"You have only to look at one of the most beautiful women in the world-- Elizabeth Taylor-- when she is twenty pounds overweight (as she occasionally is) and compare her to the goddess she is when she is sleeked down to a size ten. Even her beauty can't survive runaway fat."
--Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl (1962)
Now before you jump to Ms. Taylor's defense, I'd argue she'd agree with HGB. I've written here before about her weight-loss auto-beauty-ography, Elizabeth Takes Off. She had a very firm opinion about her ideal weight (123 pounds to be exact). She may slip up, she may try to distract the eye with a few diamonds, but I don't believe she kids herself.
"The glandular dodge is out. Doctors find that behind nearly every fat person lies a history of compulsive, secretive eating. A dear friend of mine who was supposedly 'glandular' was actually bolting a quart of chocolate ice cream every day after work before dinner.
Even women fresh from childbirth have proved they can be slim again quick.
Where can you hide?
Take it off and you won't have to."
Why do I love this stuff so? It's a tougher breed of self-love. Have you really accepted those extra pounds or are you-- say it with me-- kidding yourself? Take yourself in hand, HGB and these other voices from the past command.
Here are two modern gals that don't kid themselves. Debra lost 25 pounds in a month by refusing to kid herself, and Mary knows you know, but thinks you may need to hear it again.
In a later chapter, on dating, HGB further clarifies the point:
"... you must at least create the illusion of beauty by acting beautiful.
You don't have to lie your head off and say I am, I am, I am when you know damn well you aren't-- a stunner. But you must love yourself enough to employ every device... voice, words, clothes, figure, make-up... to become one."
I guess now is when I should tell you not to take it to extremes, etc. But I tire of modern moderation. So, tell me ladies, do you feel inspired or abused?