Throwback Thursday: Spring neck-cercises (1932)

Unwieldy chin fat was a pressing spring-beauty concern in the '30s.


The issue: March 1932

The times: Dr. Elizabeth Bagshaw opens Canada’s first family-planning clinic in Hamilton; the Lindbergh baby is kidnapped; Jack Benny’s first radio show airs.

The bodily challenge: Rogue face fat. In her spring-beauty feature “Keeping Young,” Chatelaine writer Annabelle Lee encouraged our female readership to slap, massage and exercise the flab right off of their faces (and surrounding areas) in order to avoid any distractions from their new spring outfits. “That down-in-the-mouth feeling only comes when we’re physically a bit off-colour and none too sure that our appearance is exactly devastating,” said Lee. Here, her top-five tips for ridding oneself of any “inelegant lumpiness” left over from winter.

1. “When the jawline thickens and sags, the entire contour of the face is spoiled. Use a special astringent for restoring flabby, sagging muscles, and slap briskly with the backs of hands.”

2. “There is that unsightly pad of fat which so often develops at the back of the neck. [Ed. note: Where now?] The result is an ungraceful poking-forward of the head. Clasp the hands at the nape of the neck and use them to force the head downward, at the same time exerting every effort to withstand the movement. The exercise should be a tussle between two opposing forces.”

3. “Heaviness around the jawline and a chin that insists on duplicating itself are conditions that can be rectified by massage and exercise. There’s no better thing for the obstreperous chin than the ‘lifting-biting’ exercise. Throw your head back, and open and close your mouth as if you are biting an apple. Feel the muscles of the neck become taut and firm. Do it 15 or 20 times.”

4. “Another double-chin massage is as follows: Place your thumbs just below your ears so that your fingers meet beneath your chin. Then draw the fingers back toward the ears.”

5. “If your throat is inclined to be too thin, be sure to rub in a rich, nourishing cream every night before you go to bed. Pat it in with the cushions of the fingers, using a rotary movement.”


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