Thursday, May 22, 2014

To Take Off Weight—Use Camouflage

G.L. Stampa, Punch (1919)
Above Cartoon by G.L. Stampa in Punch magazine, July 2, 1919, p. 26. The caption reads: She: "What a wonderful costume Mr. Bulkley has." He: "Yes. He's rather sensitive about his outline. It's the camouflage idea to prevent being noticed." Other cartoons (from the same time period) about the camouflage of fat are featured below on this blog post.


Betty Keep, DRESS SENSE (advice column) in The Australian Women's Weekly, September 30, 1970, p. 45—

[Question] I am short, just five feet, and overweight. My problem is a short waist and it's thick. Is there any fashion I can wear to make me look better? I do like to follow current fashion.

[Answer] Don't draw attention to your waist; I know this is difficult when nearly every fashion is now belted. The best camouflage I know is to accent the waist either slightly above or below your normal waist level.

Alfred J. Frueh (details), New York World (July 20, 1915)

Ida C. Clarke [author of American Women and the World War] in LOVELY WOMAN: Viewed by Herself, A Witty Address, in The Mail (Adelaide, South Australia), January 9, 1926, p. 22—

Not long ago I saw in a paper a long, nice, lovely story, stating that the War Department says now we can tell all about camouflage. Here was this nice, lovely story telling nice things about how the two systems of camouflage happened to be invented by man—the low visibility system and the dazzle system. And I said to myself, here is a man imagining that he invented camouflage, when, after all, for centuries, ever since time began, women have been practicing that gentle art of camouflage.

There isn't a fat woman under the sun that doesn't know the advantages of the low visibility system of camouflage. Fat women know they must not wear stripes that go round, and, of course, the dazzle system is in very general use. So men did not invent camouflage. What man did was to take women's invention and apply it to the most destructive business that man has ever invented—war.


Anon, NEW BOON FOR PLUMP: Fat Legs Made to Look Thin, in The Mail (Adelaide, South Australia), December 19, 1931, p. 22—

Women need no longer feel sensitive and embarrassed if they are the unfortunate possessors of fat legs.

Combining compassion with commercial initiative, the stocking manufacturers of France have gone to the rescue of these women and have hit on the great idea of evolving a camouflage system to disguise unsightly ankles.

Now they have extended this system to the whole leg, and are making specially shaded stockings to disguise fat legs.

These stockings shaded gradually from dark yellow or blue at the back to light yellow or light blue at the front, have the effect of making thick legs look slim.

Artist's name unclear, Life magazine (1918)