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Old 09-02-2019, 08:46 AM
F. U. Shakespeare is online now
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
That's not my impression of the 1950's and 60's; which is when I grew up. (I was born in the early 50's.) I think the demand for physical "perfection" has gotten much worse since then, and starts at much earlier ages.
Absolutely. It was even (for men) a status symbol to be a little out of shape. Comedian Alan King did a routine decrying the small, brief fitness craze of the 1950s. That spare tire around his middle, King declared, showed that when there was hard work to be done, he could afford to hire someone to do it. The emphasis on being fit made no sense to him: "Are we going to wrestle the communists?" Admittedly, there was more pressure on women to at least look fit, whether achieved by dieting or wearing constricting undergarments.

A bigger fitness craze began in earnest around 1980. Baby boomers metabolisms were slowing down. Arnold Schwarzenegger's fame made it less weird to lift weights. Running, especially distance running, became much more common. I remember when a middle aged civil servant in my hometown ran marathons. It was unheard of. Everybody thought the guy was Superman. But within a few years, it was no big deal.

IMO the emergence of older people in good shape increased the aversion to non-fit people walking around scantily clad.