Images from The Retronaut and The Huffington Post
Post style inspired by The Sartorialist
On the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving, I caught up with my friend Christine and her friend Ashley at Disneyland. Once Ashley arrived, the topics of weight, thinness, and body envy came out, mainly because Ashley models in between her studies and is very slender at this time. I kept saying that both were fine the way they looked and it took a lot of restraint for me to not jump in with my own securities, since it seemed like everyone was bashing their own bodies.
With this event fresh in mind, I recalled the old magazine and catalog ads for weight gain products in the 1940s-70s. Back in the 40s and 50s, “skinny” was not the ideal of pretty – instead curvy was considered healthy and alluring. When I first stumbled upon these, I laughed really hard because the taglines were very outlandish and bordering on cheesy. Now the ads have me thinking about the women today versus the women back then. The women of the 40s and 50s would probably die if they saw people like Jennifer Lawrence because she has the body they wanted back then. As for many women of today, the retro caricatures of a housewife making breakfast or smoking a cigarette in a tight-fitting coat emulate the body they want, especially the waist size.
Were these ads onto something?