An Unofficial History of Rich Women and Their Diets

An Unofficial History of Rich Women and Their Diets

An Unofficial History of Rich Women and Their Diets

No true society doyenne ever admits she’s on a diet. That has been the case since the turn of the 20th century, when plumpness as a sign of privilege was traded in for a trim, toned figure (and the fashions to flatter it), which suggested that one had the leisure time for sporting pursuits.

To be seen making an effort to stay trim is desperately de?classe?. Dieting is the white collar crime of Park Avenue royals: a dirty little thing they do in the dark so they can shine in https://hothookup.org/gay-hookup-apps/ the light during gala season. “I’m not really a dieter. I care about not gaining weight, but somehow my body puts its own stopgap on me,” admits Louise Grunwald, the renowned New York society hostess, sotto voce.

While starving, of course

She can hardly be civil about those wealthy whippets who put themselves through the rigors of portion control. “The most annoying thing, on the subject of dieting, is having a meal with a social X-ray where you’re digging into your normal meal-or, if the food is particularly bad, you’re grabbing one roll after the other and buttering it-while the social X-ray is sitting there chopping up her food and spreading it all around her plate!” Grunwald scoffs good-naturedly. “I’m pea-green with envy that they have that kind of discipline. ”

Fad diets come and go, e old spin. Hollywood starlets dined out on a version of the protein-based Dukan diet in the 1930s, the Scarsdale Medical Diet gave way to Atkins and F-Factor, and then today’s all-ketogenic-all-the-time mentality and the Master Cleanse begat Merla Zellerbach’s monastic detox. Meanwhile, Nikki Haskell, the infamous creator of StarCaps, is still around, except these days you’ll find her flitting between tables at the Polo Bar.

The renowned poet and lover Lord Byron left a trail of besotted countesses passed out on swooning couches from his birth in 1788 in England until his death in Greece, 36 years later

As far as Grunwald and her cohorts are concerned, it has always been true that you can have your souffle? Furstenberg and eat it, too, just as long as you observe strict rules in private, exercise moderation, and are blessed with good genes. If pressed, though, they’ll lower their voices and dish about what those other girls are doing to stay thin.

He was also obsessed with his figure, and his kooky ideas on nutrition (only bread and tea some days, only vegetables and wine on others) were copied by aristocratic women across Europe, becoming the first society fad diet.

His lasting contribution to the field was the invention of the apple cider vinegar cleanse, which returned with a vengeance a few years ago, this time powered by models and actresses such as Miranda Kerr, Hilary Duff, and Megan Fox. Scarlett Johansson, who used it on her face, told one British interviewer, “It’s a little bit stinky, but if you’re not sleeping over at your boyfriend’s, it’s really effective.”

In 1931 self-described “diet masseuse” Sylvia Ulback published Hollywood Undressed, a gossipy manual full of celebrity weight loss secrets that became a sensation, launching a national craze for diet tips from famous people that arguably remains unquenched.

“Actress Jean Harlow promoted a diet of lamb chops, steak, Jell-O, and tomatoes to lose six pounds in four days,” writes culture and food historian Adrienne Rose Bitar in her new book, Diet and the Disease of Civilization. Elizabeth Taylor and Debbie Reynolds, meanwhile, promoted Hollywood Special Formula bread, which promised miracle results at just 46 calories a slice. Consider it the proto Dukan diet.

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