American women’s obsession with being thin began with this ‘scientist’

What Gayelord Hauser managed to do was capitalize on the fears and desires of women in postwar America. Unlike women of previous generations, those in the first half of the 20th century had fewer children, better health, longer lives, and more disposable income. Middle age, in particular, no longer meant retreating into a housecoat and waiting to die. Hauser’s approach to diet and nutrition emphasized that living a healthful life meant travel and dancing and enjoying small pleasures. He gave women of a certain age permission not just to exist publicly but to be the center of attention. To be in the spotlight, though, was a privilege that only those who were beautiful and slim and took special care to adhere to a healthy diet deserved.

From: “American women’s obsession with being thin began with this ‘scientist’: Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich were hooked on his diet” by Shoshi Parks on timeline.com (2018)

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