The Victorian Era was considered to be the golden age in regards to nutrition. Diets were high in vegetables and breads made from yeast gave a boost to the immune system. Women did not drink alcohol and stayed away from sugar as much as possible. This was the era in which women wanted the smallest waist possible. Their health and wellness were a part of this achievement. Women watched the portions they ate to achieve the silhouette they desired.
Watercress, beetroot, apples, artichokes, plums, cherries and onions were popular choices for women of the Victorian Era. Watercress was inexpensive for the lower classes and had few calories. Fish such as mackerel, herring and cod was also popular. The healthy diet had an effect on aging and most women lived to be around 73. Despite early medical care sickness was not rampant.
Even the elderly continued physical work so they remained fairly healthy. Older women continued their work in laundries and even in their sixties and seventies were fit enough to keep working. The diet and exercise of the era kept women healthy and fit.
Large bosoms and full hips were considered quite in fashion. Bustles were popular because they made a woman’s derriere seem larger than it actually was. Corsets were used to draw in the waistline and make it appear incredibly small. Very slender women added padding to make their figure more acceptable to society and extremely plump women used the latest fashions to hide the excess weight. Breast pillows made from horse hair were also used to increase the size of the bosom.
The perfect figure was considered to be an hourglass shape. Large hips and bosom combined with a tiny waist were showed off by the women of the era. Sexual allure was achieved with these particular assets. Women who were not well endowed wore gowns with padding and corsets that pushed up their assets making them more prominent and giving them a larger appearance. The well endowed women also used corsets but they were for support.
Small feet were considered to be attractive and a sign of beauty. Women with larger feet often wore shoes too small to achieve a better look. The upper class of women would take long walks with their friends while their corsets were strung tight to be seen by others in their class. Fashion was definitely designed to accentuate the positive and hide the negative. For the most part health and wellness in the Victorian Era was right on target.