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The Fortune Hunter
Mingling historical fact with imaginative fiction, Goodwin writes with...
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What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

Created: 05/07/15

Replies: 20

Posted May. 07, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

By the time the novel opens, Sisi is in her 30s, and so worried that her beauty is fading that she refuses to sit for new portraits or to have her photograph taken. How do you regard her beauty rituals and her fears? Were you struck by the similarities between Sisi's routine and that of a modern celebrity: the exercise, the veal, etc.? Do you have any beauty rituals you swear by? Do you think physical beauty is more or less valued today and why do you feel that way?


Posted May. 17, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 392

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RE: What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

I think much of it was quite insane and especially the veal and the ridiculously long hair. Whole lot of insecurity going on there. I do believe that the whole celebrity women worship is a little out hand these days and some of these women are making such a big deal of their routines as mere attention getting tactics. There is a difference between exercise, diet and great grooming habits to look and feel good and slavish routines to stay looking much younger than your age.


Posted May. 18, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cynthiaa

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 77

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RE: What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

I thought the veal was funny. I can't imagine sleeping with raw meat on my face. I'm sure it did not make a difference.
As far as beauty rituals of today, I am not sure it is a ritual but PLASTIC SURGERY seems to be a big thing today. When someone gets a face life, they look younger in the face, but if you look at the rest of their body, age spots, thin skin, etc you know their age.
I guess the beauty ritual that I have not been able to give up is coloring my hair. I am in my 60's and still color my hair a dark brown, it's "natural" color. I just don't want to go gray.
Other than that, my philosophy is to GROW OLD GRACEFULLY. I am a grandma. I am happy to be a grandma and I am happy with my grandma body. But not my grandma hair. LOL


Posted May. 19, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lovebooks

Join Date: 12/05/12

Posts: 7

RE: What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

Yes, the raw veal and leather mask seemed a bit extreme- can't imagine doing that! I think that some of the celebrities rituals are designed to sell products for the company that sponsors them. Hard to separate the fact from fiction on a lot of that.

Love the philosophy of "Grow old Gracefully"!


Posted May. 19, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothyl

Join Date: 04/15/12

Posts: 80

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RE: What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

I do think we live in a youth oriented culture and there is more pressure on women than men to maintain their looks as long as possible. How many women are on a diet, going on a diet, or just went off a diet? Why are women suckers for the latest beauty creams and treatments? We are living longer and still want to look and feel as good as we can. But the danger is when everlasting youth becomes an addiction and our rituals become extreme


Posted May. 20, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jeannew

Join Date: 04/23/11

Posts: 82

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RE: What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

The veal seemed pretty bizarre but I remember the days when the big thing was mink placenta and that's not much different. It seems women have always wanted to look younger and today is no different. In Sisi's time though, her beauty was really all she had and all people cared about. Certainly it's the primary reason her husband chose her. To lose that would be a frightening thing.


Posted May. 20, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
judyg

Join Date: 04/20/11

Posts: 14

RE: What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

I don't think Sisi's rituals were any more extreme than some used today--just different. I have a family member and a close friend who both find their identity in their appearance and their beauty regimes are extensive. On the other hand I'm a person who chooses beauty products and routines for quick application and low maintenance. I've come to value natural beauty, aged or not, in it's most pure state. Sisi and my family member and friend are cursed with "the beauty affliction" and may miss other important aspects of life. That said, I challenge any others of us to claim we do not have some type of "affliction" that may blind us to other aspects of life as well!


Posted May. 20, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kathrynk

Join Date: 05/21/11

Posts: 40

RE: What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

I have to agree with Judy. Sisi's methods were very strange - there's no way they would fly in my own routine. On the other hand, our society really wants women thin, perfect hair, including eyelashes and bikini line! The torture of "waxing" is just too much for me! But,I do use skin and hair products that work for me, and to a certain extent for what ever it costs. And as I age I too, like Sisi, I sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder who is this old lady? You do make a good point Judy, our priorities get a little messed up. It's really sad that our young girls, for example,mlfeel so concerned about they look, dress etc that in the end their need to be perfect recks havoc in their lives as they grow up. Although deemed old fashioned, it's too bad we don't have more concern about our inner beauty, our personalities, intellect, compassion. etc. I think Charlotte had more of that focus then than the women around her.


Posted May. 21, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
aleksandrae

Join Date: 02/25/14

Posts: 40

RE: What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

Sisi's beauty rituals were very interesting and slightly bizarre. The application of fresh blood/animal meat seemed to be common practice back then for royalty. I remember reading about a countess who was known to have bathed in blood (House of Bathory). The obsession of physical beauty and maintenance of youth are nothing new. You see and read evidence of this daily in every single media outlet. Physical beauty has always been valued since we see ones physical appearance before we are able to get to know their internal, true self. But sometimes I feel that physical beauty can be obtained easily by simply caring enough to put your best foot forward with neat clothing, well kept hair & a put together appearance. A lot can be achieved by doing very little. I have been taking care of my skin since I was a kid. Simple face cream, removing makeup at night, eating right and getting enough sleep are all very easy to do and go a long, long. way.


Posted May. 21, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lindah

Join Date: 04/17/14

Posts: 90

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RE: What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

Had Sisi lived today, she would have embraced Botox, plastic surgery and had multiple personal trainers. The contrast between the short, plump wren that was the confident Queen Victoria and the Empress of the Austro-Hungarian Empire with an eating disorder was startling. The author's footnote stated Sisi had retained her 19" waist until death through a rigorous combination of fasting, diet and exercise. Despite four children, the taller than average (5'8") Elizabeth kept her weight at 50 kilos, 110 pounds throughout her adult life. She would have rivaled runway models today for her svelte, toned figure but at what cost? Her beauty was what caused Emperor Franz Joseph to reject her older sister who had been destined to be his wife. It's maintenance was something she could control. She was only 44 when killed by an assassin's blade and looked much younger. The beauty standard of ankle length hair seems rather extreme. The Empress kept her personal maids busy with her bizarre meat masks and beauty treatments but they don't seem any more extreme than some rituals attributed to moviedom's starlets. I do take care of my skin and have used the same favorite face cream for four decades, exercise and maintain an organic vegetable garden. Charlotte was more concerned with intellectual interests than outward beauty; a healthier balance, to me.


Posted May. 21, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 279

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RE: What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

Anyone remember all the press about Janet Jackson's coffee enemas? So, actually, I don't think things have changed much on that front at all.


Posted May. 23, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
normar

Join Date: 05/15/11

Posts: 19

RE: What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

Sisi's rituals seem very extreme. She is terrified of looking old.


Posted May. 23, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terrio

Join Date: 08/16/11

Posts: 60

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RE: What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

I'm with cynthiaa--grow old gracefully! I think Charlotte's acceptance of her somewhat plain looks shows a much healthier mental state than Sisi's outlandish beauty regimen. Outer beauty fades; inner beauty lasts. It's sad that so few people focus on inner beauty in our culture of celebrity worship. I don't envy those trying to raise mentally healthy daughters in this day and age.


Posted May. 24, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sarahb

Join Date: 04/11/11

Posts: 7

RE: What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

Sisi's regimin was crazy, but we see it all the time now in people. Now it's botox and plastic surgery rather than raw veal and leather mask, but there will always be the next thing that is supposed to keep time at bay, but Father Time is undefeated and I think the more gracefully we accept defeat the better we look. Happier, and more relaxed and better off completely.


Posted May. 25, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 184

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RE: What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

By our standards her beauty regimen seems ridiculous. But celebrities throughout history have done what it takes to stay in the limelight no matter the ritual. Someday plastic surgery, Botox, liposuction may all look ridiculous to someone else


Posted May. 25, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliep

Join Date: 04/07/12

Posts: 69

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RE: What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

I think that Bay was lucky that Charlotte took him back because, in the end, Sisi would have driven him crazy with her insecurities, her beauty regimen, her constant need for attention and adoration. Good thing Charlotte took him back because in the end, her character and intelligence would serve him much better and not drive him crazy like so many high maintenance women do.


Posted May. 27, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alissac

Join Date: 05/14/15

Posts: 34

RE: What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

I can't imagine being touted as the most beautiful woman in Europe...and then aging. How damaging! She clearly became so attached to her beauty as self that the routines she set up were pretty much essential to being alive. And for that matter, she barely tried to keep herself alive (lack of eating), but adamantly tried to maintain her physical beauty.


Posted May. 28, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
annar

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 49

RE: What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

I thought they were extreme. It was so sad how frightened she was of getting older.


Posted May. 28, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
julianna

Join Date: 10/10/13

Posts: 29

RE: What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

Sisi's beauty rituals seemed ridiculous to me but perhaps accepted in that era. Many of today's celebrities seem to have no limits in maintaining youth which can result in some odd looking results. May mother and her 7 sisters made sure I took care of my skin - particularly face and neck so I've been using the same product for decades. And like another member, I am not ready to give up efforts to cover gray hair. Physical beauty will always be valued by society and it is probably more valued today due to mass media, advertising campaigns, 24 hour news and videos etc.


Posted Jun. 03, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pamelaf

Join Date: 10/13/11

Posts: 9

RE: What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

The rituals were crazy...however no more crazy than things we do today. Injecting botox, surgery, wearing contraptions to help us lose weight...I think as long as someone has something that gives you the hope of remaining or becoming more beautiful, there is always someone who will do it. As someone who was worried about aging and who wanted to retain her beauty as desperately as Sissi did, it is no wonder she went through all those crazy regimens.


Posted Jun. 17, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jeann

Join Date: 11/14/11

Posts: 50

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RE: What did you think of Sisi's beauty rituals? Any similarities to today's celebrities? Do you have beauty rituals you swear by? Is physical beauty more or less valued today?

I think Sisi sounded like an extreme example of the beauty rituals of the day. Can you imagine how all the ladies wore these corsets, undergarments, heavy dresses etc. when there was no AIR-CONDITIONING? Pass the smelling salts!!! They had to dress in a certain way to appear in public.
The celebrities today? Well, pick up a People magazine and look at the candid shots of the celebrities walking down the street wearing weird outfits...anything goes and it's totally "cool" and "with it". I don't think there are any rules for today's celebrities. Maybe the only rule is to stay looking young and thin?
Beauty rituals I swear by...hmmm ...soap and water and some moisturizer. AND having my hair highlighted a few times a year to blend my well-deserved gray hair in with a few other shades!
There has to be a market for a lot of beauty rituals though- look at all the different creams and lotions out there...for every possible thing. Personally, the one that I just don't get is the cream for age spots. It sure isn't a concern for me. I call them freckles and forget about it.
There is a great relief in relaxing and accepting my age and the changes that come with it. Being healthy is the most important thing.


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