Insights from my friend at Vanbytheriver
It might be hard to imagine today, but it was a reality of the 1950’s and early 1960’s; evident in every magazine, newspaper and television screen.
Standards of beauty involved curves. An iconic Marilyn Monroe stood at 5 ft. 5 in. and fluctuated between 125 and 140 lbs., reputed to be a size 16.
The ethic of my eastern European heritage dictated that a plump wife was a sign of a man’s good fortune. My grandmother and mother fell into line.
By anyone’s standards, they were overweight. Fat was not the exception, it was the norm; particularly in women who’d born children.
We children were quite different. We were rail-thin. I was, by far, the worst.
Somewhere around age 7, I just stopped eating. Today, they would call it a disorder, maybe even anorexia. I was grossly underweight, severely anemic, depressed over family trauma.
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