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Fitness

This is what the "ideal" woman looked like in the 1950s

Remembering a time when ways to address "figure faults" included "passive reducing", "clever dressing" and Epsom salts in hot bathwater.

How far we have come.
Today The Weekly looked back through the archives to September of 1954 when the "ideal" body type could be achieved with a handful of Epsom salts and hot bathwater.
In a special beauty feature, readers were instructed to "strip, study your figure in a long mirror" and check "are muscles firm... is your spine straight, carriage erect without stiffness or effort, bust high and breathing rhythmic?"
Readers questions were published with some choice responses from the authors.
"Does the size of one's bone frame affect the standard weight?" Asked one reader? "Being large or small boned probably also makes some difference," wrote the author.
"How much exercise must be taken to offset a disregard for diet," asks another.
"An awful lot," wrote the author adding washing up, typewriting rapidly or driving a car for one hour, requires just 70 calories.
The list goes on to explain how many calories are needed for everyday tasks:
Sweeping floors for one hour: 100 calories.
Dancing for one hour: 224 calories.
Standing for one hour: 40 calories.
So far we only need a medium MdDonalds fries and some sweet and sour sauce to power us through the day!
What's really got us talking is the "passive ways" to lose weight.
Passive reducing is "any slimming method that doesn't involve one's own effort." Ahem, go on...
"With a handful (not more) of Epsom salts to a bathful of hot water. The salts help to increase perspiration. Wrap yourself in a blanket before leaving the bathroom, remain wrapped in it in bed, and you may be able to continue the good work while you sleep."
By far our favourite question: what does a chin strap do?
"Helps restore contour tone by holding slack jaw and chin muscles firmly in their former high position," says the author.
"Can be made from a strip of crepe bandage tied securely on top of your head. Should be work during sleeping hours for best results."
Finally a sage warning from September 1954: "Winter weather and the rich foods that go with it often add unwanted inches to trim waistlines," writes the author.
Don't we know it.

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