Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Kelp your way to fitness

I have to share this with you:
It's an ad for Kelpamalt, some quack concoction based on sea minerals that promised to put as much as 10 or 15 lbs on your sickly thin frame in a matter of weeks. It appeared in Philadelphia's Evening Bulleting, 1937; the whole newspaper is framed and displayed in UPenn's Van Pelt's Library, 5th floor, btw (the bigger news was about UPenn alumni). I kept forgetting to bring my camera to take a picture of the thing, but today I finally remembered.

Now, how can your heart not melt to see an ad for a product that actually promises to FATTEN your skinny, weak, pale and rundown self? Considering that all you see today is the very opposite of this ad ("lose those 5, 10, 15 lbs in a matter of weeks!"), this was almost refreshing to behold. Can you think of any young starlets you'd like to try this on?

Yeah, me too.

Oh, and notice the shoes. Even in a supposed health ad, this somewhat vigorous, smiling young woman can only look "healthy" or "desirable" while wearing painful high-heel T-straps, which in this case do some obvious damage to her seriously tilted posture.

Ok, you'll say, so ads in 1937 try to sell cockamamy products by having their models pose in swimming suits and high heels. We've come so far since then, though!

Oh wait.


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