Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Million Dollar Mermaid

Australian champion swimmer Annette Kellerman was a vegetarian, teetotaler, and firm believer in women's physical liberation. One day, in 1907, while training at Revere Beach in Boston for a race, she wore her signature one-piece men’s bathing suit instead of the confining women’s bathing costume of the era. She was arrested for indecent exposure. While already well known as a swimmer she became even more famous after the arrest. She used her fame  to preach a new kind of healthy, active, holistic lifestyle for women. “When I say exercise and diet will make a woman healthy and beautiful, I don’t mean she’ll have a classical nose and gorgeous blonde hair,” she told The Pittsburgh Leader. “I have about three hairs myself and I don’t approve of my nose at all. I mean a woman can acquire vitality, health, magnetism and symmetry.”

The 1952 biopic “Million Dollar Mermaid” starred Esther Williams as Kellerman

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