We didn’t always care about being fat. Maybe it’s because we didn’t always have the luxury of sucking back two trays of Pizza Bagels as a pre-appetizer to our morning appetizer of Nutella on a slice of Nutella bread we had infusing in chocolate sauce overnight, to set the table for our full morning entree of walking a live pig into the kitchen and hitting its ribs with a flamethrower before diving headfirst into it. Maybe it’s because we didn’t always have it so good that we haven’t always cared about being fat. 

But ever since things got cozy, we got cozy. And when we get cozy, we get fluffy. And then we get big. And then we get bigger. And then we get forklifted out of our houses, and someone hooks a cable up to a helicopter to pull us to the hospital to get our annual checkup. So it’s no surprise that we’ve always tried to fight against this glorious forklifted future we all resist daily with wild diet and exercise remedies. 

While today you might find yourself keeping fit through a thinly-veiled cult, like CrossFit, or following an unlicensed health professional on social media, but back in the day, folks turned to some even wilder, absolutely bs, workout and diet fads ...

Fatass Soap

La-Mar Laboratories

Still more honest than most of today’s Instagram ads.

Imagine, for a second, you’re browsing the body wash at the grocery store. You pick up one option, the packaging is nice, but a sniff doesn’t do it for you. You keep scanning for something that grabs your eye when you land on La-Mar Reducing Soap. While the others promise to give you a chemical-free fragrance that lasts for hours, this bad boy promises to have you step out of the shower like Captain America before he took the super HGH.

 Billed as an easy weight loss option where all you’d need to do was lather up and watch the pounds fly off, La-Mar Reducing Soap promised to be the easiest, cleanest way to keep the weight off. And I love this era of absolute snake oil. You didn’t need to have any science behind it. You just needed a flashy ad with an outrageous claim and some kind of crude sketch to go beside it. When you’re done with the bogus fat-burning soap, flip the page of the magazine to find Brooks Butthole Beans. Where an image of a man spreading his cheeks to reveal a full garden of table vegetables being picked straight from the butt by his family displays above the tagline, “Throw a bean in your butthole and never pay for food again.”

Vibrating Belts

One of the great traditions in bad old ideas is the use of machinery. As soon as we started to figure out that we could hook up hunks of metal to belts and engines and all that shit to make it do things for us, we naturally went a little overboard. Can a machine help process wheat on the farm? Absolutely. Does building a 10,000 pound chunk of steam-powered steel in the barn that hooks ropes up to your nipples and yanks on them super hard help ,cure insomnia? Probably not. The vibrating belt was closer to the insomnia nipple beast. 

The idea here was that you’d hook this belt around you and power on the vibrator, as it would shake your fat stomach around and naturally tone and sculpt the blubber away. Obviously, that didn’t do anything. It just made you look like an absolute jackass and probably hurt your spine quite a bit. And frankly, it’s probably a good thing that shortcuts like this don’t work so well. You probably need to put in some work to keep fit. If all you had to do was suck down six Bloomin’ Onions and come home to a set of Rock’em Sock’em Robots that punch your stomach for six minutes and give you those cum gutter muscles that only actors taking high-grade steroids to play the latest superhero have, we’d probably be left with a real issue of personal drive and determination on our hands.

Sauna Pants

Wonder Sauna Hot Pants

It has to be harder to inflate these things than just take a walk around the block.

One thing that we’ve always loved to do as a species as soon as we started caring a ton about our weight and appearance was fully disregarding how absolutely stupid we look in our quest to do it. Maybe most infamously, we had the Shake Weight. Where we’d savagely jerk off a robodong in our living room to look exactly the same in pictures at an upcoming wedding. But this nonsense has been going on for a lot longer than that, and one of the best examples are the Sauna Pants. 

Designed to help you burn thigh fat, all you needed to do was completely throw out any shred of dignity you ever had for yourself, blow up your clothes like you’re inflating a pool float, and try absolutely anything save for just actually exercising for a few minutes. You have to love the kind of person that can look at a treadmill and then an ad for a large beetle that you stick into your anus to climb up there and just nibble and pinch out everything you’ve eaten that day and go, “Ya know what, not sure about this treadmill thing. I think I’ll try the ass beetle.” This was the same energy behind these pants.

Music Diet

Edwin L. Baron

Conversely, listening to pop country might not help you lose weight, but it WILL help you lose friends.

Are you hungry? Eyeballing the fridge and thinking about slapping together a perfect, cheesy, oozing grilled cheese after midnight? Before you do, maybe consider pulling up Spotify and throwing on some Phish instead. You’ll be puking your nuts off in no time, losing your appetite, and well on your way to hitting your weight loss goals. This “music diet” essentially proposed that. 

The idea was simple and absolutely idiotic. If you’re feeling hungry, this curated collection would help ease you and take your mind elsewhere so that you wouldn’t need to go in for that snack. The best part here is the line, “... without the need for will power!” If that isn’t just about every one of these hair-brained ideas in a nutshell. “Were you thinking that you would actually have to have even just a shred of fortitude to reach your goals? Well, knock that off! All you need to do when you’re thinking about mac and cheese is grab a saxophone instead and just start wailing on that bastard, and your fat will literally fly out of the end hole as little bulbous music notes that splash into the wall and leave your body forever. Don’t try. Fat sax instead.”

Titty Hammock

Molby Revolving Hammock Co.

There are ideas that aren’t meant to leave the drawing board, and then there are ideas that aren’t meant to leave the darkest corners of your mind.

“Hey ladies, are you interested in a smaller waist and a bigger chest? Well, damn, come over here. Check this out. I’ve got the exact same device that they strapped Braveheart to and think it could be the key to all of your beauty goals.” 

The revolving hammock was supposed to somehow stretch you out into the perfect figure, but what it really was was a torture device that would be left on the cutting room floor for a Saw movie. They were really just throwing anything at the wall at this point, and you almost have to respect that. “Want bigger boobs? I don’t know, did you try hiring a dude that will just hide in your house somewhere new every time you get home from work to scare the crap out of you and maybe make your back jolt backward so hard that over time, your boobs stick out more? Because I’m looking through my list here, and I’ve got Tit Scarer wedged between Hanging From Crane By Dick For Bigger Dick and Cheese Grater, But for Your Abs and think we could have something here.”

Bile Beans

Poor beans can literally never get beyond the association with farts, butts, and gross stuff. Leave the bean alone for a damn second.

Bile Beans are proof positive that we really don’t give a damn about what something is named or even what it’s purported to do, but if they tell us it’ll help us lose weight the easy way, we’ll take it. Pukeeverywhere Wafers? Sold. Buttmelt Eyedrops? Where do I sign up? 

Bile Beans were supposed to be an easy weight loss option where you’d just pop a few of these bad boys before bed and wake up slimmer, trimmer, and on your way to being the model of perfect fitness, health, and beauty. And these absolute scam beans were around for a long damn time, perfectly illustrating just how lucrative this kind of bs can be. All we need is for something to prey on our basest instincts, to give us hope that we don’t have to exert any energy whatsoever to reach our goals, and we’ll set up recurring payments like a forgotten Netflix subscription on Youonlyjizzbakedbeansnow Tablets. Which are supposed to be once-daily dissolving tablets that help us easily lose weight as we go about our day, but actually make us gain weight and also make us only shoot loads of baked beans through our holes and get us nowhere closer to our fitness goals. 

Sign us up, send over the tablets, and let us pretend like it’s all working exactly as planned.

Thumbnail: Wonder Sauna Hot Pants, Molby Revolving Hammock Co.

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