Thursday, November 29, 2012
This is related to my blog entry yesterday. I love the old TV shows, the ones that remind me of my youth. Today I woke up at 5 am, a bit too early for me. While I drank my coffee, I turned on the TV to find an episode of “I Love Lucy.”
Remember Ethel? - Lucy’s sidekick? Ethel’s weight was a running joke on the show. Looking at her today, she’s positively slim!
Lucy was followed this morning by “The Honeymooners” – the classic spin-off from the Jackie Gleason show. Now Jackie was definitely obese. Back then though, his weight was considered so extreme it was always mentioned in the scripts. Being paired with the extremely slim Art Carney emphasized the theme. According to his biography at 5’10” he occasionally dieted to 180 lbs, but his top weight “approached 300.” He would be a good candidate for SP, but he also would have lots of company. He wouldn’t even be our “biggest loser.”
Neither of these actors would even get a second glance on the street today, at least not for their weight.
Checking further, I learned that Lucille Ball was reported to be a “perfect size 12” according to her studio. That’s equivalent to a size 4 in today’s world of vanity sizing. She was 5’7” with weight varying from 115 to 132 lbs. Ethel (Vivian Vance) was 10-15 lbs heavier. It isn’t true that she was contractually obligated to maintain that difference.
Two recent articles (msn and huffington post) report that seeing larger people make us feel better about ourselves. The fashion industry entices us to buy more by slapping smaller sizes on ever larger clothes.
I believe in a positive self image. I have many qualities of which I’m proud that have nothing to do with my height, weight, body type or degree of attractiveness. However, Lucy, Ethel and I would have worn the same size. Calling me a size 6 instead of a 12-14 is just an attempt at false self esteem.