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Stupid observation about Gone with the Wind.


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There's a scene that she says she'll never go hungry again. 2 scenes that bother me where her maid tells her to eat like a bird and another when she's upset after having a baby about her waistline. I wonder back then if women starved themselves for their figure just like today with the eating disorders.

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5 hours ago, Marysara1 said:

There's a scene that she says she'll never go hungry again. 2 scenes that bother me where her maid tells her to eat like a bird and another when she's upset after having a baby about her waistline. I wonder back then if women starved themselves for their figure just like today with the eating disorders.

By "back then" I'm taking you mean back when GWTW was set. Or are you referring to when the movie was made?  I'd say probably yes for both times.

US critic: 'undeniably racist' Gone with the Wind should be banned from  cinemas | Gone With The Wind | The Guardian

Ayds - Wikipedia

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2 hours ago, Marysara1 said:

There's a scene that she says she'll never go hungry again. 2 scenes that bother me where her maid tells her to eat like a bird and another when she's upset after having a baby about her waistline. I wonder back then if women starved themselves for their figure just like today with the eating disorders.

I doubt it. You're touching here on the feminine ideal which as you suggest has changed over time. Look at nude paintings of the Renaissance era. Those were some stout gals. Their girth was considered a sign of health and wealth.

In Scarlett's time, the hourglass shape was preferred, so women wanted to give the illusion of a big butt and boobs but a tiny waistline. That look was achieved then not through starvation and jazzercize, but with the corset and bustle.

And Scarlet could put it away, as we saw in one scene where she eats like Henry VIII. She swore she'd never go hungry again after suffering famine, not because she was instructed to keep her figure.

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53 minutes ago, Janet0312 said:

Coffee and cigarettes just make you hungrier.

Nicotine is an appetite suppressant. Per a scientific study done in 2011, 

 nicotine activates a pathway in the brain that suppresses appetite.

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49 minutes ago, Hellzapoppin said:

By "back then" I'm taking you mean back when GWTW was set?

I assumed the same thing;  Thus I wonder was Scarlett concerned about her waistline in the book,  or was that scene in the photo made-up by the screenwriter(s) as an easy way to show how petty Scarlett was at that age;  I.e.  something that took pages and pages in the book, with various examples,  but that can be done with a quick scene since film is a condensed,  visual art form.

 

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45 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Nicotine is an appetite suppressant. Per a scientific study done in 2011, 

 nicotine activates a pathway in the brain that suppresses appetite.

Sure.  And which explains why so many of those who quit smoking start putting on weight.  NOTHING to do with the misguided belief of "oral gratification", which basically means(if Otto let it go) thinking those who quit smoking use food to replace the "pacifier" of a cigarette in their mouths.   :rolleyes:

Sepiatone

 

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It's been over 30 years since I read the book, but I seem to recall the ridiculously small size of Scarlett's waist being mentioned in the first few pages.

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1 hour ago, Fedya said:

It's been over 30 years since I read the book, but I seem to recall the ridiculously small size of Scarlett's waist being mentioned in the first few pages.

18 1/2 inches.

In the movie anyway, there's this scene a bit later in the film (which Hellzapoppin posted this pic of earlier) where while pulling on the corset strings, Mammy tells Scarlett...

500.jpg?quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s

"You ain't never gonna be no eighteen and a half inches anymore Miss Scarlett. You done had a child."

 

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3 hours ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

I assumed the same thing;  Thus I wonder was Scarlett concerned about her waistline in the book,  or was that scene in the photo made-up by the screenwriter(s) as an easy way to show how petty Scarlett was at that age;  I.e.  something that took pages and pages in the book, with various examples,  but that can be done with a quick scene since film is a condensed,  visual art form.

 

Excepting her two previous children deleted from the screenplay, the movie is very faithful to the book.   The Mammy sequence near the beginning with the eating concerns are in the book. 

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To answer your question, yes, absolutely, sometimes more extremely so than now; women giving themselves tapeworms to stay thin, for example. Look up Empress Elisabeth of Austria, sometime, better known as the iconic "Sissi." She would have been a contemporary of Scarlett's and was sort of like the Princess Diana of her time in a number of ways, including her very well documented eating disorders.

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25 minutes ago, ClassicMovieholic said:

To answer your question, yes, absolutely, sometimes more extremely so than now; women giving themselves tapeworms to stay thin, for example. Look up Empress Elisabeth of Austria, sometime, better known as the iconic "Sissi." She would have been a contemporary of Scarlett's and was sort of like the Princess Diana of her time in a number of ways, including her very well documented eating disorders.

Well ya know here, these characters, both fictional AND true historical, could have just eaten a sensible and moderate diet in order to acheive their goals, ya know.

(...uh-huh, and just like the VAST majority of Americans do TODAY!!!) 

LOL

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16 hours ago, Dargo said:

Well ya know here, these characters, both fictional AND true historical, could have just eaten a sensible and moderate diet in order to acheive their goals, ya know.

(...uh-huh, and just like the VAST majority of Americans do TODAY!!!) 

LOL

But in the Antebellum South it must have been impossible to eat moderately with all that good BARBECUE available.  ;) 

Sepiatone

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7 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

But in the Antebellum South it must have been impossible to eat moderately with all that good BARBECUE available.  ;) 

Sepiatone

Sorry here Sepia, but I think you might now be applying a modern 21st Century American mindset to all this.

Uh-huh, and 'cause who's to say those slave owners back then couldn't have stopped after eatin' just a couple of ribs from those BBQs, and unlike it seems so many modern day Americans fail to be able to do, HUH?!

(...answer me THAT, dude!) ;)

LOL

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19 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

I stand by my observation.  Think about it....

If NOT for all that barbecue, there wouldn't have been any NEED for those corsets!    ;) 

Sepiatone

Nah, sorry ol' buddy, but considering the ever increasing trend of obesity in this country and especially so within the past few decades, and ALSO considering that the era depicted within the movie in question here took place MANY decades BEFORE this said "ever increasing trend of obesity", and mind you a major contributing factor in all this being that too many Americans now days just eat WAY too damn much and more than they should...

(...well, and so point being here, I'm gonna stick with this little "theory" of mine here, and there AIN'T no way you're gonna talk me out of it!!!)  ;)

LOL

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OH and btw...

I sure hope nobody here would now think that by my last two or three postings in this baby that I have in any manner at all been indulging in the practice of the "Fat-Shaming of the American populace".

(...BUT, on the OTHERhand and if they MIGHT...well, let's just say, and as Gable says at the very end of the movie in question here, "Frankly my dear...." well, I'm sure you all know the rest of that line, don't ya)

 

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Scarlett's waist measures 17 inches at the beginning of the book. As in the film, she complains about being 20 inches after Bonnie is born.

Vivien Leigh had a 22 inch waist during filming. She later noted how bruising, painful and damaging the corsets were to her torso after a time.

The costumes were very heavy and she lost a lot of weight under the hot Technicolor lights.

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19 hours ago, Dargo said:

Well ya know here, these characters, both fictional AND true historical, could have just eaten a sensible and moderate diet in order to acheive their goals, ya know.

(...uh-huh, and just like the VAST majority of Americans do TODAY!!!) 

LOL

Sadly, there was nothing sensible or moderate about Elisabeth of Austria's life. She married at 16 to the Emperor, who, during negotiations of a betrothal to her older sister, took one look at her and asked for her instead. Widely regarded the most beautiful woman of her time, from the outside their marriage looked like a real-life fairy tale, but from the inside, the pressures of the Austrian court and her domineering mother-in-law were stifling. Her life was marred by chronic health problems (exacerbated by her disordered eating), and relentless tragedy. They lost their firstborn daughter in infancy, not an uncommon tragedy at the time, but the real blow came later when their son and heir, the Crown Prince Rudolf, died in a suicide pact and/or murder suicide with his teenaged mistress. She herself famously retained her beauty into her elder years, but was stabbed to death at age 60 by an anarchist while disembarking from a river boat. His intended target was actually someone else, and when asked why he had attacked her instead, he simply said he wanted to kill a noble, and it didn't matter which one.

Her story was heavily romanticized and given a Disney-style treatment in the popular Sissi film series featuring Romy Schneider. She was given a more nuanced treatment in Visconti's Ludwig, in which Schneider reprises her iconic role as a more mature and disillusioned Sissi, and in the BBC series Fall of Ealges.

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2 hours ago, Dargo said:

OH and btw...

I sure hope nobody here would now think that by my last two or three postings in this baby that I have in any manner at all been indulging in the practice of the "Fat-Shaming of the American populace".

(...BUT, on the OTHERhand and if they MIGHT...well, let's just say, and as Gable says at the very end of the movie in question here, "Frankly my dear...." well, I'm sure you all know the rest of that line, don't ya)

 

(Ahem!) I actually did think you were indulging, Dargo.

Why some folks not only care about but also work themselves up into a foamy-mouthed frenzy over other folks' diets and weight, I'll never understand.

A major reason for the eternal unrest and turmoil in the world, IMO? People minding other peoples' business!

 

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This thread reminded me of Molly O'Day, an aspiring actress who had weight loss surgery back in 1928 to, as wiki puts it, "remove several pounds of flesh from her hips and legs."  According to the LA Times:

"O’Day suffered the rigors of early Hollywood--including a much-reported two-year fight with her weight. At 18, in 1928, she was threatened with the loss of her contract if she could not fit into a specified size dress. So she resorted to “an operation for the removal of surplus fat” at Los Angeles’ Queen of Angels Hospital.

Two years later, a sympathetic Los Angeles Examiner reporter wrote that she had finally triumphed over her weight problem: “She fasted and she dieted. She took mud baths and spring cures. She racked and contorted her body in furious gymnastics. And once, she even went under the surgeon’s knife in the hope of being able to lose a little of that plumpness which threatened to bring her film career to an untimely close.”

Although she refused to divulge her diet secrets, the actress was appraised by the newsman: “Yesterday, however, a new Molly appeared on the scene--a Molly slim, sylphlike and joyous, a Molly whose weight had toppled from 140 horrible pounds to a more than bearable 120, where it remains.”

MollyODay.jpg

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5 hours ago, Dargo said:

Sorry here Sepia, but I think you might now be applying a modern 21st Century American mindset to all this.

Uh-huh, and 'cause who's to say those slave owners back then couldn't have stopped after eatin' just a couple of ribs from those BBQs, and unlike it seems so many modern day Americans fail to be able to do, HUH?!

(...answer me THAT, dude!) ;)

LOL

I don't remember that the text specifies how much barbecue people eat, but certainly it's an integral part of the culture of the county. See the contemptuous observation that "the second Mrs. Calvert" is a Yankee, and therefore doesn't like barbecue food, which is understood to mark her as a cultural outsider and object of distrust. "The second Mrs. Calvert" is what the county folk spitefully call Cathleen (who spills the tea about Rhett Butler to Scarlett on the stairs at Twelve Oaks) and Cade Calvert's stepmother, a Northern governess who married the master of the house after his first wife died. She is the cause of much annoyance to her neighbors for her implicit abolitionist sympathies, and for doing uppity things like being so unreasonable as to take umbrage when the Tarleton twins drunkenly shoot Cade in the leg (what a ****!😆).

I don't think the issue is how much they ate, so much as what they ate. While the food was rich and high calorie, it was also presumably all home grown, raised, and prepared. There would have been no growth hormones, unnatural preservatives or added chemicals. They would have had little processed food in their diet, and while they had access to sugar, it was an expensive luxury good and wouldn't have been added to every product as a default the way it is now, let alone that they would have eaten few store-bought products to begin with.

Furthermore, their lifestyle was perhaps less sedentary in some ways than is ours. Far from being the leisurely places of Hollywood myth, plantation houses were anthills of activity. A girl of Scarlett's social class would have led a more sedentary life than her male counterparts, but we get the impression that exercise such as riding, walking and dancing is part of the regular social life of girls of the county. Possibly less so in Atlanta, but Scarlett still moves around quite a lot there, traveling between her various business ventures, calling on acquaintances, and taking an active role in the whirling social circuit of the Reconstruction.

Not especially on topic, but on the note of food, an amusing episode of the book is when Scarlett comes home to find that one of the only food sources to survive the war at Tara are sweet potatoes, as Mammy claims the raiding Yankees didn't know what a sweet potato was, which seems suspect to me. Margaret Mitchell did not appear to credit Northerners with much intelligence, and it must be said that the woman who proudly proclaimed she had not consulted a single non-Southern source in her research had her share of bias.

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1 hour ago, ClassicMovieholic said:

Sadly, there was nothing sensible or moderate about Elisabeth of Austria's life. She married at 16 to the Emperor, who, during negotiations of a betrothal to her older sister, took one look at her and asked for her instead. Widely regarded the most beautiful woman of her time, from the outside their marriage looked like a real-life fairy tale, but from the inside, the pressures of the Austrian court and her domineering mother-in-law were stifling. Her life was marred by chronic health problems (exacerbated by her disordered eating), and relentless tragedy. They lost their firstborn daughter in infancy, not an uncommon tragedy at the time, but the real blow came later when their son and heir, the Crown Prince Rudolf, died in a suicide pact and/or murder suicide with his teenaged mistress. She herself famously retained her beauty into her elder years, but was stabbed to death at age 60 by an anarchist while disembarking from a river boat. His intended target was actually someone else, and when asked why he had attacked her instead, he simply said he wanted to kill a noble, and it didn't matter which one.

Her story was heavily romanticized and given a Disney-style treatment in the popular Sissi film series featuring Romy Schneider. She was given a more nuanced treatment in Visconti's Ludwig, in which Schneider reprises her iconic role as a more mature and disillusioned Sissi, and in the BBC series Fall of Ealges.

Romy Schneider's  measurements were 33-24-33! Although the Sissi films are not exactly a portrait of authenticity, they are sumptuous and engaging entertainments. Romy's charm and simplicity in the 3 films have gone far towards maintaining Elisabeth of Austria as a legendary historical figure, while also bringing into prominence the talent of a great star!

676247c19befbc41989c99783f5b1ae5.jpg

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