26 Jan 2011

Jack Lalanne On Telling It Like It Was

RIP Jack Lalanne
Image Source: Crossfit Oakland
I wrote this on Monday and thought I had posted it right away - turns out it was simply saved and not published. Oops!

I've been working on some 50s Housewife Experiment stuff behind the scenes (I'll share more about that soon - I promise!) and nearly every time I speak with a new person about it, I get asked what my ethnicity is whether I think the 50s were a better time than our modern era.

The answer is no. But if you were to ask me whether this era is better than the 50s, the answer is also no. I guess a lot has to do with defining what "better" is and from whose point of view are you looking at things.

There's this image of the 1950s as some kind of apple pie-infused wonderland where people were happy, pleasures were simple and life was uncomplicated. Nostalgia and age do funny things to our interpretation of the past (weren't the 80s the best?!) - which is why I really liked relying on the actual books, magazines, commercials, TV shows and resources from the time to build the 50s Housewife Experiment.

There's value in getting information from the horse's mouth, so here's another horse for you - Jack Lalanne. Tell me, does his description of life (in the 50s) match your perception of the era? 

Wha? Unhappy people? Unsmiling faces? Stressed out, despite having all these modern conveniences? Out of shape and out of touch with nature thanks to processed foods and sedentary lifestyle? In the 1950s? STOP RUINING OUR FANTASIES, JACK LALANNE!!

Sounds a little too familiar, doesn't it?

Jack Lalanne, who passed away yesterday [Edit: this past Sunday], wasn't one to mince words. The Jack Lalanne Show, a program that provided straight forward nutritional and exercise advice to housewives (complete with goofy organ music), first aired in 1951 but didn't get national syndication until 1959.

I realize that it's hard to take a man in a jumpsuit seriously, but Lalanne actually provided a lot of good tips that are as relevant now as they were then. Take a look:

Good stuff! Thanks for keeping it real, Jack Lalanne.


wellingsworth,  6:59 pm, January 26, 2011  

Nice post, as usual! He really was ahead of his time, wasn't he?

Anonymous,  5:57 pm, January 28, 2011  

Love it. I've really liked how your blog shows both the good and bad things about the 50s in such an entertaining way.

Marsha,  4:49 am, January 29, 2011  

He's great, isn't he. I like how if you ignore the visual (okay, it's the jumpsuit-although he's still pretty dang cute), the message is just as useful today as it was 50 years ago. Actually, it's a lot more useful than some advice. Eat healthy, think about what you're eating, and shop smart. Timeless advice.

Jenn 11:39 am, January 30, 2011  

I just stumbled onto your blog through a google search because I am a Jenn (not usually a Jen). I really love your blog, it's interesting and funny and so well written. I'll be back!

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Need words? I'm a Toronto-based freelance writer who injects great ones into blogs, websites, magazines, ads and more. So many services, one lovely Jen (with one 'n').

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