Not all vintage valentines are lovey-dovey — some are downright mean! From the 1840s to 1940s, if you wanted to send an anti-Valentine's Day sentiment, you'd do so with an anonymous vinegar valentine. Annebella Pollen, an expert in these burn-book-worthy cards, explains them as "a cheaply made card, with a printed satirical image that mocks the recipient and has a little doggerel verse underneath, usually four- or six-lined, describing some aspect of their personality and dismissing it." Read the full interview on Collector's Weekly to find out more about this historical hate mail. Check out some of the shockingly nasty vinegar valentines now! And none for Gretchen Wieners, bye.
Nowadays, women who want a trimmer waist in a pinch typically turn to Spanx or some other body-slimming underwear. But when it's less about practicality and more about looking sexy in nothing but your skivvies (like for your Valentine's Day date night, for instance), you may choose to don a corset. While modern women are free to wear these fitted underpinnings whenever we want to spice things up in the bedroom, corsets and the idealized tiny waists they create have a long and controversial history that doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon.
A couple years back, Vogue Italia controversially featured Ethel Granger and her 13-inch waist, which she achieved by wearing a corset 24/7. Ethel, who holds the record for the smallest waist in recorded history, went through the painful process for her husband. Her motivation brings up one of the main issues with corsets: are they for the men or the women? Then you have "the human hourglass," Romanian-born model Ioana Spangenberg, who was criticized for setting a bad example with her 20-inch waist, even though she claims she can't help her shape and didn't use corsets to achieve it.
To find out more about what made corsets so controversial back in their heyday (including info from Valerie Steele's book The Corset: A Cultural History), let's look back at some of the vintage ads and photos of these constrictive undergarments and the nonhuman-like shapes they created on women.
"Will this one read Fifty Shades of Grey to me in a sexy voice?" This burning inquiry is just one of the many hilarious questions Amy Poehler has for a Best Buy employee in the company's Super Bowl ad that just aired during the game. We love seeing "sexy" ads with funny women way more than sexist ads with bikini-clad women — so you go, Amy! If you're watching the game today, what are some of your favorite ads? And watch the full commercial featuring Amy now.
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day as well as the presidential inauguration, so Americans are feeling very patriotic on this Winter Monday. As we follow all the inauguration festivities in honor of President Barack Obama's second term, you can get in the spirit with a look at these Americana ads featuring wartime slogans and festive red, white, and blue clotting. Let's celebrate our country today with these vintage patriotic ads!
There's nothing like scouring Pinterest and coming across an inspiring quote or poster that just speaks to you. Very often, this inspiration is coming from our favorite fitness companies, encouraging us to push through the pain and reminding us to "just do it." Check out our favorite ads for a little pump-up before sweating it out!
It's almost time to break out the bubbly! Even if you don't have any extravagant plans for New Year's Eve, there's no better way to ring in 2012 than with a Champagne toast. So this NYE, take an uber-glam cue from the ladies who've graced Champagne ads over the years. See the evolution of women in Champagne ads, from the vintage to the modern, and cling some glasses to the New Year!
Merry Christmas! Vintage ads are often terrible, but these holiday ads take terrible to a new low. Whether it's Santa as a sex object or a cigarette carton for a sleigh, these ads are festive, fun, and totally inappropriate.
Coke would like us to believe that it has a hold on Santa and Christmastime, but beer ads around the holidays prove differently. Whether they're vintage posters or more sleek and modern ones, brew ads are just as memorable. Some made us laugh, others were simple and effective — go ahead and see for yourself!
It was 40 — yes, 40 — years ago, in 1972, that Atari introduced the first successful video game: Pong. We've come a long way since the two-dimensional table-tennis game jump-started the multibillion-dollar industry, but there's still work to be done when it comes to the relationship between female players and video games.
The gaming industry has traditionally been a boys club with women only showing up in ads and games as sexed-up characters. And games targeted toward girls have been stereotypically girlie — full of princesses, shopping, and pink. Although it's not all bad. In recent years, there has been a push to develop more gender-neutral games, and last year the Entertainment Software Association released a report that found women 18 and older comprise more of the gaming audience than boys 17 and younger. So maybe we'll see more female-friendly games in the future?
Many of us grew up in the '80s and '90s playing the "girl" games like Tiger's handheld Disney princess games, but we were also equally interested in generic games like Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros. and even "boy" games like 007 and GoldenEye, which Sarah Silverman told us she played in her younger years. As we hopefully move away from the gaming industry's sexist and stereotypical past and into a more gender-accepting future, let's look at how these retro video game ads targeted girls or used women to target boys.
If vintage Halloween ads showed us that the key to a good All Hallows' Eve is booze, cigarettes, and pantyhose, then what do vintage Thanksgiving ads have to say about the feasting holiday? Well, mostly it revolves around questionably edible dishes, killin' turkeys, and having a glamorous kitchen! Also, ciggys that taste as good a turkey dinner. See the Thanksgiving vintage ads and their lessons now!