” An in-house newsletter for Macy’s employees in New York even included a gossip column that tracked these courtships. ” In order to attract rich men, these Shopgirls were caught by the irony of needing to buy the expensive items they sold.

“A waitress or a shopgirl could be fired at any time simply because someone her boss found prettier showed up and asked for her position.” As dating rituals changed, moral authorities panicked at every turn.

After “petting” came into vogue in the 1920s, for example, Weigel cites a Times article from 1922 with the title, “Mothers Complain That Modern Girls ‘Vamp’ Their Sons at Petting Parties.” Those evil, evil modern girls.