Modern day women are certainly familiar with ads hawking various beauty products for ways to make themselves either look or smell better. And while many of them live up to their claims, are quite lovely and even beneficial,we all know there are plenty out there that just play on a woman’s insecurities about herself, but don’t do a darned thing!
And this isn’t something new. Just take a look at these ads from the April 1925 edition of Delineator Magazine to see how advertisers even back then operated the same way! Apparently the suffragette sisters of the 1920s also had a myriad of dreadful cosmetic flaws that needed tending to, including superfluous hair, relaxed contours, unsightly skin eruptions, intolerant perspiration odor, dried up mouth glands, and, of course feminine hygiene issues because they were so germy “down there”
This ad for Elizabeth Arden Skin Tonic supposedly made your face look younger and firmer. Your “relaxed contours” (aka sagging jowls) are to be dreaded as much as wrinkles or skin blemishes. I don’t know about you, but I am totally terrified of my contours relaxing and wish I had a vat full of this stuff!
- Elizabeth Arden Skin Treatment- Delineator 1925
And there’s nothing like a sulphur preparation to heal your “unsightly skin eruptions, rashes and blotches on face,neck, arms or body. You do not have to wait for relief from torture or embarassment.” So what if you smell like rotten eggs. At least you’ll look good!
- Sulpur to heal your skin-Delineator Magazine 1925 Beauty Ad
Superfluous hair no more, with Zip depilatory cream. Apparently permanent removal was achieved, even for bearded society ladies. A five o’clock shadow would look so inappropriate with their country club attire!
- Zip Hair Remover-Beauty Ad Delineator April 1925
Then there was the dreaded “dry mouth glands”. Happens from lack of chewing. Who knew?
From the ad-”Dentists say that practically no mouth today is normally moist and safe for teeth. Modern cooked food, too soft, too quickly swallowed, does not require enough chewing. From sheer lack of exercise your mouth glands dry up.” What the heck were they eating back then that didn’t require chewing? Was pureed meat and vegetables a big fad? I’m going to have to look into this. The claims in this ad in particular really seem a bit of a stretch.
- For Dry Mouth Glands-Pebeco Toothpaste Ad-Delineator Magazine 1925
No careful woman in the 1920s would “Tolerate even the suspicion of perpiration odor.” That’s why she had to use MUM deodorant cream.
And to ensure they weren’t offending anyone once a month, thousands of women even used it regularly with their sanitary napkins. Gotta safeguard that feminine daintiness and charm at all costs!
- Mum Deodorant Ad- Delineator Magazine 1925
Speaking of feminine daintiness and charm. How about Zonite? It’s was so much safer than the dangerous poisons of bichloride of mercury and carbolic acid that women used to use. Of course the ingredients in Zonite aren’t listed. But supposedly it was more than 40 times as strong as hydrogen peroxide. For decades women have been brainwashed into thinking they were dirty, smelly and germy in their nether regions. Because ingredients weren’t required on the packaging, many products actually ended up burning and permanently scarring the ladies who used them.
This particular product was also recommended for use as a mouthwash, antiseptic for cuts, wounds, burns, and prevention against colds, coughs, grippe and influenza. It does all that and leaves you fresh as a daisy down there! Better to risk permanent scarring than rejection by male suitors because of imaginary feminine odors.
Zonite Ad-Delineator Magazine 1925