January 20, 2012
In December 1950, newspapers across the country ran a piece distributed by the Associated Press titled “How Experts Think We’ll Live in 2000 A.D.” That article was written by a number of different editors at the AP and covered everything from the future of movies to the state of the economy in the year 2000. It also contained predictions from editor Dorothy Roe about the typical woman of the year 2000. Roe describes her as having perfect proportions: six feet tall and competing with men in sports like football and wrestling. Roe’s meal-pill-popping woman of tomorrow also has prominent positions in the world of government and business, with a final sentence proclaiming that she may even be president.
The woman of the year 2000 will be an outsize Diana, anthropologists and beauty experts predict. She will be more than six feet tall, wear a size 11 shoe, have shoulders like a wrestler and muscles like a truck driver.
Chances are she will be doing a man’s job, and for this reason will dress to fit her role. Her hair will be cropped short, so as not to get in the way. She probably will wear the most functional clothes in the daytime, go frilly only after dark.
Slacks probably will be her usual workaday costume. These will be of synthetic fiber, treated to keep her warm in winter and cool in summer, admit the beneficial ultra-violet rays and keep out the burning ones. They will be light weight and equipped with pockets for food capsules, which she will eat instead of meat and potatoes.
Her proportions will be perfect, though Amazonian, because science will have perfected a balanced ration of vitamins, proteins and minerals that will produce the maximum bodily efficiency, the minimum of fat.
She will go in for all kinds of sports – probably will compete with men athletes in football, baseball, prizefighting and wrestling.
She’ll be in on all the high-level groups of finance, business and government.
She may even be president.
The illustration to the right appeared in the December 24, 1949 Daily Capital News (Jefferson City, Missouri) as part of an earlier syndicated Associated Press piece about the woman of the year 2000. This piece also mentions the expected physical growth and strength of women in the future, quoting Ann Delafield, a woman known for the “reducing plans” she advertised in women’s magazines of the early 1950s. Humorously, Ms. Delafield seems to believe that an abundance of sunshine is contributing to the growth of women during this era.
“Nature seems bent on producing a new race of Amazons. Within the next 50 years you’ll find the emancipated woman engaging actively in such sports as football, baseball and soccer. She’ll think nothing of chopping the wood and acting as family car mechanic.”
Miss Delafield has found that the shoulders of girls are 2 to 3 inches wider than their mothers’, their gloves are several sizes larger than Mom’s, and many a gal stoops down to kiss her teen age boy friend. Says Miss Delafield:
“Goodness knows what will happen if they continue to soak up vitamins and sunshine and just keep sprouting. Girls from the sunshine states, California, Texas and New Mexico can dwarf the girls from the Northeast.”
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