(continuing from image) 'It was the only female body part - excepting the face- on constant display...[it] could portray the social and moral position of the woman.'

'Women were expected to wear their hair bound after marriage and keep it covered at church, for visits, and in formal sitiuations.  If chaste, covered hair was considered to be the epitome of genteel womanhood, then free flowing, loose hair was considered to be unchaste and a characteristic of a morally depraved woman:

'A woman's long hair, after all, is the emblem of her femininity.  More than that it is a symbol of her sexuality,and the longer, thicker and more wanton the tresses, the more passionate the heart beneath them is assumed to be.'

'The Fetishization and Objectification of the Female Body in Victorian Culture' - Hannah Aspinall

© Katie Eilidh MacDonald Paul, all rights reserved