The Case of the ‘Man who sued his wife for being ugly’ from the Perspective of a History Fanatic


A STORY HAS BEEN GOING VIRAL RECENTLY about a man (Jian Feng) who successfully sued his wife for having an ‘incredibly ugly’ baby. At first, he accused his wife of cheating [because, according to his logic, ‘beautiful’ parents does a ‘beautiful’ child make], but the wife admitted that she’d spent over $100,000 in plastic surgery. The husband therefore claimed that she got him to marry her under ‘false pretence’.

This court case reminded me of something from history: women & cosmetics in 18th century England…


In 1770, men’s fear of being tricked into marriage by means of cosmetics was so real that a law was introduced in Parliament (subsequently defeated) to ‘protect men from being beguiled into marriage by false adornments.’ This act demanded: that women of whatever age, rank, or profession, whether virgins, maids, or widows who shall seduce or betray into matrimony, by scents, paints, cosmetic washes, artificial teeth, false hair, shall incur the penalty of the law as against witchcraft and that marriage shall stand null and void.

I’m not saying that the issues surrounding the Jian Feng-case and the 1770 Act are one and the same, but they parallel in interesting ways: women altering their appearance to meet a cultural standard of beauty, and men outraged at their wives for their ‘counterfeit vizard’ / ‘false pretence’ and taking the legal system to a whole new level of ridiculousness.

Is history repeating itself in one way or another?

This is food for thought. Enjoy the meal, my dears.

Current Writing Music:

To quickly update readers about TRC’s progress, I’ve FINALLY finished the rough rewrite SAMSUNGof the story and have printed out the first-quarter of the manuscript. I’m so glad I now have a hard-copy version of the MS, as I find it really difficult to concentrate on the story when reading it off my laptop screen. So, I’m sorry trees, but I decided – what the heck – I’ll waste paper by printing each round of major revisions. BUT, I promise trees, I’ll make up for wasting lots of papers by reusing/recycling all that I print out ❤

And HERE is the story of my first querying (trying to get published) experience in 2009.

Regency Era: The Naughty Bits (#2)

Here’s a fascinating article about trousers in the Regency Era written by M.M.Bennetts. Seriously, for those of you who write Regency romances, this is a must read. It’ll crack you up:

Inexpressibles, what were they, you ask?  Very very tight, usually knitted of silk, trousers–almost like today’s women’s leggings, designed to show off a gentleman’s muscular legs to best advantage.  They were also known as bum-clingers and the term inexpressibles said it all–for what respectable woman could express that?… Read the full article here.

Regency era: The Naughty Bits

I was reading the biography Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, when I came across a wager actually made between men in the late 18th century:

‘Ld Cholmondeley has given two guineas to Ld Derby, to receive 500 Gs. whenever his lordship fucks a woman in a Balloon one thousand yards from Earth.’


I cracked up reading this. I never thought gentlemen, no matter how crude they were, would actually use the ‘F’ word. I didn’t even think it was used in this way–and how ever was I to know? it’s not as if Jane Austen ever mentioned it in her book (even the word ‘damn’ was a big no no for her time).

But geez, reading this wager alone tells me that the state of decadence was as bad then as it is now.

Men will always be men.