Diet pop culture: Trim Twist.

I don’t know what in the hell this thing does, exactly, but I do know this woman looks like she’s having an awesome time:

Trim Twist Exerciser - An old advertisement, presumably from the 1960s, featuring a very happy-looking woman doing The Twist while standing on what looks like textbook-sized piece of plastic, that says: "Have a figure others will envy! A slimmer figure is yours in 30 days or less. NOW TWIST INCHES OFF...easily...with new improved TRIM TWIST EXERCISER. No starvation diets. No exhausting exercises. In just sparetime minutes, you can have a trimmer figure, better posture, new poise. TRIM TWIST firms sagging muscles, reduces pudgy areas, burns up calories, stimulates circulation. Sturdy pastel styrene 10" x 9" rotates on 90 ball bearings, holds over 500 lbs. Needs no servicing. Weighs less than 2 lbs. Instructions included. $4.95 p.p.d. - 2 for $9.50 p.p.d."

I don’t know — if losing weight in the ’60s meant wearing a modified sporty beehive, some Keds, and a look that says “I’m about to win first place in a National Twist-Off!” while wiggling yourself into happy oblivion atop 90 ball bearings, then…maybe count me in.

It probably never did a damn thing to help anyone lose weight, but add a Tom Collins and some music, and you’ve got yourself a hell of a Friday night.

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25 Comments

  1. Posted November 27, 2009 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I kinda want one. Why do they always have to use weight loss to market toys for grownups? Having fun shaking your booty isn’t reason enough?

    • Posted November 27, 2009 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      Duh, everyone knows grownups don’t have fun!

      Or, at least, they’re not supposed to admit to having it. Unless it involves booze, or a fancy expensive trip somewhere.

      We have appearances to keep up, after all. Geesh.

      • Posted November 28, 2009 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        I think the Trim Twist Exerciser would be even more fun with booze.

        • Posted November 28, 2009 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

          You are so right.

          And I’ve got a lil bottle of homemade Irish cream for you!

  2. Posted November 27, 2009 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    My grandparents had one of those, and my sisters and I used to love to play with it growing up! It was totally fun to twist on it, and what was even more fun was sitting down on it, pulling your knees up to your chest, and using your hands to push on the floor and spin yourself… you could really get going fast!

    • Posted November 27, 2009 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      Awesome. That’s even better than I imagined.

  3. Posted November 27, 2009 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Oh man. I have a friend who’s convinced you can “twist off” all this weight by hula hooping. She’s probably right. If you do it for, you know, HOURS. Good luck with that!

  4. corinna
    Posted November 27, 2009 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Looks like a wii mat! A modern equivalent that’s possibly fun but marketed to combat ‘obesity’ along with the hideous BMI calculations etc… so shame and guilt come part and parcel with the ‘fun’!

  5. Arwen
    Posted November 27, 2009 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Oh wow! One of my caregivers had one of these and I haven’t thought of it for years. It used to have a sound scri-SCRITCH-scri-SCRITCH as you used it. I fell off more than once…

    • Posted November 27, 2009 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      …but was it FUN?

      The noise sounds kind of fun.

      That could just be because I’ve been drinking Irish cream though.

      • Arwen
        Posted November 30, 2009 at 4:57 am | Permalink

        It was totally fun in a “weird device someone else owns” way, and would be utterly demoralizing as an actual exercise routine.

  6. Posted November 28, 2009 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    2 for $9.50ppd.

    Why would you need two? You can’t use them both at the same time. Reminds me of the time my friend’s dad got so excited about his new nail gun that he went out and bought a second one.

    • Posted November 28, 2009 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Did he then nail things double-fisted?

      I once bought my father-in-law a crowbar for Christmas, even though he already had one. Because he loves crowbars just that much, apparently. He was delighted.

      • Anna
        Posted December 1, 2009 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

        I totally laughed. I’m just imaging a middle aged man holding two crowbars and going “Aw yeah. This is it.”

        • Posted December 1, 2009 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

          I think it was a defining moment in his life. He probably now remembers things based on whether it happened before or after that Christmas when he achieved the life-long dream of owning two crowbars.

  7. Posted November 28, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    My cousin had one of those back in the sixties!

    Of course, being the sort of person I have always been, even then I wondered why she didn’t just dance the Twist on the floor, like everyone else.

    Then again, I have always had balance issues. I didn’t like the falling off the twisty platform bit of it. But the dancing part is way fun.

  8. vitty10
    Posted November 29, 2009 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Wow, I actually have something like that. We used to play with it as kids but it’s been collecting dust for many years, maybe that’s why I’m fat. Next time I have a drunk friend over I’m gonna get them to try it.

  9. bridget
    Posted November 29, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    My grandparents have one of these and it’s been in the same spot in their kitchen for over 30 years. Yes, the kitchen. It’s not a coincidence that they’re in their 80s and totally obsessed with being attractive and skinny (shocker: they’re not!). It should come as no surprise that every one in my family is obese and/or has major food issues!!

    • Posted November 29, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      I can’t believe how popular these things apparently were.

  10. Posted November 29, 2009 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Dude, ball bearings? Boards? I bet I could make that! It looks even more fun than bouncing on an exercise ball! Though with my balance, I’d probably fall off of THAT, too, and break my closet door the rest of the way…

    • Posted November 30, 2009 at 12:47 am | Permalink

      You’d have to make some kind of safety-cage with a roll bar on top to go around it.

      I might consider making one if I had any handy-skillz at all. If I see one at a thrift shop, maybe I’ll pick one up and submit photographic evidence of myself trying it out.

  11. MReap
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    We had one! And it was indeed very fun to use (read: play with)!! I would like to have one now, I can see myself using it to ‘rev up’ my morning stretches.

  12. Anna
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Oh man, she is thrilled! I don’t even know what it is and I want one.

    Far better than a lot of exercise equipment ads with the obviously fake grins or bored or determined expressions.

  13. Posted December 3, 2009 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    I think this is kind of like that ubiquitous preschool toy that the children sit on and then turn the handle and they spin around… except you stand on it and only go back and forth.

    Or you step on in unawares in the dead of night, like on you way to the bathroom and you wipe out and concuss yourself on the corner of your bureau. And when you come to you are possibly being loaded onto an ambulance and wet with your own urine (’cause, you were on the way to the bathroom) And the paramedic loading you in is the boy you always had a crush on in high school but were too afraid to talk to, and then the ER doc was that cool, popular girl. And then their eyes meet over your limp, urine soaked body, and instead of helping you they end up making out in a broom closet. And you die from an undiagnosed brain bleed. But then you should hear why I won’t go on the elliptical machine…

  14. mike
    Posted December 1, 2010 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    My dad has 2 of these. He gave me one. He would use them to put his large stereo speakers on. Easy to turn at whatever angle you want. I never saw anyone exercise on them.

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