From ‘hands that do dishes’ to a bathtime Flake: the changing face of brands on TV

 

Ads like the one for Harmony hairspray in the 1970s perpetuated the idea that a woman’s main aim was to appeal to as many men as possible, as a series of potential suitors asked: “Is she, or isn’t she?” A later campaign for the deodorant Impulse showed men who “just can’t help” handing flowers to a fragrant woman. However, as commercials moved away from predictable stereotypes, many of the conventional gender roles were helpfully turned on their head.

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From ‘hands that do dishes’ to a bathtime Flake: the changing face of brands on TV

 

Ads like the one for Harmony hairspray in the 1970s perpetuated the idea that a woman’s main aim was to appeal to as many men as possible, as a series of potential suitors asked: “Is she, or isn’t she?” A later campaign for the deodorant Impulse showed men who “just can’t help” handing flowers to a fragrant woman. However, as commercials moved away from predictable stereotypes, many of the conventional gender roles were helpfully turned on their head.

Read the full story here

Redrawing women: Tackling sexism in comics

 

Women are fighting back against sexism in an industry steeped in a history of hyper-sexualised female characters. Some in the comics community aren’t happy with this push for gender parity in the workplace, online and on the page but one way or another, the industry is changing.

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For The First Time, CoverGirl Ads Feature Woman Wearing A Hijab

 

CoverGirl is featuring a woman wearing a hijab in its advertising for the first time in the makeup line’s history. Beauty blogger Nura Afia is featured wearing the traditional Muslim head covering in an ad campaign for a new line of mascara that also includes singer Katy Perry and actress Sofia Vergara. Afia says in a statement released by CoverGirl that she never thought she would see Muslim women represented on this scale after “growing up and being insecure about wearing the hijab.”

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H&M’s diverse advert mirrors the real world. Shame the ad industry doesn’t

Diversity is so hot right now. Take H&M’s new television advert for its autumn/winter 2016 collection, for example, which features a range of women including: • Black women with natural hair • Women with shaved heads • A muscular woman • Action shots of women’s wobbly bits wobbling • A thin woman eating french fries without a side of guilt • Armpit hair • A septuagenarian • An ethnically ambiguous high-powered female business executive • A trans woman • Lesbians

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How the first world war liberated women’s wardrobes

Design by Sadie Williams. Photograph: Jez Tozer

News of an interesting new exhibition, Fashion & Freedom, at the Manchester Art Gallery from 13 May – 27 November 2016. It’s then touring – see this page for details.

As well as what Helen Pidd writing for The Guardian calls the obvious ‘upsides’ (you know, peace and all that):

the war liberated women from their corsets and full skirts when they were drafted in to run the country while the men were dying in muddy ditches across northern France. After finding that you can’t conduct a bus or forge steel in a floor-length silk day dress very well with a full bustle, these emancipating women started to experiment with far more practical clothes and hairstyles as they carried out their new roles in society.

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A plain woman’s guide to nylon for her husband

Simpler times (irony alert)
Simpler times (irony alert)

A brilliant (for all the wrong reasons) article from 1958 in which a Guardian journalist pondered the place of nylon in a man’s wardrobe.

Does the tired business man slosh it through in the bathroom basin, rinse, and drape over the edge of the bath or over the towel rail, to leave a puddle on the floor which is bound before long to rot the linoleum? Or does he leave it for his wife to run through in the morning? She would undoubtedly rather do her washing in bulk, however thankful she is to lighten the load of her ironing.

Who can argue that these are pressing issues? (no pun intended – unless you laughed).

The original Guardian article
The original Guardian article

Read the full story here – honestly, it’s well worth it!

Gucci ad banned over ‘unhealthily thin’ model

The offending Gucci ad
The offending Gucci ad

Guccio Gucci, the parent company of the fashion brand, and the Times said that that the idea of an unhealthily thin model was to some extent a “subjective issue”. The fashion company said that the models had “slim builds” but were not depicted as “unhealthily thin”. The images were shot to make sure none of the models’ bones were visible, which would accentuate thinness, and light rather than heavy makeup was used to stop the potential accentuation of thinness in features. The ASA disagreed, saying that the ad irresponsibly showed a model with a body that was disproportionate and overly thin

I’m not sure how anyone could ‘subjectively’ arrive at the conclusion that this model looks fit and healthy. Still – job done. Their ad has now been seen everywhere that reported the story. Maybe it would be overly cynical to suggest this was the intention – shame on anyone who would suggest such a thing…

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The not-so-secret history of comics drawn by women

 Image by Marjane Satrapi

No women were nominated for the Angoulême International Comics Festival awards because, according to the organiser, there was a lack of qualified women. “The Festival likes women, but cannot rewrite the history of comics,”.

Not so, says Laurenn McCubbin

“For over 100 years, we have seen the presence of women in the American comics,” Caitlin McGurk, the associate curator of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library (which houses the largest collection of comics and comic-related history in the world), said. “For the first half of the 20th century, many female cartoonists wrote under ambiguous or masculine names, just to increase their likeliness for publication.” McGurk has many examples: June Mills, who went by a version of her middle name, “Tarpé”, when she created the great Miss Fury in 1941. Miss Fury, in fact, was the first female action hero created by a woman, predating Wonder Woman.

New UK passport design features just two women

The “Creative United Kingdom” passport, unveiled by the immigration minister James Brokenshire, and highlighting the successes in innovation, architecture, art and performance, includes portraits of John Harrison, who invented the marine clock, artist John Constable, and architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott.

There are watermarks of William Shakespeare on every page, while a page each is devoted to the works of artists Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor and to Stephenson’s Rocket, designed by George and Robert Stephenson.

Just two women are prominently displayed: the architect Elisabeth Scott, who designed the Royal Shakespeare theatre and the Bournemouth Pier theatre; and the mathematician and daughter of poet Lord Byron, Ada Lovelace, who shares a page with Charles Babbage to mark their reputation as builders of the first computer, the Babbage Analytical Engine.

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