Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ghost of Christmas Past...

Home 1962  - well I don't know about you, but this is how I'm planning to look on Christmas Morning .. pretty...vacant...

December 1960 Home Journal - more vacant bauble gazing!

And here is Susan Friend's editor’s note from Australian Home Journal, December 1959. Warning...sickeningly patronising!

“Hullo there!
Christmas parties right ahead – New Year celebrations after that! Lots of fun for everyone- and hope for you in particular you hope!

Of course. And you’ll get off to a flying start if you put into practice the beauty lore we've nattered about so often in these pages. Lipstick for instance – the biggest morale builder in any woman’s  make-up purse. Yet if we only use it to add colour to the lips, we aren’t making it work for us half as well as it can, according to experts like Max Factor.
What else can it do, then? Plenty. For a start, it can change the expression of your whole face – lift the corners of your mouth to give you a happy expression, or vice versa.

If your hair is puffed out in a bouffant style for “after five” bright lipstick will “balance” it better than pale pastel tones. "
So let me see....bright lipstick with the corners of the mouth painted "up" for happy expression and bouffant hair.... Voila!

PERFECT! Balance.
Enough! I had to stop before my brain became marshmallow. Susan goes goes on to suggest covering everything in your house with lemon juice and sprinkling it with sugar for a frosty look. Mmm.Lovely!
These old magazines are interesting to flick through but after a while of inhaling the musty smell and absorbing the misogynist guff I feel a bit queasy.  And don’t start me on the problem pages where every woman is pretty much told to put up and shut up in regard to men and to “think yourself damn lucky to have a husband”. The English home magazine has a regular page of  “Lady Barnett's guide for Brides” in it as well.... which is funny – because we’re not in 1962!
A friend of mine did his PHD in how the White Australia policy was  presented as propaganda in woman’s magazines throughout the 1950's. Worth thinking about if you're thumbing through the pages of an old Home Journal...



  1. This made me laugh. A lot. Thank you.

  2. Great post. One thing I noted from this is that the women are portrayed as being "PERFECT" without a hair out of place. Oh that it were that simple.