The search for “Britain’s Most Glamorous Fatty” issued 3/19/1962.
Title reads: “Plump and Lovely”.
Miss Fat and Beautiful Contest. Various shots overweight women window shopping in Oxford Street. Panning shot an outsize mannequin in shop window wearing dress. C/U ticket on dress “48 Hips”. C/U fat women looking in shop window. Interior of shop. Various shots plump woman trying on coat which doesn’t fit her. A shop assistant shows her an outsized coat which fits her perfectly. The assistant then passes her a pair of enormous knickers. The large lady holds up the large bloomers.
Interior of department store, Barkers of Kensington. Various shots of large ladies taking part in “Miss Fat and Beautiful” beauty contest. Contestants are Mrs. Mary Ramsden from Leeds, Mrs. Marie Burgess from Bath, Mrs. Joan Gronert from Nottingham, Mrs. Dorothy Waugh aged 32 from Scotland, Mrs. Helen Thomas from Birmingham, Miss Leonore Hoyle from Blackburn. The winner is Mrs. Waugh - we see her wearing the winner’s sash and holding bouquet.
Mr. and Mrs. Thompson standing in front of their log and peat cabin. Thompson reckoned that he had had three crops out of nine on the land. Necedah project, Wisconsin. Carter, Paul, photographer. CREATED/PUBLISHED 1936 July.
I'm loving all of these Depression-era photos. It really disrupts the idea that fat is a product of late-capitalist abundance, or, more simply, you get fat from eating too much. Somehow, I'm doubting these folks, many of whom were likely living in poverty, were fat because of overconsumption. Y'know, the rampant overconsumption of the... 1930s. Right. That. Thanks for the work you do keeping up this site!
Why thank you, mskaylee. I’ve learned that there are three places where it’s relatively easy to find photos of fat people: celebrities/powerful people, farm families and people of African/Mexican descent. The first group has the means to afford to eat with the convenience and choice that most Americans currently enjoy, the second group (usually) had better access to regular food supplies, and the third group has been shown to be more genetically predisposed to higher weights and, in particular, higher thresholds for metabolic indicators.
All that capitalist abundance has done is make it possible for middle class and poor people today to eat like the wealthy celebrities and power brokers at the turn of the 20th century.
Anyway, thanks for your kind words. I’m still combing through archives, so try not to mind the hiccups when there’s a lack of photos. There will always be an update forthcoming.
Edgar Allen, wife, and children. They are tenants of private party on one hundred sixty acre farm near Milford, Iowa. Crop share lease, two-fifths of all crops and two hundred dollars rent. This is an extreme case of poverty in northwest Iowa. Children are very smart and seemingly very happy.
Part of the L.H. Nissen family of ten living in a three-room shack. Rest of family at school. The whole house was of unusually high humidity. The wife said they could not dry out the bedding because of the poor ventilation. This is the living room and kitchen combined. Iowa.