These ads are so insulting to women. It's a wonder our grandmothers turned out okay.
This old Lux soap ad from 1939 asks, "Is your skin the kind that wins Romance?":
Women in the 1940s were warned that a bad lipstick color could ruin their love life:
The copy in this fat-shaming ad from 1947 ad opens with, "Help yourself to slenderness that invites romance!":
On the day of her college graduation, the young woman in the middle was unhappy. This 1949 Listerine ad explains, "What was the diploma compared to those precious sparkling rings that Babs and Beth were wearing?":
And look at this helpful 1957 magazine with an article titled, "How to Marry Off Your Daughter":
This sexist* ad is probably from the 1930s. Here are the first two paragraphs of copy:
He was a highly eligible bachelor. And she had made swift progress till that awful day when she slipped getting out of the roadster. Her ankle twisted. She screamed. In a second he had jerked off her shoe — and stocking. With a sinking heart she watched his fingers test her ankle, saw that he was staring at her foot with its twisted toes and stumpy nails, swollen arch and calloused feet. Her feet were terrible!
He was very nice, those days while her ankle mended... But that was really the end... During the summer she read of his engagement to a Baltimore girl.
* This ad would be considered sexist because it implies young women are obsessed with snaring a man.
Colgate's Ribbon Dental Cream, from 1912, came out of the tube in a flat ribbon. Sounds like a great idea though I bet Colgate realized people would use more if the toothpaste came out of the tube the way we're used to it today:
Ipana toothpaste from 1939:
Colgate Ribbon Dental Cream from 1955. According to Interfaces, Gardol, or sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, is still used in toothpastes today:
Colgate Dental Cream from 1960. I had no idea toothpaste once came in a can like shaving cream:
All of these toothpaste tubes would have been made of metal, not plastic.
If you're a nerd like me and think a quick history of toothpaste and tooth powders would be an interesting read, click here.