The media would have us believe that the pressure young women feel to be thin and beautiful is a relatively new phenomenon we can all blame on social media and the fashion industry, bombarding young minds with unobtainable images. However, yesterday I discovered that it seems women have been worrying about their figures way before the cyber generation.
Yesterday, I visited Winterbourne Gardens in Birmingham with my two children, my niece and my mom.
The stunning early 20th century home & gardens of the Nettlefold family, it is now preserved and maintained as the Birmingham University Botanic Garden. The house itself sports the most magnificent wallpapers – but I’ll get back to that. It’s what I discovered in the maids room that really piqued my interest.
This first ever edition of the, still popular, Women’s Weekly Magazine. I carefully thumbed though, fascinated at what the the Women of 1911 would be reading about, when I stumbled upon an article entitled ‘How long have you been putting it off? The removal of over-fat’. Shocked, I couldn’t help but read the article further.
It suggests that if women found themselves to be in a position of over-stoutness, through no apparent reason, then neither starving nor mineral drugging would cure the ‘disease of obesity’.
The only solution, the article suggests, is a new development of a substance called Antipon. Which is made up of citric acid, food colouring, water and alcohol. Obviously, later on it was discovered that none of these ingredients had an effect on weightloss. The claims got more ridiculous as the article goes on, suggesting that one could lose upto 3lb in the first 24 hours. Sound familiar?
It seems claims be manufacturers of Weightloss products have been exaggerating their results for way longer that I thought, in an attempt to play on the insecurities us women have about our bodies if we have put on a couple of pounds. Have we really been falling for it for over 100 years??
You don’t need me to to give you weightloss advice, but thankfully, there are studies and doctors that now know that the best way to maintain a healthy weight is to eat a varied diet, include plenty of fresh produce and lead an active lifestyle. End of. But most of all, be happy darlings! Enjoy life! And enjoy a bit of cake every now and then!
On a lighter note, the wallpapers in the Nettlefolds home was amazing. The colours so rich and sumptuous. So here’s a few snaps I took on my iPhone.