Debbie Drake, fitness pioneer

Debbie Drake was the first woman to have a daily exercise show on TV. The show's intended audience was housewives, but as the Physical Culture Study blog notes, it was more popular with men:

Debbie Drake’s The Debbie Drake Show went national in 1961 and warned female viewers about the consequences of an unhappy marriage if they did not take care of their bodies. Drake’s media outreach included a newspaper column titled “Date with Debbie,” exercise albums and books, and a Barbie-like doll sold by Sears in the early 60s. Alluring and wearing a tight-fitting leotard that emphasized her incredible figure, Drake was reported as being more distracting than encouraging as a fitness instructor. No doubt this was aided by the fact that many stations broadcast her show at off hours, guaranteeing larger numbers of male viewers who appreciated her sexual appeal.

     Posted By: Alex - Mon May 11, 2020
     Category: Exercise and Fitness | 1960s

Interesting how this was marketed — not as a form of self-improvement or self-care, but as a way to keep husbands happy. Of course, hubby would be happy if wifey did those exercises... without the leotard. 😉
Posted by Brian on 05/11/20 at 07:58 AM

If you prefer your Debbie a little more new wave
Posted by S. Norman on 05/11/20 at 09:04 AM
Described as distracting, eh? Probably complaints made by overweight housewives who believed that just bring female should be enough to hold on to a husband. Get out there and get some exercise, America!
Posted by KDP on 05/11/20 at 09:28 AM
I was stunned to discover she was roughly 30 when this was made. Though she certainly had a nice shape, in that close-up at the beginning her face looks MUCH older. And her eyebrows would do Spock proud.
Posted by FRANK on 05/12/20 at 04:02 PM
Face?...unh, what?
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 05/13/20 at 08:08 AM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.