Found Snapshots: Hide This Please

Ransom Riggs collects old snapshots, and particularly likes pictures on which someone has written something personal.
One thing I’ve found a lot of is photos where people have written deprecating things — usually about themselves — on the back. “I look so fat here!” is a shockingly common theme; I guess people were as concerned with their weight (and as self-conscious about pictures of themselves) fifty and sixty years ago as they are today. I want to share some of these with you, not so much to laugh at (although they are funny) but to demonstrate how little our attitudes about ourselves have changed over the years.

In case you can't read it, the note on this picture says, "I’m not as fat as I look here, it’s the terrycloth pajamas over my bathing skirt plus wind." See lots more pictures at mental_floss. Link

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Being worried about being overweight really started in the late 1910s-early 1920s - it really came in with the flappers. Before that, young women usually tried to gain weight - it showed that you were prosperous since you could afford to eat regularly, not to mention once you did become pregnant helped keep you and the baby healthy. Abundant food, rising hemlines and the long, straight lines in women's clothing in the early 20s, as well as the rise of mass advertising and its conformist message, have resulted in almost a century of us wishing we could lose weight.
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I love old photos, moreso of strangers than family. I analyze them to death and try to imagine myself in the photo and creating the sounds, smells, and visuals of what was going on before and after the photo.
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