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Is this book great or ghastly? Read my review and get the inside dope

Elements of Style

Illustrated Hair with Fashion and Makeup Tips
Unknown. Illustrated by Kenichi Imayoshi
Dowa Planning, Inc. Japan.
Edition / Year
In the section labelled

Elements of Style

It would be unfair for me to poke fun at the hairstyles of the 1980s. As one whose then-abundant mop was frequently shaped into ludicrous forms in a vain attempt to be fashionable, I am as guilty as anyone in this respect. However, this book, meant to inspire visitors to hair and beauty parlors with illustrations of the multifarious crimes that could be committed on their persons, provides amusement not only through its pictorial content but its text as well.

The work is divided into chapters each aimed at a different aspect of womanhood. The anonymous, presumably Japanese, author has made great efforts to evoke the qualities of each despite not fully having mastered the English language. There's something oddly creepy about the result, as if a subsequent passage in which something horrible happens has been removed. Judge for yourselves, here are these introductory paragraphs, to each of which I have taken the liberty of adding a possible supplementary ending.


Still in the early bloom of life and able to adapt to any situation that  should arise. Youthful exuberance fills her with an abundance of  cheerfulness. Everything surrounding her is affected by her fashionable freshness. As she is still growing, she is willing to listen and almost always accepts new ideas. Her taste in hairstyles and fashion is right up to date. As she grows older her way of thinking is likely to change, but for now she is still young and able to be open-minded when it comes to others' ideas.

Which is why she took to selling blowjobs round the back of Asda.


She makes decisions on the spur of the moment. Planning in advance is never on her schedule. The way she chooses to dress and wear her hair is unplanned and usually decided according to how she feels on that particular day. She is unconcerned as to what others may think but she feels that it isimportant that you please yourself when dressing. She possesses a natural instinct that allows her to be very spontaneous when dressing or doing her hair or  make-up. She doesn't exert herself in putting together an outfit, yet her clothes always seem to be perfectly coordinated.

Unlike her limbs after her habitual third bottle of Bailey's.

Lady of Leisure

The lady whose days are filled with hours of free time. Time which allows her to indulge in various activities without haste. She is up to date on the latest fashion as her carefree days are spent window shopping, attending fashion shows, and enjoying luncheon dates with her friends. She is accustomed to not having to work for a living which gives her the time to discover different techniques in order to enhance her features. Her hairstyles and make-up match the wardrobe she has so carefully selected.

Can you believe she blows £500 a week on scratchcards?

Career Woman

She has made the decision to focus all her strength on pursuing the particular vocation she has chosen for her life's work. Hairstyles that are chic yet conservative and fit the image of the business she is dealing in are a must. At present she has no plans other than being successful at the work she does. Her ambitions are endless and she is determined to achieve the goals she has set for herself.

Unable to face bankruptcy, she drank two litres of Scotch then slit her wrists in the bath.

Wedding Bells

Not a child anymore but rather a young lady about to be married. A step every woman dreams of taking. The long flowing gown of silks and satins and the pure whiteness of her wedding dress accompanied by a lace veil or hat that tops off a beautifully swept up or gently swept back hairstyle. The envy of every girl as she she strolls down the aisle arm in arm with the man who will give her away and takes the arm of the man she is to wed. He admires her beauty more than ever as she comes closer to him with her lovely bouquet of flowers in hand. They anticipate the lifetime of happiness they will share together from this day on.

She claims to have walked into a cupboard door. That's twice this week.


She provides a sense of security that cannot be described in words for it's more of a feeling. She has many responsibilities that require her to be prepared for almost any situation, without warning, along with a hairstyle to suit. She not only manages to keep her domain in perfect order, but also attends to her loving husband's needs and raises a family at the same time. She must feel a wonderful sense of fulfilment knowing that she can accomplish all of these things and still find time to pamper herself with only the best. She has changed in many ways since giving up her single lifestyle, but she feels these changes are all for the better.

Thank God for Prozac and ready meals!


No thoughts of what others might think. She is a leader in new and unconventional fashions. Her hairstyles are always free and flowing and very up to date. She has a never-ending zest for adventure and is always the one willing to take chances that are risqué and sometimes full of danger. In all matters of fashion, she always seeks only what pleases her.

Seven years in a Thai prison somewhat took the edge off her zest.


She enjoys sports not only for the physical benefit they bring but also for the fresh and active feeling they create. She thinks of nothing burdening but rather concentrates all her powers of thought on just enjoying herself. Hairstyles that are short and usually pulled away from her face give her the freedom of movement she needs. She will never tire of life so long as she remains in beautiful condition.

It's not an eating disorder, it's a regime, she says.

School Days

She is surrounded daily by an atmosphere of only teaching and learning. There are many experiences through which she gains knowledge, training and discipline that will have a strong influence on the shaping of her future lifestyle. The direction she will decide to take for her life is unknown. The way she styles her hair has a lot to do with the influence of school life and friends. At this period in her Iife she is very susceptible to ideas she is given.

Her schoolwork has been suffering of late due to the large amounts of weed she smokes round at Dobbo's flat.

Twilight Time

After a busy day that has been fruitful she is ready for the subdued lights of the evening she has looked forward to all day. She slips into a hot bubbly bath to wash off all of the day's past occurrences and dreams only of the evening ahead that promises to be a romantic one. Her hair flows in soft waves to match her light and airy mood. Tomorrow has no meaning for her as the night ahead fills

her mind.

Across town, her date slaps his face with aftershave, checks his teeth in the mirror, and puts the bottle of Rohypnol into his jacket pocket.

Ah yes, the eighties. Those were grand times, weren't they?

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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on 26 Apr 2009 - 09:21 Permalink

BTW, you should write a guide on how to find weird books. I've been trying to find one to send you, but I've met no success at all.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on 25 Apr 2009 - 22:59 Permalink

2 words I never thought I'd see together as an especially apt description of someone's mental state: athletic despair. And that picture of a "homemaker" should be titles, "Homemaker with Wonder Woman Complex." Angelica di Pace