April 11, 2011

Stay in shape vintage style with the Jell-O Girl

Day 101 of Vintage 365


Long before Jane Fonda, Suzanne Somers or Chuck Norris had workout videos on the market (or long before, for that matter, video tapes even existed!), Jell-O brand gelatine's utterly adorable little bobbed haired, rosy checked girl was telling the viewing public how to stay in shape.

First introduced in 1902, the real life Jell-O lass was called Elizabeth King, and she appeared in numerous ads for the company during the early days of the 20th century. As time went on and Elizabeth grew up, she was more often portrayed as an illustrated character who very much resembled many children of the day, and instantly won a place in the hearts of dessert loving folks everywhere.


Of all the ads I've seen featuring the Jell-O Girl, I think that this delightful guide to doing simple, healthful stretches is perhaps my favourite. I love the juxtaposition of pairing a sugary dessert with working out and trying to stay fit.

The two make for unlikely bedfellows, yet somehow they jive here - setting as well as a properly prepared mould full of quivering, sweet gelatine. It's as though the Jell-O Girl is saying that if you follow her advise and do these 12 easy stretching exercises, you'll be able to keep from putting on any extra jiggle care of the very product she's representing.

In this timelessly lovely vintage Jell-O ad from the 1920s (which comes via Edible Creations on Flickr), the focus in in fact in no way on gelatine itself, but instead on Jell-O Girl and her apparent desire to help eaters of her brand's scrumptious treats stay fit and trim.

It's charming ad that can't help but make you smile, and perhaps rather effectively, still manages to put the word "Jell-O" in your mind and, as I no doubt imagine the company's execs intended all along, on your shopping list - after all, you've got these wonderful Jell-O Girl exercises to help counterbalance those pesky dessert calories. Smile


  1. Well now I absolutely CRAVE to start an exercise group of ladies my age and call us the Jell-O Girls! Love the ad. Have a great day.

  2. How cute! I had no idea that there was a real Jello girl. It definitely is easier to eat desserts if you tell yourself you are getting exercise.

    Best Wishes,

  3. This is really, really adorable. And I say this as someone who HATES Jello