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Vintage Sexism: Hanging on the Telephone

Of the stereotypical pastimes linked to women throughout the decades, few seem more persistent than the tendency to while away the hours on the telephone.

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Vintage Sexism: The Femme Fatales of Pulp Fiction

There’s no doubt that the pulp fiction era spawned a wealth of escapist genres known for over-the-top exaggeration and off beat characters, but how has it affected female stereotypes?

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Vintage Sexism: Seeking the Right Kind of Inspiration

Vintage Sexism holiday ads

Vintage Sexism: Hoover holiday ad
Image via Einestages.

Last week, we received a Facebook comment from a fellow vintage lover about the potential irony in celebrating ’50s and ’60s fashions in our holiday stylebook. Customer Sarah B. stated that it’s a good idea …

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Vintage Sexism: Through the Looking Glasses

Image via Tumblr user sadburro.

This one goes out to our readers far and wide, far- and near-sighted. Raise your glasses if you’ve ever been called, “four-eyes,” “geek,” or “brainiac,” or, if you’ve ever been told that your eyewear …

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Vintage Sexism: Work It, Girl

Oh yes, we can do it! Do you often get pumped about an inspiring female lead? Does this woman manage the office or call the shots? This doesn’t happen nearly enough in popular entertainment. Our current stylebook, Nine to Fine

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Vintage Sexism: All Eyes on Suit

When you don a bathing suit, you’re usually getting ready to wade in the ocean or lie in the sun. A bathing suit is the most comfortable way to get poolside, right? In these ads from the 1920s through the …

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Vintage Sexism: Thinking About Pink

Revlon ad via The Nifty Fifties and Lustre Creme ad via The Society Pages.

My mom sends me care packages every now and then, and they usually include two toothbrushes. One pink, one green. One is meant for me, …

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Vintage Sexism: Kiss and Makeup

Image via

Tenaciously holding onto the tails of time, makeup has stuck around for over 6,000 years, dating back to when ancient Egyptians wore it in hopes of sharpening their sight and protecting themselves from malicious spirits. Of course, …

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Vintage Sexism: ‘Hair’ Comes Stubble!

Images via Gallery of Graphic Design

It’s almost summertime — the season for sunshine, swimsuits, and stubble. When the weather gets hotter, the skirts and sleeves get shorter, and the pressure is on to keep the hair off of our …

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Vintage Sexism: The Data Game

Images via Bored Panda.

Versatile! Dependable! Compatible! Maybe even sexy? Well, judging from the lucky fellow in the second advertisement, it sure looks like computers can transmit some serious sexual magnetism. When I was searching for subject matter for …

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Vintage Sexism: The Way to a Man's Heart

Image via TJS

When Alice’s husband gets bored with her, and his gaze starts to wander over to “pink and white” Betty Thorton, Alice will know exactly how to win him back, thanks to Brer Rabbit Real Plantation Molasses. All …

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Vintage Sexism: Who Wears the Pants? Edition

Images: Found in Mom’s Basement (left), Found in Mom’s Basement

In previous Vintage Sexism posts, we’ve looked at some of the ways women are portrayed as objects of a “male gaze” in advertisements for everything from acne medication to deodorant

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Vintage Sexism: Cheer Up! Edition

Image: Flickr user SA_Steve

Ever have one of those days when someone tells you to “cheer up,” or “smile,” when it’s the last thing you feel like doing? Or, worse, when people say, “Wow! You look exhausted!”?

After speaking with …

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So Fresh and So Clean: Acne Edition

Image: Flickr user SA_Steve

I can’t say I know anyone who embraces acne. But if you are an already-self-conscious adolescent (or a young adult with the more-than-occasional breakout), these ads can seem unnecessarily cruel. The above ad is disguised as …

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