Monday, December 6, 2010

Incredibly Sexist Vintage Ads

I came across these ads when looking up material for class and thought to share them on our wonderful blog. I'm a fan of vintage advertisements, purely for their design aesthetic and how audiences were targeted, but when I saw these I was shocked and also reminded of how far we've come (or maybe not at all). The two that I found the worst are above, the first demonstrating hyper-masculinity and the subjugation of women being domestic and subservient to their "male" counterparts. And lo and behold, if these "ideals" were broken or rejected than some kind of punishment is due, thus the woman being bent over and "corrected". I'm not sure how this ad was received back then but apparently privilege and hegemonic masculinity are tied to the quality of your coffee (and the character of your wife!). Starbuck's would definitely not fly with this one.

The second advertisement immediately made my jaw drop, and considering our present era of obsession to image, this wasted no time in getting it's point across (did they skip the idea of "subliminal messaging?"). The message I got was basically "lose the weight women, so you can fulfill a gender role that General Mills' deems useful to your existence--being skinny in household"! The only thing left I think would be a crying baby on her hip and a laundry basket on the other, what do you think? This is left to assume that masculinity is defined by what's happening outside the window, the bread-winning white-middle class man working hard to pay for EVERYTHING, down to the glass cleaner she's using. And while he's downing philly cheesesteaks on his break with the guys, she's busy cleaning the house in her Sears size 6 jumper. But I digress . . .

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