Vintage Ads Used To Shame Skinny Women Into Gaining Weight
Imagine a world where instead of being bombarded with Photoshopped images of women’s skeletal frames being squeezed into size-zero designer dresses, they were encouraged to put on five, 10 or even 15 pounds, fill out their frames and become more voluptuous. That world is a reality — or at least it was in the 1940s and 50s.
Retronaut has dug up a series of ads that promise women fame, beauty and even a husband if they gain weight — almost ironic, considering there are ads today that swear just the opposite will happen. One ad says, “If you want to be popular, you can’t afford to be skinny!” while another admonishes, “Skinny girls are not glamour girls.” But perhaps our favorite one is the one that says, quite simply, “GAIN WEIGHT!”
Granted, all of the ads were created for the same reason all advertising is created: selling product. And while we’re sure it wasn’t fun for the naturally thin women of the time to be told that they had “no sex appeal,” and yes, these ads are flagrantly sexist. But seen from the perspective of our weight-shaming culture, we can’t say they’re not a little refreshing.
Take a look at a few, below.