Monday, January 22, 2018

You've Come A Long Way Baby

I've talked before about how I have an abiding interest in the co-opting of feminism, in the 70s and 80s, for purposes of advertising commercial goods. Of course, this one is the granddaddy of them all (and I do use the male grandparent term advisedly, here, since nearly all this stuff was dreamed up by men in the advertising industry): the "you've come a long way baby" Virginia Slims cigarette print ads. Not that people at the time, or shortly after, weren't aware of the irony of a women's-empowerment posed being used to hawk nicotine. I remember seeing a tee-shirt as a child that says "If she's come such a long way, why is she still called baby?" But, nevertheless, looking at these ads nowadays still has a bit of that can't-look-away feeling of rubbernecking at a car wreck.

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