Saturday, May 5, 2018

My Hero(ine)

I came of age in the 50s-60s when the picture at the left would have been the epitome of the perfect woman.

How I fantasized about Scarlett O'Hara and her 18" waist and even went through a period of starving myself in the 60s to try to achieve it.  Only one time in my life do I remember my mother being concerned because I was too thin.  That in itself was a sort of a backward reward (from the woman who once told me, as a 7 year old, that I was too fat to dance ballet).

If only I had realized that in the same period that I was despairing of ever having an 18" waist, there was a very popular model who is all but forgotten now. It was Hilda, whose picture I innocently posted yesterday.  Hilda, the voluptuous model who found joy in life and didn't care what size she was.

Hilda was the brainchild of illustrator Duane Bryers and, as it says in the article I read, "pin up art's best kept secret."  She was apparently the only plus-sized model printed on calendars from the 1950s to the 1980s, but she never achieved great popularity.  One reason given is that Bryers sometimes used models, sometimes used his imagination and so there was an inconsistency in Hilda's appearance, though I find it hard to believe the look on her face would have been the limiting factor.
Hilda was not afraid to answer the door in the all together.  Perhaps holding a tray of .... uh buns?

or to do her housework in the all together

She was a voracious reader

but she sometimes got tired.

And then she'd take herself to bed with more books and snacks.

Maybe if more of us "normal" girls had Hilda for a role model we would not have wasted so much time trying to look like Scarlet O'Hara.  Heck, even Marilyn Monroe couldn't keep up with those standards!

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