Friday, 16 December 2011
The ideal body
I have talked about the ideal body when it comes to the ideal movie stars, but how about the ordinary woman? Well, slim is pretty much the ideal now and it was the ideal back then too. However, it didn’t mean exactly the same thing as it does today. The thin athletic body that we see on fashion spreads today is not the same as the slim, but still rather curvaceous ideal of the 1940’s.
I have no doubt that women back then were concerned about their looks and their weights, but I think the difference between a model and what was considered a normal woman was much smaller than it is today. We are constantly told that people in the Western world are constantly getting bigger, but the models only get thinner. The ideal body 70 years ago was probably much easier to achieve than it is today.
Ideal weight and body measurements for a woman of my height, 1.70 centimeters according to my beauty books was:
Wight: 60-65 kilos
Chest: 88-89 cm
Waist: 67-70 cm
Upper hips: 87-89cm
Lower hips: 92-95 cm
This actually is pretty much the numbers for Myrna Loy, who also was 170 cm tall:
Weight: 62.5 kilos
Chest: 86 cm
Waist: 67 cm
Lower hips: 92 cm
Then consider that the ideal measurements for the same height that model agencies and fitness experts today are:
Chest: 86 cm
Waist: 60 cm
Hips: 86 cm
If you consider that 1 cm difference on the waist measurement generally means one kilos difference, then the ideal weight in the 1940’s were 7-10 kilos more than today… Just because I’m curious, I went back in my sewing journal and checked out my body measurements when my weight was 65 kilos:
Chest: 102 cm
Waist: 72 cm
Hips: 98 cm
Definitely more than the forties ideal, but then I have always had a very hour-glassed shape. And way, way more than the model ideal of today.
So, what advice to my book gives me as to maintain the ideal body?
A) Make sure you maintain a good blood circulation with the help of exercise walks and massage.
B) Eat food in proper proportions, of good and varied quality.
C) Make sure you sleep and rest as much as your body need!
But, even if the book advices against too much fat in the body, it also strongly advice against too little too! If you are too skinny, then you can cure that with eating many small delicious meals during the day to stimulate the appetite! Sweets, cream and lots of bread are excellent ways to make sure you don’t get too slim!
Last, here are some of the 1940’s problem areas, according to a magazine in 1940.