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Described on the reverse as a ‘Hand painted REAL photograph of a BRITISH Beauty’ this image of one Miriam Babbage winner of the Daily Mirror Beauty Contest, is instructive to the student seeking to define that most elusive of attributes; beauty. One wonders if Miriam, were she alive today, would score very highly on the ‘FHM hottest babes of 2012’ list.

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The allure of the exotic is a consistent ingredient in the ever changing recipe of beauty. Though there’s something rather disturbing in the stiff manner this woman, described on the reverse as ‘Egypt Young Girl’ reveals herself to the photographer, who signs his name ‘Albon’ half way down her tunic. A mixture of boredom and defiance play around her lips as she averts her eyes and stares into the middle distance.

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Presumably she never took lessons in how to be a real beauty like Movita ‘who is featured in Pathe Films’ presumably did. Her face bears the expression of one who has just been injected in the nether regions by some powerful and intoxicating paralysing agent. Yet compared to the previous images her ludicrous and idiotic expression give this photograph a thoroughly modern air.

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In the same series is Eleanor Powell who agin achieves the modern look by brandishing a leg as if it doesn’t quite belong to her body

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