December 22, 2012

"The most nearly perfect physical specimen of womanhood at Cornell is Miss Elsie Scheel" — 5'7", 171 pounds.

"Remarkably similar" to the Venus de Milo — according to an article published in the NYT in 1912. She measured 34.6 inch chest, 30.3 inch waist, and 40.4 inch hips, and was "an ardent suffragette."

38 comments:

Inga said...

The size 14 of 20 years ago is the size 9 of today, it's called Vanity sizing, I believe. Marylin Monroe was tiny.

Sorun said...

The perfect physical specimen of a farm wife.

Ann Althouse said...

You think Marilyn Monroe had measurements like that?

Ann Althouse said...

"The perfect physical specimen of a farm wife."

You think the Venus de Milo represented a farm wife?

Sorun said...

You think the Venus de Milo represented a farm wife?

Not with those arms.

Bob R said...

Baby Got Back.

Sir Mix-A-Lot was born too late.

Eric said...

Does she have any descendants who have been on reality TV? If so, that's informative for the nature vs. nurture debate.

Sorun said...

"Does my butt look big?"

"You look just like Venus de Milo, honey."

Darcy said...

Huh. I have very similar measurements (a little smaller) but weigh quite a bit less. It's pretty fascinating to me how differently the same weight and measurements on women can look. I'm a size 8. I have no idea if what I wear was a 14 back in those days.

I do think it's nice that it's fashionable to be curvier. I think that's a lot healthier for teenagers to live with. I'm not meaning fat, I just mean not super thin.

ampersand said...

If 1890 beauty standards were in existence today, plastic surgeons would be busy injecting gallons of silicone into women's butts.

McTriumph said...

Ann Althouse said...
You think Marilyn Monroe had measurements like that?

No, Marilyn Monroe wasn't the size of the average high school running back.

Darcy said...

Yeah, I think the idea that Marilyn wore a 14 is a myth. She was teeny tiny. Curvy, but tiny.

Dante said...

Them's Child bearing hips.

Penny said...

"She has never been ill and doesn't know what fear is"—in fact, she told women that they would "be happier if they got over the fear of things."

Wise words, Miss Elsie.

Penny said...

Cripes, what a cow!

Penny said...

I didn't mean that.

What I meant to say was "She will not be cowed!"

ambienisevil said...
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ambienisevil said...
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Gary Rosen said...

"She was teeny tiny. Curvy, but tiny."

Based on a web search (FWIW) it seems that she was around 5' 5" and weighed 120-130 lbs. Not tall and statuesque as some people may assume but not "teeny tiny".

Darcy said...

@ambien

Ha! Could be. (Although that doesn't explain my measurements, lol.) But I'm not worried. I don't look pudgy at all. I don't even look big. That's what I find so fascinating.

Darcy said...

@Gary

I just know that her clothing has been on display in exhibits. If she wore those garments, she was tiny. At least in the right places!

Darcy said...

The average waist measurement of Marilyn's clothing was 22 inches.

Michael K said...

"Blogger Ann Althouse said...

You think Marilyn Monroe had measurements like that?"

No, Debbie Reynolds collects old costumes and has some Marilyn costumes that are tiny.

Astro said...

Where's the fact-checking on this?
According to Wikipedia, the Venus de Milo statue:
'...is a marble sculpture, slightly larger than life size at 203 cm (6 ft 8 in) high.'

So how did they get 5'7" from 6'8"?
And wouldn't a 5'7" woman have been rather tall by 1912 standards; and I bet 171 pounds would have been fairly hefty in those days, too.
Wikipedia says that the average modern adult woman is 5'4" tall, and woman are certainly taller (and heavier) now than they were 100 years ago.

Astro said...

(Just to clarify, I typed 5 ' 7 ", not 57" as it might appear due to the font spacing running the characters together.)

reformed trucker said...

Curvy women with a little meat on their bones are way sexier than the alleged super model types who look more like young teenaged boys with no tits.

edutcher said...

That's the kind of girl that won the West, from Schoharie to the Golden Gate; I'll just bet she doesn't know what fear is.

Ann Althouse said...

You think Marilyn Monroe had measurements like that?

I've read Marilyn was the perfect 36-24-36.

ampersand said...

If 1890 beauty standards were in existence today, plastic surgeons would be busy injecting gallons of silicone into women's butts.

Not to mention thighs, bellies, and bosoms. Women provided most of the central heating until indoor plumbing came in.

edutcher said...

Astro said...

Where's the fact-checking on this?
According to Wikipedia, the Venus de Milo statue:
'...is a marble sculpture, slightly larger than life size at 203 cm (6 ft 8 in) high.'

So how did they get 5'7" from 6'8"?
And wouldn't a 5'7" woman have been rather tall by 1912 standards; and I bet 171 pounds would have been fairly hefty in those days, too.


No, women then had a lot better muscle tone and didn't eat at McDonald's. Remember most work then was still done by muscle power.

As for her height, 5' 7" would have been a tad on the tall side, but not by much. If you're a child of the 50s, grandma and grandpa would have been her contemporaries.

ironrailsironweights said...

Guaranteed she was, ahem, flavorful.

Peter

Rusty said...

baby's got back.

Jim said...

Her waist hip ration is .75 just a little higher than the most desirable .7.

Salamandyr said...

So apparently people explaining to me what I'm supposed to find attractive isn't new.

Alex said...

A tit should be firm but just soft enough to be pliant.

Synova said...

I miss Trooper York.

whoresoftheinternet said...

And she probably had zero to two partners her whole life, unlike the skanks of today.

phx said...

Not with those arms.

Made my day.

sydney said...

I suspect the "most nearly pefect physical specimen" definition is one based on eugenics, not aesthetics, given the place and time of this article. Eugenics was all the rage among progressives and academics in the early 20th century.

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

"She is a splendid example of the very best of American womanhood today; well-poised, self-reliant, quick-witted and able to meet the world on its own terms without the subterfuges of her grandmothers."

American women today, and Women's Studies professors, could learn a lot from that. We're taught that the women of the past were trained to be weak, submissive, dependent, and ignorant. Elsie puts most of the women I meet to shame. Note too that the examining physician was a woman -- not something we envision occurring in 1913.