Not only is this woman's designed-and-made-in-Canada bathing suit a thing of the past, so too is this Canadian woman's figure. This 1945 ad shows a Vancouver woman, Yvonne de Carlo, modelling a cutting-edge bathing suit with new fabric (prior, women's bathing suits were made of heavy water-absorbing wool). The bathing suit was designed by two other B.C. women, Rose Marie Reid (design), and Marianne McCrea McClain (textile).
This Canadian man enjoying the summer sun in Montreal is also not how most Canadian men look, either. As a just released poll on Canadians' perceptions of their health shows, Canadians think they are lean, fit, and healthy but in fact 2/3 of Canadians are overweight and 20% are obese. Just as Canadians have deluded themselves that our national identity is that of a peacemaker (in fact, we are profiteering from waging war in Afghanistan and training police and security forces in Haiti, the West Bank, and Afghanistan), so too have we deluded ourselves that we are in shape, healthy and active.
This photo is more reflective of the average Canadian bodies today, as we eat more than we move. While there are lots of social and economic reasons for rising weights, inactivity, poor eating, and unhealthiness, one of the contributing factors to our delusion of thinking we are in shape and physically active when in fact we are overweight and sedentary, is the lie of the images on tv and other visual media. The bodies of people on TV and movies do not mirror us back to ourselves. They show illusions, simulacra, as if all men and women and teenagers and children are thin and lean.