Here you see several ladies lined up and cheekily flashing their gams. What inspired this gathering? “In a move to prove that weighty women can be glamorous, six ladies from the entertainment field show their amply proportioned legs at a restaurant in London,” according to the caption.
“They met to protest a Sunday newspaper article which alleged that fat girls are stodgy,” the explanation continued from the Associated Press, who were on hand May 12, 1952 to snap the shot. The group includes Gladys Hay, Tessie O’Shea; Mai Bacon, Beryl Orde, Sophie Tucker, and Katie Kay.
Singer Sophie Tucker in particular was very famous at the time, according to the BBC. She was equally known for her humor, which was often explicitly about her body and how little she cared. Her songs included “Nobody Loves a Fat Girl,” but also “I Don’t Want to Get Thin.” Lyrics included: “I don’t want to reduce. Furthermore, what’s the use? When the men follow me around like Mary’s lamb.” But she loved a good sex joke, too!
Lois Young-Tulin, Tucker’s first cousin once removed, recalls a joke from the elderly singer’s act. “She always had a pretend boyfriend, Abe, in her jokes. So Abe came to her and said, ‘Sophie, I’m tired of waiting for you - I’m going to get myself a 30-year-old girlfriend.’
“And Sophie said, ‘Go ahead. I’m going to get myself a 30-year-old boyfriend. But just remember, 30 goes into 70 a lot more times than 70 goes into 30.’”