Thursday, October 16, 2014

Appalling Advertisements of the Sixties

While “I belong in the 60’s” makes a great Instagram bio, the reality of “the Golden Ages” wasn’t always as glorious as popular culture often portrays. 

Image Courtesy of Business Pundit
Image Courtesy of Business Pundit

Image Courtesy of Business Pundit

Image Courtesy of Tygarts Valley High School Class of 1964 

These ads in particular are especially jarring. They're so offensive they make my stomach physically hurt (although that may be because I’m writing this on a road trip and I’m rather prone to carsickness.) Even so, it’s appalling that my parents and grandparents grew up in a time when this type of propaganda was commonplace. In fact, hype like this has been around practically since Eve tempted Adam with that stupid apple. Generations were raised on this sort of sickening advertising, and nothing really changed until the 1960’s. 

Among the war protests, prayer circles, and dancing at concerts, hippies also popularized the idea of gender equality. Before the peace lovers coalesced on the streets, women were treated as second-hand citizens for simply being born female. 

Hippies brought equal opportunities to the masses, but they didn’t do it alone. Gloria Steinem
was one of the most influential feminists of all time, receiving national attention for her journalism and vehement support for pro-choice abortion. Alongside female emancipation powerhouses such as Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan, she founded the Women’s Media Center, Ms. Magazine, and advocated continually and effectively for abortion rights, same-sex marriage, and transsexual equality. In 1963, Steinem worked as a Playboy Bunny at the New York Playboy club, and later wrote an article on the experience and unacceptable objectification of women in those types of clubs. The article gained critical acclaim and was eventually turned into a movie.

Change doesn’t happen over night (just look at our dress codes) but we have come leaps and bounds since this type of ad. The mere suggestion of something of this type is unspeakable today.

 A lot of times we focus more on what we need to change. Sometimes, it’s nice to remind ourselves of what we’ve already done. 


  1. Hi Miss Faith!
    I'm so, so happy that your dad sent me this link. I've read most of your posts and they all have a wonderful voice!
    In this one, I love your uncompromising lens on these examples of past socio-cultural biases, which we, as women, have endured as well as, at times, perpetrated. Gloria Steinem has always been a heroine of mine, because she was fearless, but also well-respected by both genders. That's hard to do, but she did it by telling the truth without the vitriol of other feminist leaders.
    The most important thing you're learning in these posts is who you are and what you stand for. And your writing is becoming more and more confident just within the life of this blog! BRAVO!!!
    Ps, The closing on this post is perfect.
    Lots of love,
    Aunt (cousin) Meg

    1. Hello Aunt Meg!!
      It's wonderful to hear from you, and yes, you are connecting with me! Thank you so much for your kind words and feedback! I love to hear that people actually read this thing. To be honest, I hadn't even heard of Gloria Steinem until I mentioned this post to my dad, who said I should research her. She's become an idol of mine as well from the limited knowledge I got from Wikipedia, so it's intriguing to hear about her from another source.
      It's so much fun to write these posts and experiment with different voices while working to find my own. Thank you so much for your comments!
      Love you too,