I have many vintage beauty magazines. They bring me joy and also make me laugh sometimes. There are some really weird things that advertisers use to try to sell us in the name of beauty.
Beauty companies made some interesting choices with their magazine advertisements. If you watched Madmen back when it was on AMC, you saw some of the origins of these weird beauty ads, even coming from the minds of women in advertising.
These ads have had false beauty claims, misogynistic undertones, and just plain crazy ideas to get women to buy into the products.
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“All of your problems would disappear if you just made yourself more attractive.”
A very common theme in beauty product advertisements was that you may be having a hard time, because you aren’t pretty enough. I’m just gonna let that one simmer there for a little while.
In this advertisement from a 1960 Seventeen magazine, the message starts clear as day with the photo. You are having trouble with your boyfriend. You guys are fighting a lot. He looks concerned. You are sad. What could the drama be?
Well, read further in and you will learn that the problem could be your bad skin. Buy this face wash. If you would just be prettier, your relationship would be less rocky. I am sure it has nothing to do with the fact you are 2 hormonal teenagers who do not know anything about relationship management.
Satan in advertising
I debated whether or not I wanted to include the word Satan in a heading in this blog. What kind of weird SEO traffic would that lead to? Then I thought, this is a blog post about weird, so let’s see where it goes.
He’s red. He’s got that pop of color that catches your eye. Sin and Satan had been used for advertising copy on and off for years. These vintage makeup advertisements from the 1950s were around the end of the era of this message in advertising.
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The above Cutex Stay Fast lipstick ad doesn’t mention Satan or the devil in the copy. It just insinuates that there is something sinful about wanting to use their product.
In the copy, “Stay Fast stays on hours longer! Stays on after eating, smoking, even kissing!” They covered all the female sins right there.
Good vibrations to lose weight
So… it’s a chair. It vibrates. You sit in it while your hairstylist cuts your hair. The chair maker says it will help you slim down your figure. So this might catch your eye if you are trying to reduce your weight.
You will, theoretically, pay more money at the salon for this… service. I don’t think I need to say anymore. In Madmen, there was a product they were trying to sell called the Relax-a-sizer. This might be similar.