Story: Body shape and dieting

Physical culture, 1933

Physical culture, 1933

From the 1930s exercise was promoted as an aid to health and beauty for women. These Auckland 'business girls' were taking part in physical culture classes, which included gentle, fluid dance and movement. The exercises were inspired by the British League for Health and Beauty, founded in 1930. While losing weight and building muscle was not an aim of these types of exercises, they did promote suppleness and poise – then thought of as desirable feminine attributes.

Using this item

Auckland City Libraries - Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Reference: AWNS-19330816-41-4

Permission of Auckland City Libraries Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Caroline Daley, 'Body shape and dieting - Changing attitudes to diet', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 9 December 2021)

Story by Caroline Daley, published 5 Sep 2013