Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Very Odd(s) and Ends Ads
Circa February 1929 Photoplay Magazine
I Thought I Had Bad Self-Esteem Until...

It's just common sense that in collecting these women's magazines from a bygone age that most of the ads will be about women's special issues.  But to see the number of ads you'd think menstruation was all women ever thought or talked about.   

This ad is particularly disturbing.   Can you imagine working in a office and having the Personnel Manager start talking about your period.   The look on the employee's face says it all, "First I'll kill her by smashing this typewriter over her head and then I'll jump out the window..."

Actually this ad needs Aaron's razor sharp tongue to tell this woman where to go...

But not to leave out the men... I give you The Man I Pity Most

Here Earle Liederman "A Muscle Builder", takes pity on the modern man with his weak muscles and organs.    I found this odd that there was an ad aimed at building up men's muscles in a woman's magazine.  The other ads are almost exclusively about women's health and beauty needs.  Then I read the last sentence...  It contains 48 full page photographs of myself and some of my prize winning pupils I have trained. Look them over now and you will marvel at their present physiques.  

Muscle magazines are well known as coded as 'pink' in the day.   I'm assuming they were trying to appeal to the Joan Crawford fan base.

Because the text of this ad is in .5 type... I'll recreate this homoerotic tone poem below:

POOR OLD JONES.  NO one had any use for him.  No one respected him.  Across his face I read one harsh word - FAILURE.   He just lived on.  A poor worn out imitation of a man doing his sorry best to get on in the world.  If he had realised one one thing, he could have made good.  He might have been a brilliant success.  

There are thousands of men like Jones.  They, too, could be happy, successful, respected and loved.  But they can't seem to realize the one big fact that practically everything worth while living for depends upon STRENGTH, upon live red-blooded, he-man muscle.

Every you do depends on strength.  No matter what your occupation, you need the health, vitality and clear thing your big strong virile muscles can give you.  When you are ill, the strength in those big muscles pull you through.  At the office, in the farm fields, or on the tennis courts, you find your success generally depends upon your muscular development.

Here's a short cut to Strength and Success

"But" you say, "It takes years to build my body up to the point where it will equal those of athletic champions" It does if you got about it without any system, but there is a scientific short cut.  And that's where I come in.

In just 30 days I can do things with your body you never thought possible.  With just a few minutes work every morning I will add one full inch of real live muscle to each of your arms and two full inches across your chest.  Many of my pupils have gained more than that but I GUARANTEE to do at least that much for you in one short month.  Your neck will grow shapely, your shoulders begin to broaden. Before you know it, you'll find people turning around when you pass.  Women will want to know you.  Your boss will treat you with new respect.  Your friends will wonder what has come over you.  You'll look ten years younger, and you'll feel it, too. 

But I'm not through with you.  I want ninety days in all to the job right and then all I ask is that you look yourself over.  What a marvelous change! Those great squared shoulders! That pair of huge lithe arms! Those firm shapely legs!  You'll be just as fit inside as you are out too, because I work on your heart and your liver, all of your inner organs, strengthening and exercising them.  Yes indeed, life can give you a greater thrill than you ever dreamed...


But don't worry ladies... weight loss is so much easier for you.  Just ten minutes will roll the fat way and absorb it into your body.  Keep the fat in the places you want it and roll it to where it will do the most good.  

Then send away to the Psychology Press in St. Louis (a hotbed of psychology in the late 20's) and find out just what you should avoid to get your man.  You'll learn the secrets to a man's mind with the booklet "Fascinating Womanhood".

Just remember not to have exposed or irritated skin.   "They just don't belong.  They express bad form more clearly than an ill-fitting frock..." 

And finally A New Skin.   Never again "suffer humiliation nor take a 'back seat' in society, business, or love affairs."    All around an amazing ad worthy of any art museum or tee-shirt.  

Peace... stay warm... 


Linda said...

I LOVE these old women's magazines and your commentary! Have you seen Workbasket magazine? The ads are hilarious. I love the one's for the Ayds diet candies that were so popular in the '50's and 60's. All were testimonials from women who supposedly lost 100's of pounds by eating 'two Ayds with a cup of coffee' before every meal.

Graeme said...

"live red-blooded, he-man muscle." That just sounds so porntastic. ;-D

Johnny C said...

I totally remember Ayds. And I remember that they disappeared soon after the AIDS epidemic started. Their slogan of: 'Lose weight with AIDS' must have seemed a little grim in light of the wasting disease.

Aaron said...

Your wish is my command. I'd tell the Personnel Manager that "whoever smelt it, dealt it." In other words, perhaps she's smelling herself!

Actually, I have a few words for Earl Liederman, too. And they are, "If you're such a he-man, how come your nipples are pointed downwards, like man-boobies??"

I'm sure his "system" left Poor Old Jones a lot poorer!

Linda said...

True, Johnny. I Googled Ayds and found that sales dropped in the '70's following the AIDS epidemic, so the company had to drop the product. I haven't thought about Ayds in years, but now remember that my mom bought a box and I got in trouble for eating a half dozen of them! They were tasty little caramels.