Recently I, like so many others, had my high contact workout routine interrupted by COVID-19. I used to get exercise by lifting attractive women over my head like Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing. Now that I’m stuck at home with no one to hoist, I need a new workout, so I turned to the woman with my idea of the perfect body, Dame Angela Lansbury.
I’ve been a big Fansbury since her star-making turn as the teapot who fucks in Beauty And The Beast. Angela’s VHS workout Positive Moves was released in 1990, and it was billed as a workout for any age. I’m 31, which is an age, so I figured I was good to go.
Positive Moves is a workout routine that is very concerned with not killing the people who do it. It’s perfect for me because I don’t need Jillian Michaels screaming at me to do better burpees or whatever; I want a workout where Angela Lansbury is impressed that I can move my arms at all.
She’s always like, “hold onto something while you do this!” but I don’t need to hold onto shit. For the first time, I’m the king of PE class. In the land of the arthritic, the woman who can do squats unassisted is king.
The workout is divided into five parts:
Angela is in a bath towel, rubbing herself and explaining to you that if you rub yourself every day, you will notice if you start to get fat. The rubbing gets intense, and Angela seems to be enjoying it, maybe too much.
After much massaging, we finally get the beginning of the actual working out part of the workout. It takes place outside because Angela Lansbury lives on a palatial estate where there’s enough room to do things outside.
We get to do a lot of gentle, dance-like movements. It made me feel like I’d been cast as a tree in a grade school play.
As you sashay along with Angela, there’s a very particular kind of workout music playing in the background. It sounds like if smooth jazz was somehow nerdier, or if a very sleepy man found a synthesizer. There’s a weird twinge of science fiction that makes me think any second Angela could throw on a jet pack and rocket away into space where no one can hear you sashay.
Throughout the workout, Angela remains so positive and caring. “Bend your knees just slightly here. If you don’t have any knees, that’s fine. Just keep doing what you’re doing. You’re beautiful, pause, and reflect on what a cutie you are. Would you like ten dollars? Here’s ten dollars.” That’s a direct quote from the video; I’m pretty sure.
After the intense warm-up is over, we move on to writhing on the floor. The camera pans over Angela’s entire body like they’re making a pre-Instagram thirst trap video that’s explicitly targeted at Mickey Rooney.
There’s a long shot of her toes that made my broken brain wonder if Angela Lansbury has a wikifeet page, and before you open a new tab so fast you break your browser, let me just tell you that she does and it is extensive. She’s rated four stars (nice feet).
Angela calls this part moving freely. “If you can’t move freely, that’s fine, remain chained where you are. You’re doing great! Here’s a little kiss,” I’m pretty sure she says.
With prancing time comes a music change to some funky bass. Angela waves her hands around like a magician’s assistant that’s had too many Red Bulls, flaps her arms like Big Bird’s hot sister, and does a couple of Darth Vader force pushes. This is the most intense part of the workout, I think? It’s got some hardcore prancing.
The final part of the video is where things start to get weird. It feels like Angela made a thirty-minute long fitness video and then kind of forgot that the camera crew was there and just kept living her best life. She goes for a walk, bakes, sews, gardens, and the whole time the crew is filming her like, “Does Angela realize we haven’t gone home yet or…”
I love being able to say I did an hour-long workout when what I really did was mostly watch Angela Lansbury bake bread, so this is my favorite part of the tape. Putting on a big ol’ snuggie and taking a nap is literally a part of this workout routine.
Then Angela starts to take a bath, which is weird because that’s how the video started. How clean does this woman need to be? She’s not sweaty from the workout or anything, so why is she taking another bath?
The reason suddenly becomes apparent when she starts talking about older women and sexuality. “It used to be thought that women lose interest in sex after menopause, but now we know that just isn’t true. Here check this out I’m going to crank it right now,” is pretty much exactly what she says.
This part of the video is great, obviously, because it demonstrates the difference between how men and women masturbate. If you asked a man for his ideal masturbation environment, it would probably be like a dank basement with no windows at all and a fridge with unlimited Gatorade.
Women want a bathtub in a room with floor to ceiling french windows on a palatial estate, because you can masturbate anywhere on a palatial estate, that’s why people buy them. We want Angela Lansbury in the corner just whispering words of encouragement to us about how we’re goddesses and what we’re doing is beautiful, and maybe every once in a while, she hands us a Gatorade because everyone needs to stay hydrated.
This workout has everything I ever wanted. An old woman being nice to me, minimal actual exercise, Angela Lansbury crankin it, a surprising amount of gardening, so many pastel jumpsuits, and Angela Lansbury crankin it.
Plus, it was made three decades ago, and Angela Lansbury is still doing it every day on her palatial estate at ninety-four years old, so it’s got to work, right? Give it a shot and sashay your way to immortality like a beautiful ancient tortoise who is well versed in the art of self-pleasure.
You can follow Lydia Bugg on Twitter or check out more of her writing at Liddybug.com