This article from the NY Times archives reveals what the 1912's perfect woman was like. Cornell student Elsie Scheel of Brooklyn was described as having ideal proportions and not “a single defect.”As you can read in full if you click the photo to enlarge it, she is described as being “taller than Venus de Milo,” however she was not exactly a supermodel. She was of medium height, at five feet seven inches (170 cm).
Ms. Perfect was awarded the informal title for weighing “a healthy 171 pounds (77 Kg), and possessing a decidedly pear-shaped figure (35-30-40 in / 89-76-101).”
The standard is actually surprisingly contemporary, as nowadays a model is about 36-24-26 in (90-60-90 cm). The only difference is a woman was still considered beautiful back then if she had a bit of a tummy and a slightly larger behind.
Elsie preserved her figure by eating a lot of beefsteak dinners, skipping breakfast and staying off tea or coffee.
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