It is not news to most women that mid-century advertising is often extremely sexist. In fact, the outright sexism in advertising was prevalent even into the 1980′s. Check out some of these lovely examples of chauvinistic ideologies in marketing.
After examples like that it’s easy to think sexism is all but vanished from modern marketing right? We’ve clearly seen gender equality grow… except when you compare Lego from the late 70′s and early 80′s to modern Legos.
Back in the day primary colored Legos were for boys and girls. Today, only boys get to play with the traditional colored Legos. Girls are forced to endure a frankly sickening amount of pink, purple, and white. Don’t get me wrong, I love pink, but the amount of pink that is pushed on girls in the toy aisle is disgusting. When girls do get a primary color, its a pastel version…you know so they don’t get any bold ideas of equality. Even when Lego remade their popular 1980′s ad (the top left image of the modern collage) if you look closely you will find only pinks and pastel blocks. And in the model house (bottom left) the boy figure sits in front of the TV while the girl figure cooks in the kitchen (I’m surprised she’s not barefoot!).
Whether people want to admit it or not, advertising today is just as sexist as it was 60 years ago. The advertisers are just more subtle about it today. Except this one…
While I adore many things about the 1940′s and 1950′s, the gender and racial inequality issues are not on that list. And sexism in marketing was clearly not left in the past. There are times I simply sneer at the TV while other times I rant to my hubby for days about something I saw. Which is why when I saw the GoldieBlox commercial featuring a remake of the Beastie Boys song ‘Girls’ I was so happy. And while that ad has been shut down due to GoldieBlox using the song illegally, I still think about it when I am overwhelmed by sexism in advertising. And then I came across this hilarious video someone posted on my Facebook feed. The ladies in the following commercial (which is completely fake!) humorously call out those sly mad men for the sexists they are.