How measurements have changed in 60 years!
Monday, March 11, 2013
I found a couple of interesting websites:
This one is from an article that shows the old Metropolitan Life Height-Weight charts from the 50s. The second one from 1959 is the one I grew up with. They weigh you WITH SHOES ON!! Can you imagine!! And the weights are very low compared to today. I am 5'4" (5'6" on that stupid chart) with a small frame (my wrist is 5.5 inches) and I was supposed to weigh 114 fully clothed, the original goal my doc gave me when I was 21 years old and weighed 147. I can't imagine weighing myself with my shoes on. I weigh myself first thing in the morning in my jammies (which weigh about 1/2 pound....the kitchen scale is good for things other than food). I hate weighing at a doctor's office because I can't strip. And it was just as bad during pregnancy: back when I had my babies in the early 70s, if you gained more than 20 pounds they screamed at you. I gained nearly 40 pounds with my first and you'd have thought I was trying to kill my baby. I gained 14 pounds with my 3rd child and was hailed a hero in the doctor's office.
The other article is about clothing sizes. As we all know every manufacturer has its own sizing system, and they change them every time they have a board meeting. Pattern sizes, though, haven't changed in a very long time and they used to match storebought clothing.
In the current pattern sizing I wear a 12. I have to adjust the hips smaller, but as anyone who sews knows, it's a lot easier to adjust hips than bust or waist. Marilyn Monroe was supposedly a perfect size 12 back in the 60s. I was an imperfect 12 when I lost my weight in 1970. Now at the Gap I wear size 00 jeans. I suppose it might make me FEEL better, but the size numbers don't mean much. I haven't changed, the sizes have.
People get degrees in marketing to change size numbers on us? Does it really make me buy more?
In the end I am a big believer in listening to your doctor's recommendations. She knows ME, my age and health and the life I live. It's better than any article in a magazine, keeps the panic at bay, and can keep us from attempting to achieve a number that isn't appropriate. I, for one, cannot be reduced to a chart.