A couple of years ago we posted a series of weight gain ads from the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s. Yes, weight gain ads. Say it a few times, see how it rolls unfamiliarly around your tongue. If you consume popular culture, it’s rare to come across anyone suggesting that there’s such a thing as women who are too skinny. Quite the opposite. Yet, during the middle decades of the 1900s, being too skinny was a problem that women worried about. And Wate-On was there to help them achieve the “glamorous curves” of “popular” girls.
Jeremiah gave us a great excuse to re-post this already-posted material. He sent in an ad for Wate-On featuring Raquel Welch:
There are interesting conversations to be had here. Is pressure to be full-figured any different than pressure to be thin? It’s just another kind of pressure to conform to a particular kind of body. Is the mid-century ideal different than the contemporary ideal of “curvy” women? In other words, are these women any less thin, or any less hourglass-figured, than the supposedly curvy icons of today: Beyonce, JLo, etc? Are there any products for women who think they are too skinny today? Can we make an interesting comparison between the capitalist and the medical solution to “too skinny”? Other thoughts?
*Check it if you want to be popular!!–you can’t afford to be Skinny!”
They didn’t miss the African American Market. Thick Chicks!
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What I find so interesting is how susceptible woman are to being told how to look, and then heeding it. I can sort of understand the pressure to comply in other eras when a woman’s survival, and stability hinged on marrying and being taken care of, but today? Women have won the right to vote, held up the economy in war times, burned bras in the name of equality, they have become power players in business, media, science, technology and government, some while being wives and mothers. I think that the female gender has proven that it is more than capable, it is almost overqualified, and yet tell a woman that she is ugly, fat, or too thin and it is a instantaneous reduction of her being. It’s fascinating really. And we like to think that women do it for the approval of men, which for a large part is true, but not entirely. We also do it to be accepted and validated by other women as well. I recall in 1988 when Oprah Winfrey (who now has risen to have her OWN bloody network HELLO!) was told by Editor in Chief of American Vogue Anna Wintour that she would have to lose weight to be on the cover of the magazine. Winfrey was promoting her heart project the film Beloved, AND SHE DID! it still kinda pisses me off to this day, the fact that Anna Wintour made that “suggestion” and that Oprah didn’t just to a Tyra and tell her to kiss her Fat Ass! but here is an example of two independent, juggernaut women reducing others, and themselves to pounds and measurements. The question is when do we start to dictate for ourselves what WE want to look like? When do we say “screw you, I look fabulous” whether we are curvy, stickly, small breasted, dark, light, lumpy, bumpy , rumpy. When do we begin to own our bodies and our images? People can try to tell and sell you anything, only you have the power to believe or buy it. Ladies, this one is on us! we have to do our work….
via Hollywood Scoop
What happens when the queen of fashion meets the queen of television? In the case of Anna Wintour and Oprah, the discussion was about weight loss.
During an interview with 60 Minutes, Anna Wintour, who was the inspiration for the Miranda Priestly character in The Devil Wears Prada, talks candidly about being a “bitch,” a “perfectionist” and talks about the time she asked Oprah to lose weight before appearing in Vogue magazine.
“It was a very gentle suggestion,” Anna said when asked about the weight loss stories.
“I went to Chicago to visit Oprah, and I suggested that it might be an idea that she lose a little bit of weight before she appeared in the magazine,” said Wintour.
When asked how Oprah reacted to the “gentle suggestion,” Anna said, “She was a trooper. She totally welcomed the idea. She went on a very stringent diet. It was one of our most successful covers ever.”