"In all times and among all races," says Krafft-Ebing, "women show a desire to adorn themselves and be charming."1 This is quite true, although denied by Westermarckf but it is equally true that man is little, if any, less addicted to habits of personal decoration. Among animals, nature has usually endowed the male with the greater beauty; and I cannot, in fact, at present recall a single type, with the possible, although largely disputed, exception of man, in which the reverse holds true. Culture and fashion, with the finer and more gaudy materials of dress, have given women an advantage in enhancing their physical beauty; but unadorned, it is quite possible, as is claimed by respectable authority, that the male genua homo will be found to conform more nearly to the artistic standard of beauty than the female.
It must never be lost sight of that feminine dress exhibits a tendency to exaggerate certain sexual peculiarities—hair, bust, waist, hips—the beauty of which is entirely of sexual origin, and which is lost to a great extent when the female is exhibited nude.1 From this circumstance most probably arises that peculiar neuropathic admiration, or passion, among men for certain articles of woman's dress—gloves, shoes, hair, etc.—which, under the head of Fetichism, will be alluded to more fully later.
1 hoc. cit., p. 16. I hoc. eit., pp. 182-184.
We are accustomed to little feminine varieties in dress; and, so long as they do not reach that all-absorbing condition to which the French apply the strangely masculine term, coquetry,1 and in which all the serious purposes of life are sunk in idle vanity and display, rather like and encourage it.*