Vintage ads for weight gain products: America currently has a $66 billon weight loss industry. That’s 66 billion with a “b” spent by Americans each year in a usually unsuccessful attempt to lose weight with brands like Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem. Even more surprising might be that back in the day there used to be a thriving weight gain industry.
It’s true, supplement brands like WATE-ON told women that skinny was out and they needed to gain weight to attract men. In fact, much of the time time the secret of their weight gain product was “ironized yeast.” (Because if there are three things women like, it’s iron, yeast, and weight gain!)
Don’t believe me? Here are some of the best vintage advertisements promising women weight gain from the 1930s, 1940’s, and 1950s that we could find.
Vintage Ads Promising Weight Gain and Extra Pounds for Women:
“So Cosmo says you’re fat
Well I ain’t down with that! – Baby Got Back, Sir Mix-a-lot
It’s funny how things change, but remember that history repeats. Sure, we’re not going to be worshipping the “morbidly obese” body type in Hollywood any time soon, but our definition of the ideal female body changes all the time.
Also, the women in these old ads were by no means “obese,” but certainly are “overweight” compared to today’s magazine models.
We’re Trending Back Towards “Curvy” w/ Female Bodies
You’ve probably noticed that there’s a swing back towards natural and curvy recently, and away from the nearly anorexic bodies of the 1990’s and 2000’s. This is evident with the new trend in plus-size models, and ground-breaking overweight SI swimsuit cover model Ashley Graham:
Oh, and here’s a product for the men out there, although that guy seems to have a bigger problem than just being skinny!
Article by Kevin M
Hi, I’m Kevin McCormick. I’m a blogger who enjoys writing on a number of topics including health and wellness. I have a BA in Art History and Health Sciences from Rutgers University in NJ. I currently live in Philadelphia, Pa., and have 3 kids and a Vizsla (dog) more…