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This 1933 magazine article is a piece of critical thinking written by two post-debs of the Boston/Manhattan species who were both products of what they called "the approval mill". Having been run through the right schools and the right summer camps, they attended the right parties and made charming with all the right people; looking back in their twenties, they were able to see how this long-treasured practice prepared them poorly for life - tending to perpetuate the spiraling vortex of women who were educated and polite, yet unable to think. Among other assorted maladies, they believed that this Debutante Gulag that society had established on their behalf had created a feminine upper-class that was two-faced:

"She is effusive and admiring with her friends and acquaintances; behind their backs she is viciously critical. She derives a keen enjoyment from this."

Click here to learn how the most under-privileged Americans of the 1860s were able to teach themselves proper manners.

Read a 1951 profile of a future First Lady: the young Nancy Reagan.

     


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The Down-Hill Side of Being a Debutante  (Collier's Magazine, 1933)

The Down-Hill Side of Being a Debutante  (Collier's Magazine, 1933)

The Down-Hill Side of Being a Debutante  (Collier's Magazine, 1933)

The Down-Hill Side of Being a Debutante  (Collier's Magazine, 1933)

The Down-Hill Side of Being a Debutante  (Collier's Magazine, 1933)

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