Actress Beauty Tip: The Jean Harlow Weight Loss Program

Since it’s summer and swim suit season, several of us have weight loss on the brain.  Looking at thin actresses such as Hedy Lamarr and Claudette Colbert makes losing weight seem impossible. They are so tiny and perfect!  Who actually has a 20-inch waist? But not all classic actresses were perpetually thin and had to work hard to keep their weight off.

In between films, Jean Harlow would eat whatever she wanted and gain some weight.  When it came time for filming a new movie,  Harlow would have to put herself on a strict diet of salads and vegetables to get back to her thin movie weight, according to IMDB and Steal Their Style.  Towards the end of her nine-year career, she wasn’t as thin due to the illness that eventually took her life.

Other actresses had weight issues, among them Clara Bow, Joan Blondell and Shelley Winters.  Bow’s weight–along with a fear of talking pictures–contributed to the end of her career.

I know eating healthy seems like a no-brainer for losing weight, but it is harder for some of us than others. I can sympathize with Jean Harlow about struggling to lose weight. When I want to shed some pounds, I have to be very strict with myself.  I’m not someone who can work out for an hour and then go eat a piece of pie and still look great.

Like Jean Harlow, to lose weight I have to eat very light meals. Last summer I lost a good bit of weight by eating carrots, rice cakes and blueberries for lunch. I would eat normal dinners of chicken and broccoli and breakfasts of cereal or toast.  I also have to cut out sweets completely or only eat them on rare occasions. For those of you that know me, you know this is a battle.  I have a major sweet tooth and have a hard time practicing self control. For example, if my mom makes cookies I smuggle out four or five.

Once I got back to school, I was on a steady diet of Popeye’s chicken and Burger Studio from Winthrop’s food court and free Papa John’s pizza every Monday night during newspaper layout.  Needless to say I gained some weight and this was even while I was taking Yoga and Aerobic Walking.

To review: Some of us, like Jean Harlow and me, have to be very strict when we want to lose weight.  Eating lots of vegetables, fruit and meat and cutting out cake, cookies and pie helped me shed several pounds.  Happy summer and swim suit season!

Comet Over Hollywood, named for the 1938 Kay Francis film Comet Over Broadway, offers anything from Hollywood beauty tips to rants about Katherine Hepburn. Jessica Pickens is a journalism student at Winthrop University who is interested in silent films to anything made before 1964. She writes for Winthrop’s student newspaper, The Johnsonian, and the Shelby Star in Shelby North Carolina. Her Facebook page is