I’ve been adding to my collection of vintage advertisements and stumbled across these in various places. It’s not often — okay, ever — that you see an ad for a weight-gain product. What surprises me isn’t that women of all sizes have been historically made to feel ashamed of their bodies, but rather the fact that these products were still being hawked through the 1970s — I have a cookbook from 1980 in which obesity is already being labeled public enemy number #1. To give some additional perspective, Americans began dieting in earnest around 1900 and haven’t stopped since.
The ads below are all undated, but I can tell the general decade by the graphics and illustrations. Click on each image to see a higher-res version. I’ve got lots more fun ads to post in the coming weeks and all will be added to this vintage ad photo gallery I’m envisioning but have yet to complete. As soon as I get through this last graduate paper and oral exams, I’ll get on it, I promise. That is… if I survive.
(1893 — thanks, Shelley!)
Groves Tasteless Chill Tonic — Makes Children as Fat as Pigs — Is just as good for adults.
Get Fat on Lorings Fat-Ten-U and Corpula Foods
(1930s – early-1940s)
Skinny Girls Are Not Glamour Girls — How to Add Glamorous Curves to Your Figure.
If you are a normal healthy underweight person and are ashamed of our skinny, scrawny figure, NUMAL may help you add pounds and pounds of firm, attractive flesh to your figure.
…So don’t let them snicker at your skinny, scrawny figure. A skinny, scrawny figure is neither fashionable nor glamorous. Remember, the girls with the glamorous curves get the dates.
It’s hard to believe they once called me SKINNY!
Thousands are quickly gaining 5 – 15 lbs. this new, easy way.
Don’t think you’re “born” to be skinny and friendless. Thousands with this new easy treatment have gained attractive pounds — in just a few weeks.
This is How I Trapped My Man!
(1940s – 1950s)
Girls with “Naturally Skinny” Figures
…Amazed at this entirely new way to add 5lbs. of solid flesh in 1 week… or no cost!
THOUSANDS of thin, pale, rundown folks and even “Naturally Skinny” men and women are amazed at this new, easy way to put on healthy needed pounds quickly. Gains of 15 to 20 lbs. in one month 5 lbs. in one week are reported regularly.
…Try Kelp-a-Malt for a single week and notice the difference how much better you sleep, how firm flesh appears in place of scrawny hollows” and the new energy and strength it brings you! Prescribed and used by physicians, Kelp-a-Malt is fine for children, too, improves their appetities. Remember the name, Kelp-a-Malt, the original and genuine kelp and malt tablets. There is nothing else like them, so don’t accept imitations and substitutes. Try Kelp-a-Malt today, and if you don’t gain at least 5 lbs. of good, firm flesh in 1 week, the trial is free.
(late 1940s to mid-1950s)
A SKINNY Man Hasn’t a Chance. I Wish I Could Gain Flesh
New Easy Way Adds 5 – 15 lbs. — Quick!
(1960s – 1970s)
Goodbye to shapeless, bony, flat, sagging buns with Super Shaper Buns Briefs.
Exclusively Designed Men’s Padded Briefs… Give You
EYE-CATCHING BUTTOCKS INSTANTLY!
The only men’s undergarment that can make these claims!
- Fills out your rear end without fattening diets
- Lifts, firms, and shapes your buttocks without exercises.
- Flattens your stomach without diet pills
…It’s a known fact that men’s buttocks are the most alluring part of the male anatomy. Super Shaper Buns Briefs is the One and only undergarment that could give you those “pumped-up” muscular looking buns instantly! See for yourself… One glance in your mirror will prove that you too can look like a Hollywood Hunk!
“If you want to be popular… You can’t afford to be SKINNY!“
PUTS POUNDS AND INCHES OF WELCOME WEIGHT ON SKINNY FIGURES Without Pads, Exercise, Fish Oils or Dangerous Surgery Diets
Maybe you don’t want to be a movie star, but what girl doesn’t want to look like one! If you’re thin, flat, skinny and underweight due to your eating habits, follow Linda Peck’s advice and take Super Wate-On. Users report tha tthey gain 5 – 10 – 15 pounds each week. …So why be skinny?