Here we have the Relax-A-Cizor. We’ve seen this sort of thing before, the belt that sort of jiggles you around and is supposed to take the place of exercising. I doubt that I would be able to sleep and rest while I had that thing whacking away at me, though. But this ad says I can rest and sleep and dream about being gorgeous.
This begs the question, do I really need to be reclining in a cave while I do this? And where has the model plugged in her record player (I think that’s a record player)? Must run on batteries. Where did she get all those batteries on a desert island?
Oh, right. From the photographer. Or from all the beauty editors who supposedly endorse this, including the Vogue editors. This ad is from a 1950s Vogue, in which you can read an article about slimming belts and other reducing aids. The writer (a Vogue editor) is very careful not to say whether anything works or not. She gets some pink belt with pads and a battery pack and describes using it while smoking a cigarette. It cost, in 1957, just under $200, which was a huge amount of money then ($10-$20 a week would get you a fair ]number of groceries). The electric-reducing-belt company guy is quoted as saying:
It affords selective exercise by electronic impulse applied at the motor points of the body – not the fat spots, but the motor points. Then, by teaching muscle memory, it restores the tone, and firm, lithe lines you see in a young person. In other words, it builds a living girdle from the muscles.
Targets the motor points of the body…Uh huh. And I have a lovely bridge in Brooklyn to sell you, electric-reducing-belt man! On sale this week only.
So take that pink coupon that’s adhering, as if by magic, to the cave wall, and you will get “the almost unbelievable story” of the Relax-A-Cizor. No cost, no obligation, no salesmen. No good, either. I reckon the model senses this, she doesn’t look all that happy.
Maybe that thing isn’t a record player. If so, what is it? Electrical supplies? Makeup? A supply of dietetic hardtack?
In any case, things are getting desperate by the end of the ad. “The booklet is pretty…why not send for it now?” Please, oh please! We beg you! Act now and we’ll throw in a free cave.