Beauty: A Matter of Balance in Fashions and Foods Lane Bryant Diet Booklet

There was a time in the late 1950s/early 1960s when Lane Bryant suggested to their customers that they be mindful of the calories in their desserts! Beauty: A Matter of Balance in Fashions and Foods is a Lane Bryant diet booklet co-branded with "D-Zerta."

"This booklet is dedicated to each Lady Bountiful who wishes to make the most of her beauty by looking and feeling her best.

"Lane Bryant, famous for fashion leadership, discloses secrets to help you select precisely what is right for your figure type in line, design, and fabric. Also revealed here are hints for enhancing your beauty with charm and poise. 

"Offered by General Foods Kitchens are easy and elegant ways to stick to your weight watcher's menu with a host of delightful recipes--all calorie curbed and made the modern way with low-calorie D-Zerta Gelatins and Puddings."

The booklet espouses the merits of having "feminine curves" and that men are pleased that "1/5 of the nation's women withstood get-thin propaganda and remain size 18 or over."  Also, "extra poundage is no more restricting than red hair. Once aware of your individual figure type, you can start learning how to emphasize the less attractive ones.

Despite the somewhat positive spin, the bottom line is that Lane Bryant is also promoting D-Zerta: "These desserts can help you keep from adding ounces-may even help you subtract a few."

"Having a full figure does not kill one's desire for desserts and snacks. But calories are less of a problem when you make a snack of a dish of D-Zerta Gelatin or Pudding."

I was surprised by this mid-century booklet and advertising venture for Lane Bryant because it's the only time I have seen them mention weight watching and calorie-counting. I have vintage Lane Bryant catalogs, and while the mention of "stout" ladies is commonplace it was never followed with the suggestion that she not gain any more weight or even could stand to lose some "ounces."

Of course this kind of campaign would never fly today. Despite the differences in the tone of the times I would be interested to know how this was pitched and received by the marketing department at Lane Bryant. Based upon the scarcity of this sort of find, I'm guessing it wasn't a hit!