Thursday, August 8, 2013

Make Up Your Mind

According to Business Week, Americans spend an estimated $40 billion per year on weight loss.  They join weight loss programs, they take weight loss supplements, they buy gym memberships and then only go twice, you get the idea.  My new friend Nicole recently posted some pictures on her blog that made me stop in my tracks.  These are actual advertisements from the 1950's:

People used to spend money to try to gain weight.  What?!  The thought of that seems so humorous to me.  Here we are as a culture trying everything we can to be as skinny as possible, and a few decades ago women were paying money for programs and supplements to help them gain weight.  It's so weird to think about!  Would our current celebrities have been considered "pretty" sixty years ago?  Would Marilyn Monroe have been such a sex symbol if she lived now instead of back then?  Why do our views on beauty change so much? 
I also think it's funny that the model in the first ad is saying, "Men wouldn't look at me when I was skinny!"  In the past few months I lost fifteen pounds, and let me tell you - men look at me a lot more than they did fifteen pounds ago.  I'm not saying that I particularly enjoy people whistling at me on the street or coming up and asking me out when I'm trying to grocery shop; I'm just saying that it didn't happen before I was a size 2.  How come?  Why do men think skinny girls are attractive, when clearly they didn't think that back in the fifties?  Does the media say, "This is attractive" and then everyone on earth just goes with whatever they're told?  That seems really creepy - like we're all being brainwashed or something.  Who gets to pick what's attractive?  Why do we all listen to them?  Does anyone else think this is really weird?
I don't want to go into a preachy monologue about how we all need to just be happy with the way God made us (even though that's true).  I just want to comment about how fickle society is in what it demands of women.  "You're supposed to look like this!"  and then, five minutes later, "No wait, you're supposed to look like that!"  It would be exhausting to try to keep up, so I think I just won't. 
In honor of being a true fifties housewife, I think I will go have some pizza for lunch. Not sure that's exactly what they meant by those "gaining weight" advertisements, but that's how I'm going to take it.  Time to go make me some curves! ;-)

1 comment:

  1. This post was SO interesting! I know we've talked about it before but it is true how quickly society changes. P.S I lost 2.8 lbs this week :)