Celesta “Dolly Dimples” Geyer’s reflections on life as the circus side show “fat lady” and her quest to save her life by losing weight are shared in her 1968 book. Ms. Geyer lost over 400 pounds and was entered in the Guinness Book of World records as “The World’s Greatest Dieter.”
Why does the current “body positivity” movement appear to be mostly focused on younger women, often posing closely together, in their undergarments? Do you have to be under 35 to feel good about your body? Is it possible to be modest yet love your body, or do you have to strip down and showcase yourself online and off to prove that you feel good about what your body looks like?
This vintage booklet published in 1955 by the National Dairy Council offers basic diet advice: Cut back your calories and eat nutritious foods including dairy, and stay on your diet until you’ve regained your desired weight.
Inside one of my vintage diet booklets from the 1950s is the “Choice-Of-Foods” diet from Knox Gelatine. As to be expected, aspics, food molds and other forms of “gel cookery” are an integral part of the diet and recipes are provided. In addition to the meals, gelatin drinks are touted as between meal snacks, such as a cold glass of gelatin with 3/4 cup fruit juice or, served hot when mixed with broth. The Knox “Booster” drink contains 3-6 tablespoons of dry milk.
There was a time in the late 1950s/early 1960s when Lane Bryant suggested to their customers that they be mindful of the calories in their desserts! Beauty: A Matter of Balance in Fashions and Foods is a Lane Bryant diet booklet co-branded with “D-Zerta.”
Out of my hundreds of vintage diet books and thousands of pages of women’s magazines I have not seen a single mention of the word “cellulite” until this April 15th, 1968 issue of Vogue. Is that because women were free of cellulite, or was it present but not seen as something to scrutinize and for which we should feel ashamed?