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Building Nature's MarketThe Business and Politics of Natural Foods$
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Laura J. Miller

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226501239

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226501406.001.0001

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Feeding the Talent

Feeding the Talent

The Path to Legitimacy

(p.84) Chapter Four Feeding the Talent
Building Nature's Market

Laura J. Miller

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the ways that mid-twentieth century star spokespeople, as lecturers, authors, and television personalities, encouraged the public to experiment with health food. As well as describing the direct business connections these spokespeople had to the health food industry, the chapter explains how they sparked interest in health food by film and television celebrities and proponents of physical culture. These constituencies were themselves outside of the mainstream, and thus helped perpetuate health food's exotic image. But their status as performers lent glamour and with it, greater visibility and legitimacy to the category. What further tied star spokespeople, bodybuilders and Hollywood figures together was that they all embraced health food for purposes of enhancing personal appearance on top of good health. In this way, they introduced an important new motivation for adopting a natural foods diet.

Keywords:   bodybuilders, celebrities, lecturers, legitimacy, physical culture, star spokespeople, television

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