Six hilariously bad things beauty ads of the past have taught us… 73



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Time changes many things and one of the biggest changes has been how the beauty industry capitalises on our insecurities to sell products. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen today, because it still does. But looking back at some of these beauty ads makes you realise just how many bad things would happen to us if we weren’t the cosmetic industries idea of “perfect”. So tonight, let’s laugh at the things of our past and the bad things, they tried to teach us.


1. Bad breath will make you lose your husband 

This ad (from a decade I’m not sure of) is a laugh… It coaxed women in by using their relationship as a reason to buy the product. In reality, if bad breath is the reason you’re losing your husband – he’s not one worth having!



2. Women who speak to more than 12 people a day need heavier make up that covers up the flaws better.

This Pan-Cake ad by Max Factor took an interesting approach!



3. Radium rays revitalise tissue and are science’s secret to anti-ageing.

We all know that radium is now used to treat cancer now so this one doesn’t need much explaining!



4. Hair has personality and gay hair is the best hair, it also means it is soft and silky.

Well, I didn’t know that hair had personalities, and even if it did I wouldn’t know what happy hair looks like…



5. Husbands that look younger than their wives is a tragedy taking its toll on many women.

Considering the “Cougar” is a fabulous thing these days there isn’t much sadness around the idea of a man looking younger than his wife – some of us might say it is generally that way, I mean, who does all the hard work?



6. Skinny is not sexy.

Well people of the 1950s, even though Marilyn Monroe was the diva of the era and a sex symbol, we’ve learnt over time that sexy comes in many shapes and forms… In fact, sexy isn’t necessarily always desirable anymore.



So enjoy having a laugh with these tonight and tell us, what are your favourite beauty memories of the 50s and 60s? 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. “Are you too fat, too fat, too fat? . . . Ford pills . . . ”
    And they were only a laxative!

    2 REPLY
    • I had a aunt that took them by the hand full, and also wrapped her hips in glad wrap/plastic back then. As far as I can remember it never her must good, that was her shape (pear) and she was stuck with it, but she did try.

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