Vintage Teen: Betty Cornell’s Glamour Guide for Teens & Teen-Age Popularity Guide

A Vintage Nerd, Glamour Guide for Teens, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Vintage Teen,  Betty Cornell's Teenage Popularity Guide, Vintage Teen Books

Having a teen in your midst can be overwhelming at times. You're trying your best to understand them and communicate with them. But I think being a teen is actually more challenging. The constant awkwardness, the feelings of inadequacy, and the never-ending worries that seem to slip into their heads. 

I currently have two teens and one pre-teen. They are each very different and each day is a new adventure into teenager-land. I can attest that not one day is ever dull in the vintage nerd household. So what is a parent to do with their teen? Sometimes the best things you can do is listen, be patient, and provide them with useful advice and information.

Betty Cornell was a teen model in the 1940's and 1950's who at some point was invited to conduct good grooming classes that ultimately lead to a career as an author of advice books. Betty first had Betty Cornell’s Glamour Guide for Teens  published in 1951 then Betty Cornell's Teen-Age Popularity Guide in 1953. In addition to these first two books which were hugely popular with the teen demographic she also published Betty Cornell’s All About Boys (1958) and So You’re Going to be a Teen (1963).

Each guide contains advice on how to eat better, how to tend to your complexion, modeling tricks, good grooming tips, lifestyle etiquette, how to conduct oneself at work, and even how to earn money. A lot of the advice can seen archaic at first glance but there is something charming about Betty's approach to teen life. She aims to make things easier for teens and there is plenty of advice in each these teen books that still can be applied to today's teens.

For example, in chapter eight of Betty Cornell's Teen-Age Popularity Guide (1953) Betty discusses clothes and fashion. One of the aspects of clothes that she touches on first is what colors you choose to wear can have a telling effect on how you look. She states, "To find out which colors become you, start by placing yourself in one of the following categories: 
  1. Brunette----fair skinned
  2. Brunette----dark skinned
  3. Blonde----fair skinned
  4. Blonde----dark skinned
  5. Medium brown----fair to dark skin
  6. Redhead----fair to dark skin
Note that your skin color is just as important as our hair color in determining what to wear. Too often, teens tend to overlook their skin color and think of themselves only by their hair color. Brunettes with fair skin should play up the exquisite contrast of light and dark. They can look feminine in pastels, pale pink and blue, in dark shades like navy and deep green; they can look ravishing in bright green and red."

I can attest as a fair skinned brunette myself that navy blue, green, and red look really good on me. If you haven't noticed from my blog posts and my Instagram account, the main colors for my clotheing palette is navy blue, green, and red. Those are the colors that make my skin tone and hair color really pop out. Betty's tips on finding the best colors to wear based on your hair color and skin tone was spot on.

Both of Betty's books still last the test of time. These guides are chock-full of useful tips and tricks to help any teen (or grown up who used to be a teen) be the best version that they can be.

A Vintage Nerd, Glamour Guide for Teens, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Vintage Teen,  Betty Cornell's Teenage Popularity Guide, Vintage Teen Books

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