11.19.2012

Men Who Hate Girdles

Why do men who hate girdles like girls who wear Warner's? girdle ad from 1964
I always find vintage girdle ads to be interesting. Like the Spanx of bygone days, there is really very little about the application method and intended result that is any different than what you'd find in the shaper section of Target today. 

This ad is from a 1964 LHJ. Most women wore girdles at that time, which was probably not such a difficult thing considering the women then were, for the most part, not all that big to begin with. There are plenty of muffin tops out there today whose pants would thank them for a liberal application of Lycra.

However, according to this ad, "Too many girdles flatten where they should mold. They squash, squeeze and freeze a girl's flesh to stone. The look is unnatural, unfeminine. The girdles are anti-woman. [oh please!] We think a girdle ought to help nature. Not fight it." 

As if. I hate that cloying language. 

Now seriously, any time you take a size 16 body and put it into a tube that would be snug on a size 4 body, you are going to have a situation that includes the aforementioned squashing and squeezing. There is no practical way around that. The ad goes on to assert that "You can always see the girl for the girdle." That's true; you just see more of her without the Lycra casing. 

More expansive figures are a reality men are apparently learning to accept, as evidenced by the number of "Big Bliss" brides on Say Yes to the Dress, which is promising news for many women who, in my day, were termed "big boned." But I really think when it comes right down to it, men - both then and now - prefer women with flat stomachs and shapely rears.

The ad ends with the comment, "Incidentally, as you may have guessed, the people who run things at Warner's are Men." 

No surprise there.

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