one-piece-bathing-suit

THE AWE-INSPIRING ANNETTE KELLERMAN

- She was a swimmer, actress and writer.

- At a young age, she was diagnosed with rickets. In order to correct her condition, Kellerman had to wear heavy iron braces over her bowed legs.

- Her passion for swimming came via the recommendation from a doctor. Kellerman later said in her memoir that, “only a cripple can understand the intense joy that [she] experienced when, little by little, [she] found that [her] legs were growing stronger and taking on the normal shape”.

- She would perform mermaid shows in a glass fish tank (with eels, seals and fish) at her local aquarium twice a day.

- She was the first woman to attempt to swim the English Channel when she was just 18 years old. After her third try, she admitted that she had the endurance but not the “brute strength”.

- She disregarded societal norms and was arrested for indecency in 1907 for wearing a one piece swim suit. She argued in court that her one piece swimsuit was intended for function, not promiscuity.

- A Harvard professor declared her “the perfect woman” because her body measurements were so close to Venus de Milo’s.

- After she was declared the perfect woman, she insisted that she did not want to be known as “just a pretty fish”.

- She started her own line of swimsuits which were aptly named, the “Annette Kellermans”.

- She was the first major actress to appear fully nude in a film called, A Daughter of the Gods (1916). There are no known copies.

- She designed her own mermaid costumes for film.

- She turned down a five movie deal with Fox to pursue her love of theater.

- She is a published author and has written three books, one of which is a children’s book of fairy tales. 

- She also has an unpublished autobiography called My Story.

- She gave lectures and wrote pamphlets on health and fitness long before it was considered the norm. Her first diet book was called, Physical Beauty: How to Keep It (1919).

- She owned a health food store in Long Beach, CA.