In these days there is much talk about being hardy. Think how the children are “hardened”! Nowadays (in wealthy homes, of course, but then other people quickly follow suit) the children are dressed — well, when we were children, we wore long breeches and were well covered — at the most, we went barefoot — now, the clothes only go down to the knee or are still shorter. If parents knew that this is the best preparation for later attacks of appendicitis, they would be more thoughtful. But fashion is a tyrant! — no thought is given to the matter, and the children are dressed so that their little dresses only reach to the knee, or less. Someday they will only reach to the stomach — that will be the fashion! Fashion has a strong influence.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 354 – Nutrition and Health – Dornach, 2nd August 1924
Translated by Gladys Hahn