According to 1950s romance comics ads, women back then worried about their weight, appearance, lips and *ahem* lady business
There’s no greater marker for a man reading a romance book that he’s a pilgrim in an unholy land than the advertisements that greet him with nearly every flip of the page. It’s a bit like channel-surfing into a soap opera and being bombarded by bright, flowery commercials talking about “freshness” and other such things, euphemisms that don’t get down into the nitty-gritty of the feminine issues dealt with. Yesterday’s issue of Love Diary is no exception. Indeed, it’s a paragon of Oh wow this is Bizarro World. The gauntlet of wares being hawked in this case was so unique, so potent, the collective assemblage was worthy of a separate post. So here we are.
Take the ad above (which we’ve seen a variant of before). Diet pills. For slimming down. Whereas men are obsessed with bulking up into rugged sand-kicking he-men, women are obsessed with the reverse, or so this Kelpidine promo would have us believe. You can’t be fat if you’re a woman — as this next ad makes very clear:
If you’re not worried so much about body shape, but more about general appearance and comportment, maybe Anita Colby’s Beauty Book would be for you (though I see she too is hawking her own “lose weight you fat cow” services):
All this isn’t to say that women are vain, superficial creatures, only concerned with the flighty trivialities of their looks. After all, they have really important things to worry about — like keeping their lipstick sharp while they’re swimming:
(The shadow-shrouded guy behind the bathing beauty above looks a tad creepy, no? Start playing the Jaws music…)
There are even some homemaking topics addressed. Maybe the lady of the house would like to save a buck or two on haircuts, and wouldn’t mind butchering their progeny’s scalp with an electric hair trimmer:
And now comes the pièce de résistance, the ad that truly marks its comic out as being a foreign land, like some far-flung empire visited by Marco Polo. Ladies and gentlemen — but mainly ladies — I present you with a new, space-age sanitary shield:
Vaginal overflow checked.
And this concludes our feminine product broadcast day. NOW I’M GOING TO GO WATCH TEN HOURS OF FOOTBALL.