Thanks to one of my male friends, Andy Jack, for pointing me to this article from Collector’s Weekly. 

Selling Shame: 40 Outrageous Vintage Ads Any Woman Would Find Offensive. Apparently, we were really stinky back then. So stinky that our husbands would leave us…. 

photo: Collector’s Weekly/Petrovic

Some of these ads are pretty funny. However, the poignant messages are hard to ignore. Cynthia Petrovic, a Southern California artist designed and sells a retro-themed gift line, got hooked on these advertisements when she was in college. Now, she has a garage full of antique and vintage magazines, which she’s been slowly pilfering for the most sexist (and funniest) ads targeting women.

“Nothing’s really changed,” notes Petrovic, “Ads and the media still insist that you have to be physically perfect and socially acceptable to avoid embarrassment. Seriously, look at the world today. Women are more objectified than ever. It’s changed form. I don’t think you’re going to see the same kinds of magazine ads we had back in the 1930s, but back then, people didn’t have the Internet and the tremendous mass media the way we do now. What we see now are women-against-women cat fights and women being taught to hate their bodies in a different way through snide remarks in television shows, reality shows celebrating bad behavior, and trash tabloid websites. It’s a different kind of assault, not just through products but also through images and memes constantly reminding women that there are other women that look better than they do.”

You can read the rest of the article and check out the vintage ads here

Speaking of exploitation against women, today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Here are a  few practical ways to get involved:

1. Take five minutes to call your officials by going here. World Vision helps you find your elected officials and provides an easy to follow script. Let’s overwhelm our Congress with phone calls and let them know that this issue matters to us. 

2. Pray for justice. Pray for the over 20 million women, men, and children who are victims of trafficking and slavery. No one should live in shame and suffering. Pray about how you can get involved.  

3. Order my friend Shayne Moore’s book Refuse to Do Nothing, Finding Your Power to Abolish Modern Day Slavery and learn how to become an abolitionist mama (or papa). Shayne has worked one-on-one with Bono on his One Campaign, and is passionate about empowering others to fight modern day slavery. 

4. Consider doing your Valentine’s Day or birthday shopping in a way that fights trafficking or empowers those in need. At the top of my list right now are:

isanctuary. It features beautifully unique handcrafted items made by survivors of Human Trafficking both domestic and abroad. A purchase here gives dignity to those survivors.

Out of Print Clothing. This site is my new favorite place to purchase gifts and personal items. It has literary-themed gifts, shirts, bags, notecards, and more for any book lover in your life. Each item features vintage (and very cool) book cover art. Most importantly, each purchase is matched with a book sent to an under-served community in Africa with Books For Africa.

      MudLove carries the cutest personalized items from bracelets to handbags, and every $5 spent gives one African clean drinking water for A YEAR!

Women At Risk International, where you can purchase items made by female victims of trafficking and slavery, or host a party and get others involved. 

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