In general, most of us humans are 7.5 heads tall. These sanforized women, however, appear to have streeeeettttcccched to nearly nine heads. Must have been hard to find a frock to fit. But seriously, I do enjoy artistic license, and find the image interesting.
If you think the world hasn’t made great strides in being “woke” in the 83 years since this ad was printed in LIFE, you’re wrong. Instead of erasing the past, let’s shine a light on it, so that we know how far we’ve come, and continue to go. Let’s also remember to keep everything in contextof its era and keep in mind that not everything that offends people was intended to belittle. As a Hispanic woman who has spent her life in Texas, I can tell you that many people DO speak with poor conjugation in broken sentences, as is par for the course when you are mastering a second language. I have heard sentences very similar to these. Before one jumps to outrage, one should try to see the big picture. Obviously, this wouldn’t fly in today’s advertising. And while I choose to grind my own beans each morning and consequently have never had Sanka, I sadly am forced to drink decaf as well. “I have sleep like the log” after evening coffee, too.
I love old magazines; they don’t mince words. In their retelling of how toddler Peter Jackson came to be the “sensation of the late London season” at the Horse Guards Parade, they made sure to make mention that he was only there because his poor father was jobless and had nowhere else to be, since he wasn’t supporting his family. Was that necessary?
Two-year-old Peter, overcome with emotion, could not simply watch the Mounting of the Guard. He had to be a part of it. It was not a protest at all, but imitation in the highest. Slipping away from the supervision of his father, Peter dashed out onto the grounds, secured his toy rifle (albeit on the wrong shoulder), and marched with military form, to the delight of onlookers. In this image, he is shouting an order, immediately followed by a fearful reaction to his own voice, and flees back to the arms of his papa.
Oh, y’all. How do I tread lightly on this image? My first inclination was to Google the opposite of eye candy, which returned “butt ugly.” Honestly. While I feel that is harsh, my eyes nod in accord with Google. These are skivvies best left unseen. It’s curious that LIFE published this at all, in their 7/11/38 issue, referring to Emmy Andersen (whom you will not find made mention of anywhere else on the interwebs) as a “calisthenist and premier nudist of Denmark.” By the way, if you again Google calisthenics, the example it gives is, “Three women swung Indian clubs while performing calisthenics in unison.” That’s weird, right? It’s not just me?
LIFE went on to explain that Andersen had been a solo nudist on a North Sea island for seven years because Denmark frowned on organized skin culture. Don’t Google that term, because it means something else entirely. She arrived in the USA on June 30th to “ascertain the status of nudism in America.” One wonders what she discovered, or when she returned to her homeland, which declared neutrality the following year, and was quickly occupied by the Germans. I, however, am not a Dane, so I don’t have to be neutral. To the exhibitionist with the nylons rolled down, I give a decided thumbs down.