By Mary N. DiZazzo

The Gibson Girl

Ciao bella,

Charles Dana Gibson drew his first Gibson Girl illustrations for Life magazine around 1890. Within five years her wispy hair with the perfect pout became famous.

Gibson himself maintained being a minor celebrity. Besides being a talented artist, he was known to have a handsome physique and was married to a well-known Southern belle and kept company with New York’s elite.

The Gibson Girl had a mass appeal. She was claimed by women from all walks of life. The image of the Gibson girl was mysterious and took upon all kinds of airs. She was as much mischievous adventuress as wonderfully charming.

Gibson never used a model but invented her from thin air.

The illustrations of the Gibson girl cut across class and ethnic boundaries, separations that still carried significant value in the early 20th century.

Her beauty and care-free aura were so envied and celebrated by women everywhere.

You can almost smell her lemon verbena perfume as she cycles by with just one of her beaux on her bicycle built for two.

Buona giornata and God bless the United States of America!

Have you missed any of Mary's columns in the Post-Gazette? Read prior weeks' "All That Zazz" columns on her website She is a third-generation cosmetologist and owner of Mary for Nails, etc. natural nailcare salon in Andover, and a Massachusetts distributor of Kosmea brand rose hip oil products. She may be contacted at (978) 470-8183. She also sees select clients by appointment in Boston at (617) 742-6881.