Mark Eden Bust Developer
With six of these fabulous items in my possession, I think I can safely say that I now have the World's Largest Collection of Mark Eden Bust Developers. If there is someone out there who owns more, I sure would like to hear from them.
I bought my first one nearly thirty years ago, long before I conceived of Julie's Tacky Treasures. Something about the audacious claims of breast enlargement appealed to me. I had to laugh at the brazen exploitation of manufacturing hundreds of these useless pink clamshells, equipping them with a heavy-duty spring, and promising buyers that using one would "subtly transform them as a woman."
The Mark Eden Bust Developer was sold in two different versions, the only difference being the wording on the accompanying booklet. The earlier book was so much more effusive in its claims, something it later had to tone down under threat of mail fraud.
"So many women who have been literally 'flat as boards' have achieved higher, fuller, lovelier bustlines in a remarkably short time with the Mark Eden method. And a woman whose bustline is suddenly transformed from the average or below average to a richer fuller development receives more for her efforts than just a larger reading on the tape measure. She is subtly transformed as a woman. There is an incomparable difference in the entire feminine line, shape, and grace of her whole figure. Her very presence takes on a new and subtle glow of womanliness, of sex-appeal, and yes, of glamour that is undeniable and unmistakable."
If you weren't convinced by this florid prose, or by the celebrity endorsement of the forgettable June Wilkinson, then by golly, once you read the directions for the eight different exercises with the bust developer, you knew it HAD to be real. After all, why would there be an Exercise no. 8 if it didn't really work? That was the one you were instructed to do to develop the individual breast, in case one of yours was "lagging behind."
Indeed, the Fabulous Mark Eden Bust Developer is an example of a complete lack of taste with the goal of exploiting women's vanity and insecurity in order to make heaps of money. Before the U.S. Postal Service shut Mark Eden down with a fraud order in 1966, about 18,000 of them sold at $9.95 a piece. Without any research, Mark Eden claimed a "scientific breakthrough," although he had no medical background, and had never contacted medical experts until after the fraud case was filed.
The second version of the exercise booklet no longer featured June Wilkinson, perhaps in response the revelation that she was already known for prominent breasts as a young girl. She and her breasts went back to Hollywood to act in "B" movies.
In April of 2004, People magazine published a photograph of one of my Mark Eden Bust Developers (People, ISSN 0093-7673, April 12, 2004, vol. 61 no. 14, p. 265). In addition, one of the exercise manuals appeared in the Canadian documentary Flatly Stacked, which examines whether a flat-chested woman can find happiness in a breast-obsessed world. Life becomes a little weird when the things I own are more famous than I am, but I'm getting used to it.
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