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"Advertisement for Health Club"
Willendorf, Austria, 23,000 BCE
11.2 cm ~ Limestone


 As the glaciers began to retreat temporarily in the long, hot summer of 23,000 BCE it was no longer necessary to maintain the well-upholstered, heavily-insulated look that had been all the rage since late 24,000 BCE. Blubber, mastodon ribs and fried marrow were out; cavepeople began experimenting with salads and wine coolers. There was a sudden run on beachfront property, and the gracile look was in. 

Fickle cavemen, who for thousands of years had taken a "more the merrier" approach to feminine pulchritude now flocked to the beaches to ogle the slender, high-breasted, long-legged girls who just a few months before would have been rejected as mere skin and bones. This set off a panic amid the more generously endowed women, and health clubs, diet plans and Slenderella clinics popped up like mushrooms. 

The statuettes shown here were apparently the trade-mark of a slimming service in the preliterate era, used in the same way that before-and-after pictures are used by diet plan promoters to this day. It said, in effect, "Girls! Lose those ugly bulges and love handles the easy way at Grolk's Health Spa, slenderizers of the stars, where you go from Fat City to Curvy Kitty before you can grunt Jack Robinson!"

It is not known for certain what happened a few years afterwards when the glaciers returned with a vengeance, but it is suspected that the heifer-class women had the last laugh, probably while sucking the marrow out of some gamine's thighbone around a fire made up of diet plans.


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