Somehow I always imagined that the Charles Atlas-type I-was-a-97-lb-weakling ads were an American phenomenon, limited to the front and back pages of the Archie & Veronica or Superman comic books of my youth.
But here's an ad that I found from a 1954 issue of Realites magazine.
"Here are, FREE, are the secrets of
The well built man ... and virile
The well-made woman ... and seductive.
What's more, this was not merely a 50s trend: the exercise company had been in existence in Paris for about 25 years.
And I thought working out in France was a new concept! Silly me.
Mostly, though, I have pondered and pondered the semantics and linguistics of this ad, and of the phrases in general. In French, a man with a good body is well built, while a woman is well made.
Enlighten me, someone.
Related post: French Women Don't Get Fat but Americans Do
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