In both cases, they were assured that it was for their own good.
For all her pretensions to up-to-the-minute scientific authority, Mensendieck, like her fellow posture campaigners, brought a distinctly missionary zeal to her cause.
Thanks to the medical consensus that slouching caused health problems, remedial spine-straightening courses were standard fare at all levels of late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century upper-crust schooling.
The System consisted of a set of gentle exercises, each designed to strengthen a particular muscle, to be practiced unclothed.
Consent was not yet the byword of the day. But a derivative of the practice is taught by physiotherapists in Norway and the Netherlands, and about eighty Mensendieck purists teach in Denmark. Baffler Newsletter New email subscribers receive a free copy of our current issue. Granted, I quit after ten minutes, surely not long enough to make a fair judgment. Sex was the glaring subtext of this apparently sanitized fixation on naked beauty.