Polly Bergen died over the weekend, and this gave me a little more impetus to scour through my library to try to find my copy of Polly Bergen’s Book of Beauty, Fashion and Charm. Lo and behold, I did indeed find it, and while I was looking for a tidbit in the book to perhaps help with a Polly Bergen tribute post, I discovered that 1) there was very little in the book about charm, other than the ersatz “charm” I was subjected to in charm school (posture, makeup, walking and talking), and 2) in an earlier Polly Bergen post here on Fancy Notions I completely mischaracterized her remedy for sunburn. I must make amends.
Dear readers, Polly Bergen did not recommend applying “the thickest globs of milk of magnesia to your skin” to relieve your sunburn and avoid peeling. That is just absurd. She recommended that for shrinking one’s pores. For sunburn, Polly’s solution was to “Mash a few tomatoes into about a cup of buttermilk and spread it on your damaged skin like a paste.” There you have it.
My apologies, Polly and readers, for the error. My additional thanks to Polly for providing the world with this image in her chapter on fashion: