Friday, January 23, 2009

Fat Chance Records

First, of course, you have to get your fat to listen to the record. Because it is probably lying around, having a nap, enjoying life on your hips. Having a few party snacks, too. It's like the guest who never leaves, despite all the hints and pointed looking at watches and talk of needing to get up for work the next morning. You know what I mean.

Wallace and his magic records to the rescue!

This item comes in a plain wrapper, which immediately makes me suspicious. Suspicious of what, I don't know. But I don't like it.

The record is supposed to make you thin. I understand music, exercising to music, and exercising to a voice bossing you around ("do five hundred sit-ups...starting now!").

But what could the Wallace Method be that makes this record so special? They call it a "reducing record" and you also get a "reducing lesson." Maybe it is special music that makes your "bulging hips" shrink.

What sort of music would that be? Maybe John Philip Sousa marches. The extra fat gets charged up and parades away, just like that. That would be easy, but not exactly natural.

Maybe it's "easy listening music" that drives your fat mad and so it just packs up and leaves. Fat only likes jazz and big band tunes. This is 1950, so there isn't any rock music yet.

And the special lesson must teach you what to say as you play the record:
Party's over, subcutaneous fat! We are only playing this special music now, and there's no more good snacks. It's getting late, anyway. Then you tell it you're glad it could come by (you are lying, of course) and you'll call it sometime (as if!). What a great method!

But what do the Wallace Records people do with the bulges of the 500,000 women they have helped? Because it has to go somewhere. Hope they have access to a storage facility, that's all I'm saying.

The badly scanned ad from Ladies' Home Journal, 1950 scanned by me (lovely microfilm, shame about the library scanner). The really nice ad is from the supremely boss Duke University Ad Access collection (click the link for a bigger version, it is quite good and shows Mr. Wallace, a disembodied head who had a Get-Thin-To-Music radio show, too).

8 comments:

ceemee said...

Oooh! I think I'd like that. I sure hope it is as easy as that to tell off my fats and send them marching away. Maybe Wallace needs all those fats so his body would grow from his disembodied head.

Lin said...

I'm suspicious because they only show Wallace's head. Maybe he's really really fat down there. I don't trust Wallace.

Bill said...

You want to be sure you order the real deal here, and accept no imitations. The Wallace & Gromit version promotes the excessive consumption of cheese, and you'll be in worse shape than when you started.

I think these ads are interesting, because they point out our obsession with body image. It's a potential money-making bonanza. Lidian, have you noticed a trend with these ads historically? Have they always been around in one form or another?

Hot Rocks said...

Ha ha...that is FUNNY!

Tori Lennox said...

It comes in a plain brown wrapper? That is so.... weird.

unfortunate names said...

i would buy it if i just had to LISTEN to the music. all that movement is tiring.

Lidian said...

ceemee - Yeah, that's true, Wallace could use a little substance! :)

Lin - I don't know what's up with him, but I am not trusting him too much either.

Bill - You know, it never occurred to me that dear old Gromit might be involved, but as usual you make an excellent observation. And yes, ads have been playing on people's insecurities for ages...There are Victorian diet ads, for example. And all the beauty ads are timeless. I might do a specific Insecurity-Inducing ad of the week, come to think of it. Timeless! Classic!

Hot Rocks - It really is, and such a funny pic of the lady dancing on that big record.

Tori - It is suspicious, that brown wrapper...

unfortunate names - Me too. Or you could just listen to Wallace's radio show. After all, he can't see if people are doing their calisthenics or napping through it.

Sarah said...

I have a set of these Wallace records passed from My Grandmother in the 40's to my mom and now to me. Quite entertaining literature. I'd love to find out if they are worth something...