1950s Charm School: Eating for Loveliness

This post is part of a series examining 1950s era charm, poise, and beauty using Secrets of Poise, Personality, and Model Beauty written by modeling agency and schools icon John Robert Powers and published by Prentiss-Hall in 1960.

Another important point to keep in mind as you diet is this:  Don’t let one violation of your diet program make you feel that all is lost and you might as well throw in the sponge cake and forget about it (emphasis added). Acknowledge your mistake and determine to be more disciplined in the future–but don’t let it discourage you completely.  An occasional fall from grace is bound to happen.  Recognize it for the momentary slip that it is and redouble your efforts to be careful. ~ John Robert Powers

Guardian Service Booklet, c1935

Guardian Service Booklet, c1935; Image courtesy of alsis35 on Flickr.com

During my recent winter break, I spent a lot of time resting and learning about “eating for beauty.”  Here’s the kicker: The food that the beauty gurus encourage us to eat are the same ones that health food advocates implore us to eat. The crux of the matter is that beauty occurs from the inside out by eating food–especially fruits and vegetables–as close to its natural form as possible and avoiding the chemicals of faux food that clog up our innards, dull our eyes and skin, and zap our energy.

Eating for loveliness suggestions:

  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables in season and in a variety of colors as close to their natural form as possible (I think of this as my Victory Garden part of my eating plan)
  • Reduce your intake of sweeteners–both natural and artificial
  • Avoid processed and faux food (did you know that some brands of “blueberry muffins” don’t have blueberries in them at all?  The “blueberries” are artificial flavoring, hydrogenated fat, and the same stuff they spray on RV’s to winterize them *yuck!*)
  • Drink water instead of sodas and so-called energy drinks

Another important message that kept coming up in the articles and books I was reading is that we don’t have to go bonzo and think that this is an all or nothing proposition.  We should strive for a 80/20 balance by allowing ourselves to eat “bad food”–just not all of the time and to preferably plan for it.  I remember reading that someone who lost several hundred pounds would tell himself whenever he started to feel cravings for a particular food, “I can have this (piece of pie or whatever) whenever I want it.  I’m just choosing to wait and not have it right now.”  In this way, he felt empowered instead of powerless.

This year, instead of focusing on losing weight, I’m focusing on eating for beauty.  My body will thank me for it!