Susan, I'd like to talk to you about your third piece of cake . . .

Yes, someone had occasion to say those very
(well-intentioned) words to me over the weekend.

I'll let you imagine the circumstances in which such dialogue could occur . . . and if you imagine that I was actually eating my third piece of cake, you have a good (and accurate) imagination.

I of course replied that no one is allowed to talk to me about anything that I eat during the month of November, and December ain't lookin' promising for that conversation either.

After all, when a bank robber robs a bank he is perfectly cognizant that his actions are against the law, but that doesn't stop him. Of course I know that no responsible adult should indulge in 3 (three) pieces of cake in one 24 hour period.

But I'm happy to report that the third piece was every bit as tasty as the first and second had been earlier in the day.

Perhaps if I didn't turn to baked goods during times of stress I wouldn't have to be such good friends with my personal video trainer:

The Evil (but effective) Jillian Michaels

But on the other hand there are worse things I could be addicted to, right? (I'd also like to add, in my defense, that the cake had oatmeal in it. Oatmeal. Isn't that a mitigating circumstance?)

When I was at Target with my daughter perusing the underwear aisle last week I came upon a development that had me completely nonplussed*:

*Nonplussed, adj: usually refers to loss of orientation (ability to place oneself correctly in the world by time, location, and personal identity); at a loss, unfazed, unaffected or unimpressed.

Foundations are back.

That's right, Baby, you've come a long way

but please make sure you keep yourself laced into that hourglass shape we've all come to expect and love.

I'm not sure who is responsible for this or why women are buying into it -- but I'm dismayed by it.

On the other hand, perhaps it means I could eat all the November cake I want and with a little spandex magic, no one would think worse of me for it at the December show.

But Aunt Lillie had no use for such things, and her foundational disdain must be genetic because I definitely inherited it.

I am indebted, however, to all the underwear models who populate the pages of my vintage magazine collection. Without them, my blog stats would be . . . well . . . much saggier.

(yes, it's true -- the hits continue for one particular vintage foundation ad that seems to have inspired legions of devoted fans around the globe)

So because it's probably time for a shot of new readers (albeit creepy ones), and in honor of women who both love cake and want to look great eating it, I am going to present a few goodies I've come across since the last time I took a blog walk through vintage lingerie-ville.

These two were particularly interesting because they were in "Calling All Girls", which is what seems to be a tween/young teen magazine from the 40's (yes, I'm aware we were neither LOL-ing nor calling girls "tweens" in the 1940's) and I found it curious that they were warning girls that although they are thin NOW, they need to plan for the future when they will be less than desirable.

And did I really want my tween looking for "more uplift than a Marine's whistle?"

I love the two round "cupcake" looking things in the mural on the wall. Oh, the beautiful subtleties of the advertising arts.

Maidenform ran a whole series of "I Dreamed" ads in the early 50's and I'd like to meet the ad wizard who came up with them. I think they are positively ridiculous (not to mention ridiculously cone-like -- you may have to click on the images to get the point).

One of my best motherhood memories is the day one of my daughters told me she felt best about herself when she was wearing her swimsuit because when she was in her swimsuit it was about what she could DO, not how she LOOKED.

Ah . . . youth.

But somehow in these ads the bra is the thing that allows the women to dream big. Hmmm.

Now this one might not look like much, but I loved the line from the ad promising that this comfy contraption would
"Make Spreading Hiplines Conform to Firm Beauty."

(I must admit that at this juncture in my life, my hiplines seem to be less concerned with firmness and beauty every day. But judging from the appearance of my middle-aged peers, this seems to be a design flaw Mother Nature had a hand in.)

And all I have to say about this ad is that SOMETHING happened to this woman between the before and after photo that every girl of "slim teen size" can only dream of. That is some bra!

I was delighted to see Dr. Maya Angelou

on the news this morning, having received an award of recognition for inspiring women from Glamour magazine (although I felt it was a little ironic that a fashion magazine was behind it).

The interviewer asked her to recite a few lines from "Phenomenal Woman" and it was inspiring to hear the familiar lines coming directly from the mouth of the phenomenal poet.

Without hesitation, she said:

" . . . It's in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,

The stride of my step,

The curl of my lips.

I'm a woman


Phenomenal woman,
That's me. . . "

but I wish she'd continued --

" . . . It's in the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,

And the joy in my feet . . .

. . . It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts,

The grace of my style . . .

. . . It's in the click of my heels,

The bend of my hair,

The palm of my hand,

The need for my care.

'Cause I'm a woman


Phenomenal woman,
That's me."

all of us,


Allie said...

Life is short, eat dessert first - a wise woman quoted me that line from childhood on. God bless my mother, perfect little round woman that she is. Cake has eggs, which makes it healthy.

My girlfriend tried on a foundational garment the other day. But it had hooks all up the back, and she didn't have anyone with her to do it up - so she put it on backwards, did up the hooks, and tried to turn it. She thinks she permanently displaced some body parts.

VO said...

My favorite part: Go to your pet department store and ask for a Velvet Grip.

Language that morphs...gotta love it.

I could use one of those foundational garments...but then I wouldn't be able to breathe. Or I might look a bit like an over-stuffed sausage that's a little green around the gills.

Amelia and Justin said...

Haha - I'm pretty sure I know who said those words to you...hahaha

I had to read the line about the "pet department store" a few times before I understood it. I couldn't figure out why they were sending them to a pet store...hehe.

I'll have you know, I'm eating cake for breakfast this very minute. And It's SO good! :)

stfrank said...

Three is appropriate, *six is my goal especially with those awesome new foundations! I can't wait for the return of wool bathing suits. But on a more professional note (coming from a semi-professional baker and gingerbread artist-you don't even want to know how much sugar floats around my house) if it melts in your mouth it must be considered a fluid and as we all know it is cold and flu season for which Doctors recommend lots of fluids and plenty of rest - which reminds me it's time for my midday nap...Doctors' Orders! *note to Hinckley girls - though my metabolism isn't the same, my swimmer's appetite has never changed! Fair warning.

luanne said...

My verification word is *slyses*, how oddly appropriate.

I'm old enough to remember wearing a girdle in my teens (and the constant compression stomach ache) before pantyhose became affordable and "liberated" us.

Yet when those shaper things came out in recent years, they sounded so innocuous, and everyone was singing their praises. Who can resist "look 10 pounds thinner instantly!" -- so I made the mistake of TRYING to try one on. I probably burned a whole dessert's worth of calories just trying to get it on and off.

Conclusion: same old torture, new-age package. No thanks.

But at least we've escaped the return of the cone-boobs so far. Let's celebrate that... please pass the cake!

april said...

i LOVE when you bring out the vintage lingerie ads!!!! thank you, o thank you, for the great laughs. yes, luane, thank goodness for no cone-bra resurgence (and yes i had clicked on that pic before you even suggested it and my only thought was "madonna".) however, i must acknowledge that i have bought into this whole girdle idea. the british "what not to wear ladies" won me over when they repeatedly said: "don't go on a diet to lose 10 lbs, just wear better underwear." although i only wear girdles/control top pantyhose on sundays.

thanks for your comments on my blog. i must admit it is fun to see your kid grow and develop: lily is learning to read, grace is becoming more adult like and it's nice to be able to rely on her more, fritzy says the cutest things, etc.... i'm looking forward to the adventures we can do as a family with older children. still sad to know that my snuggle moments may be drawing to a close.

anyhoo, lots of love. glad to be part of susan nation again!!!

susan m hinckley said...

I was talking to Hannah about this post and she told me that it must be a generational thing -- all her friends own and wear foundations.

Could it be that they are so young that they totally have no concept of the whole liberation thing? Because I can't believe that they're willing to make less money than men AND wear uncomfortable underwear while they do it! The making less money part is bad enough! Still working on fixing that, of course, but let's not give back the advances we have been able to make.

My dad used to tell me that it would be confusing to grow up as one of my daughters because you'd never be sure whether Santa Claus was a man or a woman . . . yes, I guess I'm a bit of a soap box-er on women's issues, but I hope that's only made my girls feel NO NEED WHATSOEVER to worry about lacing themselves up before they head out the door every day.

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