As you probably noticed, I love history, I love Hollywood’s Golden Era, I like reading and I like learning something new. I read Laura Slater’s other book, Vintage Secrets Hollywood Beauty, and was so excited about that one, I got the next one in the series too!
Raw food? That’s so last century! Pilates? They’ve been doing it forever! And if you thought our obsession with super-trim celebrities was a recent phenomenon then think again. Since the reducing craze of the jazz age, women have been looking for the trendy way to slim down and tone up. And since the birth of Hollywood, the big screen has shown us beautiful figures to aspire to. Never more so than during the gilded era of the 1920s-1950s, when Hollywood set the beauty standards for much of the Western World.
I was really curious about this book. Apparently, a lot of the diets that are popular now, were all ready popular a 100 years ago, and were unhealthy than too. The book is divided into decades, we start with the 1920s and end with the 1950s, because it’s about Hollywood’s Golden Era, it only applies to actresses in the movie business, and as television got bigger in the 1960s, movie actresses weren’t the only women people looked up to.
We get to know about the most famous diets, what today’s doctors think about it, what the most famous actresses did to keep their figure and what exercises they did. Especially the diets of the 1920s and 1930s were EXTREME. They were really, really intense and honestly, I’m glad that they let doctors say something about it, because this is not a self help book. This book is NOT meant to use for your own dieting. So, if you want to get it for that reason, don’t bother. It is not meant for that. The exercises in it are very interesting and you can use those yourself, they were made for the women who are homemakers, so they are meant to be more easy.
This book gives a very interesting look into the life of women and actresses in the 1920s to 1950s. It is ridiculous to know how little these women had to weigh to even get a role in a movie! There’s a chart in the book where it says what the ideal weights were for women in that time, and apparently, my height and weight would be perfect, but I’m underweight! What I also found extremely interesting is that being vegan, being a vegetarian, raw food diets and all these things, aren’t something of the 2000s, they were all ready a thing in the 1930s!
Some of the ridiculous things, is that women who were bigger are lazy, and women who were thin had horrible personalities. Also, during the wars, it was patriotic to be as thin as possible, because all the food you could save could be send to the boys overseas, which just blows my mind. The boys overseas though, were writing letters to the big movie bosses for pinup shots of actresses that had more meat on their bone, because they wanted to see “”””real””” girls (nothing annoys me more than people being defined by their weight, you aren’t a real woman if you are thin, you aren’t if you are big, you are if you feel you are OK!).
I would recommend you reading this book if you are interested in these women, but honestly, if you have ED tendencies, don’t get this book, as it might trigger the heck out of you. I did really enjoy this book, learned quite a lot and I’m looking forward to more books in this series!