There are many articles out there that make people shudder due to the way they are promoted and advertised. Some with pictures and some with derogatory demands and assumptions of women and/or wives.
I feel that people often immediately get offended by these messages as I myself have done as well. But I made myself look into it further as I ask of you.
What is the message they are really sending? What is it that they are suggesting in the underlying message? Why am I asking you to do this?
Everyone is so politically correct these days and uber sensitive.
Advertisements and comments like this would never fly today because people don’t stop and think about the underlying message.
Men are attracted to women who work hard. Who value and take pride in their home. Who show their love and appreciation for their husband by ensuring the home is a calm and relaxing place to come home to rather than a cluttered stressful mess. He values a motivated woman. What is so shameful about that?
Some may say this insinuates she was at home all day and not working. Maybe she works from home. Maybe she does what I do and get home after work before my husband and throw on a dress and spray some Lysol around and make it look like I did something?
For example…take this ad by Kellogs from the 1930s. “The harder a wife works, the cuter she looks!” Okay, yes this is off-putting at first glance, but let’s break this down. As a woman, how attracted are you to your husband if he is sitting on the couch when the trash needs taken out? Playing video games instead of cutting the grass? Is the honey-do list building up?
I have never met a woman who is looking for a lazy man. We value hard working men who get the jobs done without us having to ask twice. Coming home and seeing your husband hard at work mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, doing laundry, washing dishes, changing diapers…I’m getting hot and bothered just thinking about it!
Now, don’t get me wrong there are a number of advertisements that I cannot no matter how hard I try, make any rational explanation for.
Here is a clip from a book written in 1958 giving advice on how to find a husband. The book identifies a number of seemingly ridiculous things that may or may not be feasible for everyone or even seem like extreme situations to partake in to “find a husband.” Here are some examples of some of the suggestions along with some responses from a writer focusing on “badass single women” when they are not even the target audience of the book.
They are clearly celebrating their single status which is fine. To each their own. But its like being offended by a Mexican cuisine cook book and refuting the recipe to make it more Italian because you don’t like Mexican food. Why are you even looking at a Mexican cook book then?
“WHERE TO FIND HIM
1. Get a dog and walk it.
If you don’t want a dog, don’t get a dog. If you want a dog and don’t want to walk it, get a dog walker.
2. Have your car break down at strategic places.
Take care of your car so it never breaks down.
3. Attend night school – take courses men like.
Attend night school only if you want to. Take the courses you like.
4. Join a hiking club.
Join a hiking club if you like hiking in clubs. But hiking solo can be awesome – maybe try that. Or skip it all if you hate hiking.”
Like I said before…people taking the words at face value rather than the meaning behind them. Yes it would be silly to buy a dog solely for the purpose of meeting a man, going to school to be around men, going hiking if you hate hiking.
But what is the message here behind all of these ridiculous suggestions?
Get out of the house and meet people! Make yourself accessible. You cannot meet people, especially at the time this book was written, if you were not active in the community.
Nowadays, you could hide in your home and attempt to meet someone online. However, albeit extreme suggestions, I do believe that this writer has thought of every possible option so that the reader can find something or a few among the 129 ways that does fit into their lifestyle.
As a therapist, we teach a “buffet” of coping skills. Not that you will use all of them, because some of them are not feasible or realistic for your lifestyle, or rather they just don’t sit well with you. Take from it what fits with your lifestyle and quit being overdramatic about it.
Here is another one that rubs people the wrong way,
“17. Be friendly to ugly men – handsome is as handsome does.
Be friendly to people.”
I actually really like this suggestion and I think all women who are looking for a man should take this advice, I mean sure, yes be nice to everyone. When I read this I do not look at it as superficial. I feel as though the underlying message is not to discount a man because you are not immediately physically attracted to them as so many women and men do.
Give people more of a chance. Get to know them, build a friendship that can blossom into a romance. Yeah, yeah, easy for me to say, look at the stud muffin I married. I got lucky…aside from his looks he is actually a very kind and caring person. Not easy to come by but they do exist.
Here is another…uhhh I have so many thoughts:
“128. Let it be known in your office that you have a button box and will sew on bachelors’ loose buttons.
This one is a thinker and sounds very odd right off the bat. Like why on earth would you advertised yourself as a button sew-er-oner? Well, think of the decade this book was written for one thing. But actually, this is an opportunity for you to advertise your skills. What kind of skills? The skills of a kick-ass wife…because those are the girls who are buying this book right? Those who want to be a wife?
In modern times I would maybe relate this to a girl at work bringing in her famous casserole for her co-workers, talking about how much you like to cook or how much you love kids.
So my message and challenge to you is to look beyond and ask why, ask what is the message before getting offended. We could all use a little more compassion for each other.
“Flashback: Every Wifey’s Beauty Secret Circa 1930.” RSS. Web. 5 Feb. 2015. <http://www.popsugar.com/love/1930s-Kellogg-Pep-Cereal-Advertisement-1673932>.