Wednesday, September 26, 2012

1912 - American Women Growing Stouter, Blame Confectioners

Hopkinsville Kentuckian
Thursday, September 26, 1912


Where Women are Growing Leaner Instead of Fleshier

If we are not off on our ability to guess correctly, there are far more lean women in Hopkinsville than fleshy ones.  We do not say this in a derisive way.  The "Gibsonian" woman is pretty to look at, even though she may not be physically able to attend to strenuous household duties.  If she is financially able to live without it, eat something like half a square meal once a day and subsist on fountain drinks, interspersed with an occasional saucer of cream and a "banana split," that is all right.  But some of these days some of these "Gibson Pictures" will marry.  How then about taking up home duties?  If the "Gibsonian" is not wealthy and her doting husband is ditto, sooner or later will come either discontent or illness, or both, finally culminating in a suit for divorcement.

In the Louisville Herald of last Sunday nearly a page article appeared in which it was proven by statistics that the American woman is growing stouter.  But the author did not lay the cause at the door of the American woman, but at the door of the confectioner.  He insists that our women are eating too much candy and hence their increasing obesity. He says that America consumes more candy than any other nation, excepting England, and we are not much behind in the use of saccharines.

The article was written by an Englishman, and he backs up the statement with statistics that can be relied upon.  He says that in 1861 Americans used 18 pounds of candy per head annually; 1872, 40 lbs.; 1884, 54 lbs.; 1891, over 60 lbs; 1897, 78 lbs.  He says that the great increase of 1872 over 1861 was due to the fact that the civil war was begun in 1861 and sugar could not be obtained.

We would rather agree with the writer, but can hardly do so.  Most men would much rather see a woman when she is on the street with rosy cheeks, form not so very sylph-like but straight, graceful in movement and solid enough to hit the concrete walk with force loud enough to be heard, than to see a zephyr coming down the sidewalk, making no more noise than a sparrow hopping from twig to twig, but still as pretty as a dream.  Give us the girl that can prepare a meal when the cook fails to show up on time in the morning and mother is not well.

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