We may be among the fattest people on the planet and the Chinese among the leanest, yet we can still boast the athletic body’s greatest prize: Olympic Medals. The US won the most this year in London, and the most of the most were won by our women. Women’s time in running and swimming alone has now reached a full 90% of their male counterparts.
But talking about athleticism among women, there’s a back story. The US has more health clubs and health regimens per capita than any other nation. Of these, more than 78% are weight-loss programs for women. Unlike the hefty models of Greek statuary and Renaissance paintings, American women have had an obsession with leanness ever since the Flapper rage of the Twenties.
So where does zaftig 135-pound curvaceous Marilyn Monroe fit into this pattern…?
The ‘Daily Mail’ of London recently revealed her secret diet plan. The 20th C sex goddess, who lured politicians, athletes and playwrights, wrote in her diary: “I begin my day with a slimming breakfast of two raw eggs in warm milk; hard boiled steak, liver or lamb chops for dinner with a handful of carrots; in between, a 10-miiute workout; plus a hot fudge sundae every evening.”
While this diet would not have won her any Gold Medals, it apparently helped win her a permanent pedestal in the pantheon of American feminine beauty. No, she never made the classic cover of the Wheaties box…but then, how many women reading this on their treadmill would trade her beauty for a box of cereal?
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