Lately I’ve been enjoying finding vintage pictures and newspaper ads relating to dieting and exercise. It just reinforces that whether it be for weight loss, appearance or health it is not a new concept to keep oneself fit.
So let’s visit the 1930’s …
Mature women in the 30’s may have been born into a time when corsets and bustles were still the norm, but that all changed in the 20’s with the “flapper era” when the ideal woman’s figure was almost boyish. This look carried through to the 30’s when dress styles were very sleek and hips almost non-existent.
And, actresses like Barbara Stanwyck began wearing pants, another look that required a slim and sleek silhouette.
No wonder a manual extolling the virtues of exercising away you curves would have been printed.
The “Hollywood machine” was also in full swing, pumping out starlets with the same body types. They even made it look glamorous to work out. Imagine wearing high heels on a treadmill?
As Hollywood goes – so goes the populace and exercise classes were held for working ladies. These gals look like they just dropped in on their lunch hour to exercise in their office wear, complete with hats.
Exercise classes were in full swing. This picture from the Bounds Green School in London shows the Class of 1933 doing their slimming exercises.
Even the Arsenol Soccer Team got into the act with the demonstration of the new “Gymo Frame”. No doubt the precursor to the current day “Bowflex” all in one exercise machine.
When sports teams and athletes use machines it soon becomes available for public consumption as well. Here is a woman using the “Fat Buster”. It doesn’t look like any exercise is actually required on this machine though … probably another one of those that supposedly “does the work for you”. Even then!
And of course, when fitness and exercise is not your cup of tea, there were always the snake oil salesmen around to promise miracles in the form of a pill. Although they were giving away “Barrels and barrels of free samples” it still cost you $1 to place your order. That’s about $13.54 in 2014 currency. EVEN THEN!!
This last picture is here just because it tickled my funny bone. “DOs and DON’Ts FOR HUSBANDS AND WIVES” gives you some advice from days gone by. My favorite is “DON’T let your husband wear a violet tie with grass-green socks. If he is unhappily devoid of the color sense, he must be forcibly restrained”.
I chuckle, but in my opinion the advice on the “For Husbands” side of the page still holds strong today!