We’ve come to expect that the past is terrible. Well, rather, it was terrible, and now it’s just fun to look back and chuckle over how companies wanted us to wear high-waisted diapers alongside our children and use soap not for hygiene, but to ensnare unwitting men.
In this installment of Badvertising History Lessons, our stalwart witty minds at-large chime in on Palmolive’s tips on how to make men just want to kiss all up on your soft, soapy face, new fashions for busy moms and IBM’s investment in making any secretary’s boss proud for her work.
Scroll on down and click on any ad caption to enlarge and read the full text in all its sexist glory — and send your own examples of why the past was terrible to email@example.com with the subject line TERRIBLE PAST.
Laura Lane, comedian, writer and journalist with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge:
Palmolive: Helping pedophiles have a bigger selection of schoolgirl prey since 1942.
Lauren D., awesome friend:
Give me a break. He’s not in it for your skin. He’s in it for your money.
Mark M., a misanthrope with a heart of gold:
I believe the claims made by this miracle soap. Why, I’ve never seen a corpse with such radiant, glowing skin! Tragic that she died so young, though.
Abby Aronofsky, Social Media Strategist:
I missed the memo on needing to be fresh and alluring EVERY MINUTE OF THE DAY. No one tell my fiancé.
And the best part is, Spun-lo stretches, so you and your baby can share undies! (Also available in Thong Baby styles)
Are they both wearing diapers? Well, I suppose it’s better than matching mom-and-baby thongs.
HOLD. UP. Ladies — apparently we can have it all.
If women’s lib played a part in in killing this idea, call me a feminist.
I’m so confused by this ad. What’s a “sales-clinching” crisis? If that’s an electric typewriter, where is the power cord? And what is happening with that secretary’s hand? Does she have a deformity, or is she boasting, “That’s right, bitch, I typed that in 5 minutes flat?” More importantly, what will she do with all her extra time now that she’s exerting less finger effort? So many questions…
Fast-forward 57 years to 2014, when faster typing leads not to increased efficiency but to vaster quantities of mindless Internet surfing.