Why the beauty ads 1950 have become iconic, in 10 words
Posted On July 30, 2021
The beauty ads of the 1950s were a time when women were supposed to look like a man.
The ads featured models in tight skirts and dresses with long, wavy, straight legs and long, straight arms, and often women who had short hair and were dressed in revealing clothing.
Women wore make-up and makeup in a way that was very different from today’s women, the ads said.
The 1950s also featured the first time women in the United States were allowed to drive, and women had the right to vote in the first midterm elections of the modern era.
The beauty ad world was so different in the 1950’s that it took until the 1990s for the industry to catch up.
“The beauty ads in the 1930s and 1940s were more of a parody,” said Annabelle L. Davis, who directs the Fashion and Beauty Program at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
“We had very little fashion sense.
And the ads were all over the place.
They were all very graphic and very silly.”
So much so that when the ads finally got around to appearing on television in the early 1950s the fashion world was caught off guard.
The first TV ad for the women’s clothing and ad agency C&A in 1953, for example, was shot in the desert.
The woman in the ad has short hair that looks like a bun, the clothing is bright pink, and she wears a black coat.
The model has long black hair that she has styled into a messy bun.
The man in the advertisement, who is wearing a blue blazer, is in his mid-20s, wears a bright-green suit, a red tie, and black boots.
“This is the first advertisement in which we see women in makeup in the same way that we see them in a fashion magazine,” Davis said.
“But the style is much more minimal.
It’s much more muted, and it’s very subtle.
It was all about not being sexy.”
“The look was very much more naturalistic and more feminine,” Davis added.
“They were very much about being themselves.”
Today, Davis said, “most people look back at these ads and go, ‘Oh, it was just a lot of sex.’
It’s still kind of the look of the time.”
But the ads did not come out of nowhere.
In fact, many women in their 20s and 30s were already working in the beauty industry and had begun to look at men as models, Davis added, citing several interviews she had conducted with former models.
And while many women did not know how to wear makeup, many did.
“Women who worked in the industry, the first thing they would tell you is, ‘I have no idea how to do makeup.
I have no ideas.
I’m trying to be professional, but I’m not even sure how,'” Davis said of former models and actresses who had to ask for help.
But even as the industry caught up with the rest of society, beauty advertising had remained largely unnoticed.
And when women started to get paid more and more, the advertising industry continued to grow, and the makeup industry continued its decline.
“It’s really hard to find any trace of the beauty ad business,” Davis told Next Big Futures.
The makeup industry peaked in the 1940s, but the beauty trends that were in fashion and advertising during the 1950 were mostly a continuation of the men’s fashion and beauty industries, she said.
In the 1950, women were still considered to be “girly” and still considered “beautiful.”
And for many women who didn’t fit the stereotype of what a “glam girl” or “beauty queen” was, makeup was a way to make their hair and makeup look more natural and naturalistic, Davis continued.
“All the beauty advertisers of the period knew that there were women who weren’t in the traditional beauty market.
They didn’t have to do that sort of makeup, and they didn’t want to do it,” she said, adding that it was a more mainstream industry that was looking to the younger generation.
The American beauty industry of the late 1940s and 1950s is known for its ads, especially the 1940 beauty ads.
The most famous ad was the first ad for Calvin Klein, which aired in 1955, featuring a woman who was also the lead singer in the band, The Beach Boys.
“Now, you know, this is a man,” she sings in the music video.
“And you can’t wear a dress without makeup.”
The ad features a young woman, and her hairstyle is similar to the style of the models in the ads.
But it’s more than just that.
The ad also features a woman with short hair, who’s wearing a black skirt and is seen to be looking at her makeup, as if she’s about to go topless.
The hairstyle of the model is also reminiscent of a women’s