This section is from the book "Uncle Alberts Manual Of Practical Photography And Guide To The Reproductive Processes", by Powell Perry. Also available from Amazon: Uncle Alberts Manual Of Practical Photography And Guide To The Reproductive Processes.
We will avoid entering the controversy regarding what constitutes proper development - nowadays the standard on such matters would seem to be an arbitrary one, fixed from year to year by R.A.'s and corset manufacturers: sufficient to say that it was not always thus! P. P. Rubens, a well known, if rather Flemish, photographer who flourished round about the reign of Charles I, was a staunch supporter of Over-Development in subjects of all sexes. (See Pictures "Toilet of Venus," and "Hercules"). Whilst his contemporary Theolocopuli Domenico (surnamed El Greco) would seem to have favoured Under-Development to the point of skinnyness. As far as is known, the connoisseurs of the time - who are briefly referred to as "rakes and. libertines" in school history books - shared this eclecticism.
One thing is certain - even experienced amateurs have difficulty in defining precisely, (1) what causes Under-Development; (2) what constitutes Under-Development. Of the latter I can only say that I regard the whole thing as a matter of taste and when in doubt I use drapery, or soft focus, or both. The time may come when questions of this kind will be decided for us by an authoritative body of scholarly experts sitting in dignified solitude in some remote city, such as Los Angeles . . . until that happy day it is chacun a son gout, as they say over the water.
1 don't want to bore you, dear reader, but here is yet another example of what is being done all over the country under my "Land Development and Reclamation Scheme." I think you will agree that, despite slight over exposure and temporary lassitude (induced, no doubt, by too close an application to the fascinating sport of making hay while the sun shines), very good work either has been or is about to be, done here.
As to what causes Under-Development, the answer is, simply . . . not enough developing; and the best remedy is, of course, more development. I always warn pupils of mine against taking specious promises of the "You, too, can have a body like mine" genre too literally; in my opinion vigorous physical exercise tends to produce knobs and bumps rather than flowing curves. It is my contention that the finest form of all round physical culture takes the form shown in the illustration on page 8, in which four old students of mine are initiating a new recruit. As you can see for yourself, the beginner is the rather meagre miss with her back to the camera; the others have obviously been at it for years. If, in spite of all this, outdoor exercise is still preferred, a leisurely and decollete course of static-boating as practised by my second-year students on page 45 often has excellent results; although the rapt expression on the face of the oars-woman rowing rhythmically in half an inch of water with an oar sans blade is a sad indictment of the mental condition to which persistent exercises of this kind inevitably reduce one.