I have posted vintage ads like this one before, and every time I do, I get responses like this:
- "I wish I could live back then when we knew what true beauty was!"
- "What happened to society?"
- "I agree! Real men love curves!"
So before it happens again, let me just say — you’re missing the point. And for those of you who might be wondering, this is exactly the point I mean to make by sharing this image: different era, same oppression.
Throughout time and across cultures, beauty standards have changed drastically, but there have always been beauty standards. What do all these beauty standards have in common?
- The idea that you need to fit a certain mold to be considered attractive, sexy, healthy or even smart and worthy of love and friendship.
- The fact that the majority of bodies don’t fit the mold of what is considered most desirable.
- The beauty industry happily stepping forward to help rescue us from our own bodies by selling us billions of dollars in products that can inch us toward some unachievable idea of perfection.
When you see images like this, it shouldn’t make you feel nostalgic or sad — it should make you angry. The hate we waste our lives trying to erase was created to steal our money and rob us of our ambition.
Don’t let it win.