A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 21, 2013
“I don’t sweat, I sparkle” ("I don’t sweat, I glisten/glow")

"I don’t sweat, I sparkle” (or “I don’t sweat, I glisten/glow") has been printed on many gift items, such as T-shirts, posters and gym bags. “I don’t sweat, I sparkle” has been cited in print since at least May-June 2011 and is the popular modern form of the saying.

“Ladies don’t sweat — they glow” was cited in print in 1941. “Ladies don’t sweat, they glisten” was cited in print in 1985.


Google Books
Out of the Frying Pan:
A Comedy in Three Acts

By Francis Swann
New York, NY: Samuel French
1941
Pg. 89:
DOTTIE. Ladies don’t sweat — they glow.

Google Books
Purpose and Place;
Essays on American Writers

By Douglas Grant
London: Macmillan; New York: St Martin’s Press
1965
Pg. 116:
Had the magnificent creature been white Mark Twain would have felt compelled to describe her in the tone of ‘ladies don’t sweat, they glow’.

15 January 1978, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), “Dee is ‘What’s Happening!!’” by Benjamin Morrison, TV Focus, pg. 24, col. 2:
“You know, ladies don’t sweat, they glow and I’ve been working hard.”

25 June 1980, Omaha (NE) World-Herald, “Fastest Female Miler Takes the Pain in Stride” by Alan Greenberg, pg. 3-J, col. 5:
Dick: Little girls don’t sweat. They glow.

Google News Archive
26 March 1982, Windsor (Ontario) Star, “Hemingway glows in Personal Best” by John Laycock, pg. B1, col. 2:
Women don’t sweat; they glow — at least at the movies.

Traditionally, any moisture staining the female form on screen was undignified, or compromising, or a voluntary sacrifice to save the family farm. Perspiration was the polite word, but movies preferred not to speak even it.

Google Books
The Methuselah Manual:
The 3% formula for staying young, healthy, and sexy

By David C. Gardner and Grace Joely Beatty
Windham, NH: American Training and Research Associates
1985
Pg. 52:
As a child I paid special attention to my mother’s statement that ladies don’t sweat, they glisten, and have studiously avoided all activities that produced anything faintly resembling sweat.

Google Books
Gym Psych:
The Insider’s Guide to Health Clubs

By Maury Z. Levy and Jay Shafran
New York, NY: Fawcett Columbine
1986
Pg. 108:
WHY YOU SWEAT
What’s that you say — women don’t sweat, they glow? Listen pal, sweat is a mixture of water, body salts, and acidic waste products. Glow that. Sweat is your body’s natural air-conditioning system.

4 January 1986, Atlanta (GA) -Constitution, “Mr. Personality,” pg. I22:
“And Ella said, `Pearl, I have you know I don’t sweat, I glisten.’ Pearl said, ‘All right, honey, you’re glistening like a pig.’”

Google News Archive
23 July 1995, Allegheny Times (Allegheny County, PA), “Excessive perspiration problem is the pits” by Jeff O’Brien, Sunday Times Magazine, pg. 3, col. 3:
Women don’t sweat. I know you’ve heard. They glisten. Well then, I don’t sweat either. I leak.

Google News Archive
Honey Does My Butt Make These Pants Look Big?
By Rebel Lowrey Covan
Pensacola, FL : Dockside Publications
2002
Pg. 22:
And to heck with the old saying, “Southern women don’t sweat, they glow (or glisten, depending on what version you’re hearing at the time).” Honey, I sweatl And I get really angry when I’m “glowing.” It’s like a never-ending hot flash.

Google Books
Africa
By Jamon Miller
New York, NY: iUniverse
2006
Pg. 40:
“I don’t sweat!” I said, holding him, “I glisten!”

Model Mayhem
Nihilus
Dec 17 07 07:45 pm
“I don’t sweat, I glisten.”

Chronicle Forums
ThatScaryChick
May. 29, 2009, 03:47 PM
I don’t sweat, I glisten. smile
I would like to think I sparkle. LOL

15 May 2011, Sacramento (CA) Bee, “Cycle Chic—style over speed,” pg. I1:
And here, on the (4-inch) heels of the last, came another: “I don’t sweat on the bike; I sparkle.” She was talking about the practicalities of “cycling chic” and how it’s not only acceptable but “fabulous” to dress to the nines while heading to a fancy dinner or just going around town running errands.

Twitter
megan kay‏
@mkayy_
i don’t sweat, i sparkle. http://tumblr.com/xh62vhtw58
1:12 PM - 6 Jun 11

myfitnesspal
AGSawatzky
August 22, 2012 2:09 pm
(...)
I like the saying “I don’t sweat, I sparkle” grin

The Huffington Post
5 Fitness Quotes That Are The Absolute Worst
Posted: 07/19/2013 8:36 am EDT
(...)
“I DON’T SWEAT, I SPARKLE.”
Actually, sweating is kind of the point.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityExercise/Running/Health Clubs • Sunday, July 21, 2013 • Permalink