11 Sexist Vintage Ads That Will Have Your Head Spinning The Huffington Post | By Alanna Vagianos Posted: 01/17/2014 2:49 pm EST | Updated: 01/17/2014 2:49 pm EST



Always wish you had dimples? There’s a contraption for that.

From the depths of our nightmares comes 11 vintage ads selling everything from sauna exercise suits to “chin reducers.” According to the ads, women can be too skinny, too fat and too smelly — basically any adjective, we can be too much of it. While shaming women into buying products is not a new phenomenon, these ads are more offensive — and ridiculous — than most. Southern California artist, Cynthia Petrovic, chronicles these vintage body-shaming images on her Do I Offend? blog.

These images illustrate how openly absurd advertisements once were, while also reminding us how much sexism sneaks into advertising today. And while we’ve made some progress, we still have a ways to go.

Here are 11 of the most cringe-worthy ads we found:


  • 1
    “I’ve always wanted ‘made to order dimples!'” — said no woman ever.
    Cynthia Petrovic
  • 2
    If men hate the sight of you, tell them to kindly step off.
    Cynthia Petrovic
  • 3
    “Gap-osis:” the most offensive way to say “perhaps you should visit a tailor.”
    Cynthia Petrovic
  • 4
    Um, actually it is — and a perfectly desirable one at that.
    Cynthia Petrovic
  • 5
    Because every woman wants to fix “flaws almost invisible to the ordinary eye.” Nightmares.
    Cynthia Petrovic
  • 6
    We’ve already ordered these for the office so we can stay warm all day (while we exercise our intellect).
    Cynthia Petrovic
  • 7
    Take note ladies, use the wrong deodorant and you will be alone forever.
    Cynthia Petrovic
  • 8
    Has your partner refused to kiss you lately? Buy Tangee lipstick! Or dump her/him.
    Cynthia Petrovic
  • 9
    We think dishpan hands should be a source of pride. It means that you wash your hands…
    Cynthia Petrovic
  • 10
    Well, this one isn’t going for any subtlety.
    Cynthia Petrovic
  • 11
    Thankfully, we aren’t being told that Lysol is an effective form of contraception anymore.
    Cynthia Petrovic
    To read more about this dangerous trend head over to Mother Jones.


Head over to Petrovic’s Do I Offend? blog to see more sexist vintage ads.



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