Even car manufacturers hopped on the bandwagon to make fun of terrible women drivers. In this advertisement, the company implies that, if anyone in the family is going to get into a fender bender, it would be the wife. The age-old joke about women being the worst drivers is sexist and archaic. You know why insurance rates are higher for male drivers than they are for female drivers? Because men are statistically more likely to get into car accidents. Take that, Volkswagon.
This ad doesn’t preach a “you’re beautiful just the way you are” message. Just the opposite, in fact. It is telling pear-shaped women, with smaller busts and larger butts, that their body shape is not desirable and should, therefore, be changed. Wire-reinforced girdles and padded bras will conceal the wearer’s God-given body and present her is a more flattering silhouette. This ad is a prime example of how advertisers have defined beauty standards and caused generations of women to suffer from poor body image and low self-esteem.
Does this ad take things a little too far? Perhaps. While it is innocently saying that women are attracted to the smell of cigar smoke and will follow a man who blows smoke at her, there is a much more salacious double meaning being implied. It seems startling that innuendos like this were so blatant, but the sexual revolution of the 1960s meant that people were more open in talking about all sorts of bedroom activities.
According to this ad, Total Cereal will solve two of the biggest problems facing 1960s housewives. how to stay slim and how to get all the housework done. During this era, there was a certain mold that women were expected to fit in to. certain societal expectations. One was that they look young, slender, and stylish. The other was that they keep an immaculate house. This cereal brand played into these expectations by telling housewives they could watch their weight while also having the energy they needed to clean all day long. A true sexist win-win.
There is nothing more misogynistic than the image of a caveman dragging his woman around by the hair and we are reminded of that image in this advertisement. We understand that the ad is explaining that the new Warner corset is made without bones which were traditionally sewn in as stays. Instead, the stays in this ‘modern’ girdle are made of a man-made, plastic material that is a lot more comfortable and eco-friendly (a word that hadn’t been coined when this ad first appeared). But the image of a woman being dragged across the floor by her hair is degrading and sexist.
We’re pushing leotards
In an ad that seems to pre-date the legging craze, this print ad is promoting the use of man-made spandex material as tights or leggings that can be worn under any type of clothing to provide a degree of warmth and modesty. We wonder if the creators of these legging-like tights realize how popular this garments are now, not as an undergarment, but as pants. Women of all age and body shape wear leggings today and, when worn with the appropriate length top, the outfit is more and more acceptable in the workplace. Now if we could just keep people from inappropriately touching butts…
We were never fans of appliances as Christmas or birthday gifts…it just seems uncaring and wrong to give someone a work-related tool instead of a personal gift. But this ad carries it even further by providing a list of kitchen appliances and instructions telling the housewife to circle the items she wants and give it to her husband. It even suggests shedding a few tears if necessary to get what is wanted. In all, the vibe we get from this ad is that the housewife is almost enslaved in the home, spending all her time cooking and cleaning, and is so financially dependent on her husband that she has to resort to crying to get what she wants.