Photostory #43:Charm Schools a $2 Million Business

Chris Lund
National Film Board of Canada
Release Date
February 7, 1956
CMCP fonds
Credit Line
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
Main Text
Sparked by a phenomenal boom in beauty since the war's end, Canadian "charm" schools are today doing a thriving $2 million dollar business, teaching glamour secrets of make-up, proper carriage and wardrobe to potential career models and housewives alike. So great is the self- improvement trend that, in the Toronto area alone, some 8,000 women last year spent $400,000 on commercial and YWCA courses designed to make them prettier on the fashion runway or in the kitchen. "Riding bicycle", these students take figure slimming exercises under supervision of instructress-model Hilda Land. Figure streamlining course is aimed at correcting figure defects brought about by insufficient exercise, poor posture and wrong diet. Ultimate goal: the ideal symmetry of a perfect 34"-24''-34".