Aside from pictures, there is nothing that shows a true snapshot of an era than advertisements. An ad is a freeze frame of the clothes, trends, and societal norms of that moment in history. The ads below are from the 50’s. Women had a very different place in society at that time. We may look at these ads now with laughter and, for some, disgust. That is because we are looking at them through the norms of today, not 1950. Although this sexist behavior was accepted in the 50’s, I am sure there was a great deal of eye rolling by the women reading these ads.
Newly available household appliances eased some of the work involved in running a home. I’m not sure which aspect of the ads is most enjoyable; the attire used in cleaning, the obvious example of, “women’s work”, or the incredible joy brought by a mop. I know, its the heels.
In case the earlier ads were too subtle, these clearly state that it’s a man’s world and the state of any marriage is dependent upon the wife’s cooking ability. If the woman on the left were any more subservient, she’d be under the bed. Other things could wreck a marriage in the 50’s. Ladies, don’t let yourself go. Your marriage and worth as a human being depend on it. In case you can’t see it clearly, the middle ad is for Lysol for “feminine hygiene.” Really? Lysol?
And last but not least, I would like to share a couple of ads I hope will make you chuckle. Oh Sabrina. Double entendre anyone? We’ve come a long way, baby!