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Sex Appeal

Photo by: Retronaut
Sex Appeal
"No sex appeal to that beanpole. Let's vamoose."

Back when Women Wanted to Get Fat: Vintage Ads Push Weight Gain

July 6, 2012

Its bathing suit season again and…horrors…you are TOO SKINNY! Working in the media and looking at diet and exercise articles aimed at whittling your beach body every day, it's a jolt to see vintage ads promising popularity to women (and men) by adding pounds and inches. "Since I gained 10 pounds," reads one, "I have all the dates I want." Obesity rates started taking off around 1975, about the same time these ads dwindled. But it's not just that people went overboard with sugar and fat consumption and portion size so the media needed to push a thinner look. The perception of acceptable body size changed as well. Voluptuous gals like Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, and Raquel Welch flaunted their curves in clingy dresses and skimpy bathing suits. Now they would probably sweat it out in a tent dress. Too fat? Too thin? Too short? Too old? You can't win. There will always be an expensive product or procedure to "cure" some perceived flaw. If these ads teach us anything, its time to banish the body insecurity, don that bikini, and jump into the deep end. Summer's too short. -Sarah B. Weir, Shine Staff Writer

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