Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sepia Saturday 263: Ads for odd products.



Ads for odd products reminded me of ads for products whose markets have vanished. First to mind came the old Wate-On ads. As a skinny-minnie myself when growing up, I hoped and prayed that Marilyn Monroe curves would magically develop on my bony frame. In the photo below, I'm the short, skinny flat-chested 14 year old on the left with the limp crinoline wearing my older sister's shoes. On the right was my friend Sandra with the snazzy kiss curl on her forehead. Sandra was pretty, tall and buxom. She had the largest bosom and the biggest crinoline. Linda in the middle, was perfect. Still is. We all remain friends which pleases me no end.

I read these Wate-On ads avidly in the backs of magazines and related entirely to the copy... "an undernourished looking body with no flowing figure-line may spell oblivion to a popular social life." That was me. One of my curvy friends told me when I was about 15, "At least, when the boys ask you out you know it's not for your body." This was meant to be consoling. The boys weren't asking me out. 





Then along came Twiggy and being a skinny-minnie wasn't so bad any more. As I ended up with a career in the food business which required basically that I ate all day long for 45 years, my natural skinniness stood me in good stead. 



The second ad I love is the Lane Bryant "Free for Chubbies" ad. "Charming Chubby-size clothing." Being chubby was just as bad as being skinny. At least the chubbies weren't facing oblivion like the skinnies were. 

It was great to be/or have a chubby baby with nice pinchable cheeks like the Gerber beauty."Chubby" began to be a dirty word when applied to a child about 8 or 9. Nice of Lane Bryant not to charge more for the chubby clothes even though more fabric was necessary. They were obviously an agile company - they still have a store in our mall. What was it with the 1/2 sizes for ample women? I'm guessing it was more desirable to say you were an 8 1/2 rather than a full size 9? or 10 1/2 rather than an 11? I know that the strategy behind sizing clothing is complicated and has morphed over the years as more and more has been learned about body image and psychology. 1x, 2x, 3x looks like the size ranges available for the plus sized curvy woman of today.



During my long eating career I worked for Lawry's in the salt business when sodium was blamed for every health problem. Immediately thereafter I went to work for the California Egg Commission and suddenly cholesterol was in the hot seat and eggs were proclaimed "killers". Happily my career began a little late for the Lard Council.
The lard ad's actually a spoof as you can guess - such a grotesque over-the-top claim. We all know it's not lard that makes you happy - it's GLUTEN. 
I should disclose that I was recently hired by the Gluten Producers of America. 



Check out the horse tales, buggy whip stories and other adverts at Sepia Saturday.

22 comments:

  1. There was always lard in the larder when I was a girl, everything (and I mean everything) was cooked in it or spread with it. Two slices of bread spread with lard and sandwich together with a thick layer of Condensed tinned milk was a real treat and one we indulged in several times a week.

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    1. I remember that sandwich. We didn't eat them but I can remember people around the neighborhood viewing the combination as a treat.

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  2. How fads in food and fashion change! I cannot think we would find today adverts aimed at "Chubbies". A very topical take on sixths week's theme,. given the per-occupation with body image and obesity, and I enjoyed your witty style of writing.

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  3. There's some truth to what one of your curvy friends said to you about being asked out for yourself & not for the shape of your body. I had a friend with an almost Jayne Mansfield shape. As you can imagine, she was asked out frequently but she was forever worried & wary about the reason. I was so glad for her when she finally had a steady boyfriend who was interested in more about her than her curves. It isn't only curves, though. I didn't have all that many boyfriends until I gained popularity with my singing. Then all of a sudden I was being asked out a lot & knew, at least with some, it was simply to show off who they could date. Luckily it was fairly easy to weed out the chaff.

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  4. I'm so happy you switched to the Gluten Producers. I'm sick of going Gluten free. I'll be happy to promote your products.
    You always make me laugh! I'm so glad you're back.
    Barbara

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  5. Anonymous3:44 PM

    I'm glad the lard ad was a spoof. But I'm sure lots of people still cook with it. I've never tried it, but someone said it makes the best pie crusts. Do you think that's true?
    Nancy

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    1. Yes...lard makes the best pie crusts. Just talking about them makes my mouth water.

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  6. I wonder what sizes they make for chubby kids now and where they sell them. It seems like there are so many more chubby and obese kids nowadays.

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  7. Wonderful post - I really did laugh out loud. And I do remember that lard advert, I used to have a copy of it hanging on the office wall where I worked many years ago. I would like to put in a word, however, for beef dripping - now that is the stuff to cook your chips in.

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    1. Beef drippings....how divine.

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    2. But Duck fat makes the best roast potatoes.

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  8. Interesting that today, Lane Bryant is targeted specifically at teen and adult women, not children at all. As a tall teenager, none of my pants were long enough and a store clerk suggested we go to Lane Bryant because the clothes were cut for bigger backsides. The thinking was that the "empty" fabric would droop and make my pants look longer. It was a shameful purchase and I never told anyone where those slacks came from

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    1. I wonder who had the perfect size? Everything was too big for me. Having empty fabric drooping around your backside must have been agony. No doubt the pants were too short anyway. How did we survive our teens?

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  9. My poor brother was ridiculed because he had to wear Sears & Roebuck's "Husky" sizes -- the current euphemism for "chubby." I don't think he ever recovered from it all...

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  10. Loved your post - very amusing. How well I remember the agonies of being a far from perfect teenager.

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  11. You made me smile.

    Yes I also remember being a bean pole teenager who could eat anything! Not any more!

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  12. Wonderfully funny piece. I remember bread and beef ‘dripping’ whch i think was even worse, and to top it all we sprinkled liberally with salt!

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  13. Lard doesn't exactly have a very good image these days. The girl shown in the ad for chubbies isn't particularly chubby, which is a bit strange.

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  14. Do they call you typhoid Helen in the food industry?? I was skinny too but now I'm not.

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  15. Lucky you to be life-long slim, even when your job required you to eat. With today's epidemic obesity, Wate-On would never stand a chance!

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  16. I am not surprised about some of the ads and yet didn't know they had to be so blunt. I remember seeing the body builder men ads in my comic books and I kept thinking that it didn't look that great.

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  17. Having a good smile to start my day. I just wish they would standardize sizes so that they could be relied on. These days I shop with a small tape measure in my handbag so that I can check a garment's width before going to the trouble of trying it on !

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