7. Female models . Several women pointed out to me that GDR models weren’t anorexic waifs or larger-than-life sex bombs but rather average women. There was no East German Kate Moss. In fact, many weren’t professionals at all but hobby models. Leafing through a few old copies of magazines like Für Dich ( For You ) and Modische Maschen ( Fashionable Stitches ) most of the clothes look dowdy and, indeed, the models are everyday women — though, naturally, on the pretty side. They certainly wear less make up and show less skin than those in Vogue . There are no sex tips, but rather an emphasis on work, motherhood, and party politics. For all their libertine body culture, it all strikes me as awfully prude.
Stunning both their competitors and viewers, the young East German girls brought home every gold medal except two in 1976. The world saw a Communist nation producing super athletes who clearly looked physically advanced and different. One American swimmer noted how hard she and her teammates prepared for the world's biggest stage — it was impossible for the East Germans to have worked that much harder to look that much stronger. American swimmers were harshly criticized for complaining during the Olympics when they pointed out the unusual nature of the East German women; the Americans were essentially scorned for being sore losers. To this day, some Americans continue to lobby for their right to a gold medal, yet it remains a difficult initiative to change the history books.