Physical Culture was a monthly health and lifestyle magazine published by McFadden Publications, and ran from 1899 to 1955.
The magazine included photos, articles, and ads geared toward both men's and women's health and lifestyle topics. Bernarr MacFadden, founder of MacFadden Publications and editor of Physical Culture, would often include his own opinions on "the medical profession, morality in society, and the keys to a happy marriage," according to Josh Joyner on uwf.edu.
The magazine eventually ended due to the death of MacFadden in 1955 after enduring both success and controversial moments. My grandfather was born on September 22, 1934 and has kept this issue in his possession to give a little insight into what the culture was like during the year he was born.
Therefore, I have chosen photos and quotes from articles of the September 1934 issue to highlight the differences in culture between then and now.
1. The Cover
"The Personal Problem Magazine"
2. The Table of Contents
3. "Health And Beauty Come From Within"
"A woman will give an unlimited amount of time to making up her complexion, painting her nails, and exterior adornments of all kinds, but she usually neglects to give any attention to that which is necessary to maintain internal vital vigor."
4. Ad for Dynamic-Tension
"Are you fat and flabby? Or skinny and gawky? Are you short-winded or pepless? Do you hold back and let others walk off with the prettiest girls, the best jobs?"
5. Ad for Strengthening The Eyes book
"Glasses are only Eye-Crutches- anyway"
6. "Why Most Of Us Marry The Wrong Mate"
"That hope is hardly borne out, however, by the things we hear Mildred saying to other girls about her "boy friends" (distasteful term). Listen in with us to this revealing telephone conversation"
7. "Disillusionment Brought Me Happiness"
"For at last I have learned to look at things as they are, to realize that even though people and our surroundings may not come up to every expectation, every dream, there are still many fine traits in almost every human being, many beautiful things in even humble surroundings."
8. "My Prudish Wife"
"I found myself longing for some youthful indiscretion which we might hold together in secret, some foolish adventure with meaning only for us."
9. "To Have A Baby Gracefully"
"When her small daughter was coming, Barbara went on a nine months' emotional spree. Such moods, such tantrums, such demands upon her husband's sympathy."
10. "The Body Beautiful"
11. "Shall I Send My Children To College?"
"My wife appears to be having her way, as women usually do, but I am not entirely convinced. Not convinced at all, in fact."
12. "More Vigorous Thinking With A Stronger Body"
"But Dr. Hodgdon, who is something of a genius when it comes to dealing with children, sensed that these youngsters, coming as many of them did from poverty-stricken Italian homes, had been getting spaghetti and not much else, and that that was all that ailed them. It was."
13. "What Has Exercise To Do With Beauty?"
"Beauty is not skin-deep by any means, and depends in great degree upon the tissues."
14. Ad for Double Mint Gum
"Men like women who are young and lovely."
15. Ad for Lifebuoy Health Soap
"B.O. gone- most popular girl in the office" "She'll be the next girl here to get engaged" "Wonder who the lucky man will be? She has so many friends now."
16. Ad for Ironized Yeast
"Now there's no need to have people calling you "skinny", and losing all your chances of making and keeping friends."
17. "The Joyous Physical Culture Life"
18. Ad for Keeping Fit book
"Not so long ago Anne was just another girl who got a date once and a while-- but only after other girls had turned them down."