The Life of a 50s Woman Seen in Black and White

September 23, 2011 astridmartin1116

Imagine! You’re siting in your favorite comfy couch with a nice bowl of popcorn ready to watch TV. Suddenly, this commercial shows up. Before you question yourself why a black and white commercial popped up on your TV, focus on the intricate details of the commercial. What is your reaction?

At first, I found myself intrigued by the whimsical 50s theme. But as I continued watching this vintage advertisement I noticed how my offense meter was increasing by the second.

Even before anybody knew what product was being advertised, I found it alarming how we were led through a stereotypical storyline of an “ordinary girl”–a dangerous combination of words.

Although this form of advertisement is a step up from our current style of selling sex, don’t get too excited, after all this commercial is originally from the innocent and conservative 50s. Instead of sex, there was major sexism.

According to the repetitive sexist remarks spoken by the narrator, women are led to believe that in order to be considered an  “ordinary girl”  and live happily ever after, they must follow a formula. A woman must be “beautiful,”  “slim,” and “married.” Sound any familiar? Who knew so many of the same insecurities we have today were found in the women of the innocent 50s.

But the big question is,  what happens when women of this age didn’t fit into these classifications? Women are instantly going to think that their not considered “ordinary”–talk about harsh and dangerous words to the psyche!

What made it worse, not to mention offensive, was how the commercial undermined the role of women in society by mocking housewives’ day-to-day errands: from their “exercise strolls” with their babies to their shopping trips as “competitive sports.” Unfortunately, with these images in mind, the viewer is helpless to defy the idea that women are low-class citizens that have no real contribution in society except for the image they provide their family. This is where I draw the line with the media. Messages like these are dangerous and poisonous to a society.

Although we look at these commercials now and laugh at the many trends and jeers that once pressurized woman; we ultimately laugh because we understand how ridiculous society was once viewed.  Let’s just hope that historical references like these teach us a lesson about what the media can do to an entire generation.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. life of a teenage feminist  |  September 24, 2011 at 6:07 am

    Wow. This was an awesome post. This video was an eye opener and the relationahips you made in your post about how we have the same insecurities as women did 60 years aago was a great point. I found my mouth gaped open at this video because it was so sexist and so anti-feminist. Your points and comments were really informative and thank you for posting this video. This has opened my eyes. ~Kiersten

    • 2. astridmartin1116  |  October 5, 2011 at 4:41 pm

      Thank you so much Kiersten. I am so happy that my post was able to leave such a strong effect on you. The first time I came across this pepsi commercial, I was just as surprised. For this reason, I just could not bare but to write a post devoted to how sexist the media can be. Unfortunately though, this is not the only sexist commercial I found on Youtube. There was another commercial I was very close to writing about. Trust me, it’s just as sexist and jaw dropping.


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