Interesting facts about flies

Presumably, the fly owes its birth to the British Duchess of Newcastle, whose skin was problematic. In order to hide the defects, the Duchess resorted to the help of round pieces of black taffeta, which began to play the role of "artificial moles" on her face.

With their help, it was possible not only to "defeat" the unevenness of the skin, but also to set off the whiteness of the face. In England, this black circle began to be called "a speck of beauty", a patch or a speck.

In France, where the fashion for flies penetrated very quickly, they began to be called moucheron or mouche (fly). It was the copy of this gallicism that later took root in Russia.

In those days, female beauty could be destroyed overnight by an insidious enemy - smallpox: the most beautiful faces turned out to be pitted with terrible scars that did not disappear even after many years. Flies came in handy.

Whenever we talk about the times of “red heels and stately wigs, ” we also think of this little accessory. Without flies, the lady of the "gallant era" felt naked.

In addition to the purely corrective function, the front sight was of great importance for the court beauty: with the help of this insignificant piece of material, it was even possible to change the facial expression! Glued near the corner of the mouth, the front sight made the face seem to be smiling.

Focusing on the relatively weak candlelight, men and women applied whole layers of white, powder and blush to their faces, eyed them, and used bright lipsticks. The fly gave these mask faces a liveliness.

There was a real fly business: the advertising edition of the 18th century "The Useful Book of Paris Addresses" reported that there was a workshop called "Mushe Pearls" on the rue Saint-Denis. In it, you can not only purchase finished goods, but also stencils for independent creativity in this area. The recommendations of the professionals said that in order to make a high-quality front sight, a new taffeta (or velvet) and special glue are needed.

The shapes of the flies varied depending on the vagaries of fashion. These could be crescents, triangles, stars, and even silhouettes of various objects. So, carriage flies and ship flies are known.

It was considered, however, bad form to cover up the face to a state of unrecognizability - this was considered decent only for courtesans.

The 17th, and especially the 18th century, can also be called the "era of flirting." Love, reduced to continuous and, at times, dangerous coquetry, was the basis of the relationship of idle aristocrats. A well-bred lady had to be able to flirt with several gentlemen at once, without going beyond the bounds of decency.

When the authors write about the "gallant century" as an era of debauchery and sexual promiscuity, they are wrong - it was flirting, innuendo, half-tones and coquetry that did not lead to any "terrible consequences" that was in vogue.

The "tongue of flies" is a clear confirmation of this. Often the lady could not directly express her affection to the gentleman or, on the contrary, refuse reciprocity. For this she resorted to allegories. Flies glued to the face in a special way could say more about their owner than she herself could afford.

Different sources contain different interpretations of the position of the flies (probably, the values ​​changed over time). The historian M.N. Mertsalova writes that the crescent fly was inviting for a night meeting, the cupid meant love, and the carriage - consent to a joint escape.

The round front sight, located between the temple and the eye, was called a "killer" or "passionate person." If there were two or three flies on the face, then the interpretation depended on the age, position in society and the woman's reputation.

Men also sometimes used flies, but, of course, less often than their wives, daughters and "ladies of the heart".

After the French Revolution, the fashion for flies came to naught. Currently, this accessory is used in cinematography, in the theater and on the catwalk for exclusive fashion shows.

Source: Wikipedia