Athens, 4th cent. B.C. (Alexis, fr. 18 PCG. G)

First of all, they care about making money and robbing their neighbours. Everything else has second priority. They string up traps for everyone. Once they start making money they take in new prostitutes who are getting their first start in the profession. They remodel these girls immediately, and their manners and looks remain no longer the same. Supposed one of them is small; cork is sewn into her shoes. Tall? she wears thin slippers and goes around with her head pitched towards her shoulder; that reduces her height. No hips? she puts on a bustle, and the onlookers make comments about her nice bottom. They have false breasts for them like the comic actors’; they set them on straight out and pull their dresses forwards as if with punting poles. Eyebrows too light? They paint them with lamp-black. Too dark? she smears on white lead. Skin too white? she rubs on rouge. If a part of her body is pretty, she shows it bare. Nice teeth? then she is forced to keep laughing, so present company can see the mouth she’s so proud of. If she doesn’t like laughing, she spends the day inside, like the meat at the butcher’s, when goats’ heads are on sale; she keeps a thin slip of myrtle wood propped up between her lips, so that in time she will grin, whether she wants to or not. They rebuild their bodies with these devices.