Thursday, January 12, 2012

Skinny is a Bad Word

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Throughout history the female figure has had a hard time. Keeping up with fashions we have been squished into corsets, told to lose weight, told to gain weight, sit with your legs crossed, wear high heels to show off your gambs, cinch the waist, push up the girls, separate the girls, make the girls flat, wear a bra, don't wear a bra.......'s exhausting keeping up! 

I'm particularly fascinated by the idea of weight. What is deemed flattering in one generation is not in the next. Rotund women in the renaissance were beautiful, today they are fat. Flapper girls were thin and flat chested, 1950s women were curvy, 60s women emulated twiggy and all had bad posture, and waif like nymphs were the 1990s. Now we have toned yoga bodies with muscle abs - think Victoria Secret models.

Retronaut found some great ads for how to 'gain' weight in the mid century. Yes, you heard right - gaining weight was in, skinny was out. However, note that the ads do not really discuss healthy weight. It's all how to catch a man, be popular and get noticed. 

Still the wrong message and unfortunately, I'm not convinced it has changed much. Yes, the design of the most wanted body type is lean, muscular and supposedly healthy incorporating dietary changes and an active lifestyle. I'm all for that. However, watching the pre Victoria Secret annual runway show, some of the models described how they get ready for the show. Similar to a body builder competition, at this point they are most unhealthy. The immense weight and nutrition loss before a competition or runway show is unhealthy. The models subsist on water and celery, the body builders fast. This see-saw action contradicts what their bodies are trying to show us.

But I digress, as I often do!

Have a look at some of these vintage ads and judge for yourself. As I maintain, being a vintage gal in today's era lets us choose the best of the past. And I'll choose to keep my figure at a healthy weight, stay active, eat foods I enjoy and if that 1950s dress doesn't fit me - so be it. I will find something else.

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