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BATHING IN BEAUTY

The Optimisation of the Body in the 19th Century
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From wellness baths, fitness clubs and body cult to plastic surgery, braces for teenagers as medical standard - many of today's body techniques have their origin in the bathing culture of the 19th century. At that time, artistic ideals mingled with medical progress, social utopias and apparatus technology to create a new human image. Physicality was now no longer an inescapable fate determined by God and nature. The body became a project, a design open to future developments. Research and science made possible an ever more precise intervention into human organs and their procedures. Many innovations and inventions from that time are still valid and successful today since they link the invisible, the physical and spiritual inner being, with that which is visible and measurable.
Bauchschwimmen und Rückenschwimmen, aus:  Friedrich Eduard Bilz: Das neue Naturheilverfahren, Leipzig 1910, Privatsammlung
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