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According to 1950s romance comics ads, women back then worried about their weight, appearance, lips and *ahem* lady business

November 4, 2012

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.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Gary Morrison permalink
    November 4, 2012 5:01 pm

    This has quickly become one of my favorite blogs because of writing like this. Well done.


  2. November 5, 2012 11:50 am

    Great stuff! Always a laugh!


  3. Thelonious_Nick permalink
    November 5, 2012 1:52 pm

    I’m impressed that it’s possible to lose ugly fat with No Diet, No Exercise, No “Methods”, No “Plans”, and No Drugs. Just use sheer, improvised wishful thinking to take off the pounds!

    • November 5, 2012 7:11 pm

      Come to think of it, many of the muscle ads made the same promises. MAGIC.

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