1950's Consumerism for Women

1950's Consumerism for Women

It's a holly, jolly, domestication.
725
views

In the spirit of the holiday consumerism propaganda, and the overall joy of buying Christmas presents, a glance back at advertisement propaganda and consumerism culture back in the 1950's reveals that America's target consumers weren't mostly frenzied parents and adults - it was females.

However, to get an idea of how much women's roles changed during the 1950’s, you have to look back on the previous decade - the 1940’s. Women during this time, became the substitutes for men in the work force. They took up jobs that were previously unavailable to them because they were deemed to be too physically or mentally demanding for the nurturing, gentle women of America.

So women enjoyed a sort of liberation in occupation during this time, and freedom from social scrutiny because working back then was okay. Because it helped the war. Because it helped America.

Working in the 1950’s, however, was prohibited and deplorable because that meant you were not cooperating with the American system. You were disrupting the post-war peace. There are two simple reasons why.

World War II was ending, and men were returning unemployed.

That caused a decrease in the demand for goods because the war no longer needed America working like a factory to supply their soldier and allies with clothing, weapons, food, etcetera…

It also forced working women out of work because they had the jobs that men originally had. So to companies, to the American economy whose financial prosperity was at risk, forcing women out of work to employ men was the only solution to be had.

Because unemployed women meant dependent women to America. Dependent in the sense that they now needed someone to financially help them, and to find that someone, women had to get married. Marriage produced families, and families accumulated large expenses which the economy would thrive upon.

America’s new major consumer replacing the war, would be married and domesticated women.

Sociologists and other scientists conducted research that said that working women were harmful to the growth of their children. Organizations and companies trapped women to domesticity using this ideology by proclaiming them as Homefront fighters to the Cold War, and that only they had the knowledge to use the kitchen and create meals out of the manufactured food supplies America was making. Advertising industries and companies were concerned with who was buying, and in particular, depended on the mothers to buy their products. It was perceived that if a woman had time to do other things beyond the kitchen and housework, then that probably meant that she was not performing to the best of her domestic abilities.


Yet, what exactly was the typical housewife expected to do? A term, "ornamental cooking" arose during this time.It essentially described the process of making meals out of pre-made food which cookbooks advertised in their pages. If a woman served her husband and children meals as they were packaged, then she was failing in her duty as a housewife. The cookbooks at that time wrote it so that if a woman was not creative with her meals, then she was being lazy; she was only creative if she bought the cookbooks to inspire her recipes.


However, this symbiotic relationship of companies sponsoring cookbooks to advertise their items was not only limited to food - it also promoted the use of newly marketed technology. Cookbooks had recipes that not only required the average oven top, but actual mixers, refrigerators, and larger conventional ovens. Cookbooks told women to invest in these utilities because they made meal preparation easier. In the end, women did buy these items and continued to feed the economy which lived off of their expenses.

As one can see, outside pressures, companies, and advertisements all contributed in the shift to women consumerism and its push for their return to domesticity.


Cover Image Credit: "The Day The Earth Stood Still"

Popular Right Now

Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

10641
views

Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Big Slick KC: The Importance Behind Celebrities Coming Together in Kansas City

This annual event is one of my favorite things to attend, and it's the 10th year, so it deserves recognition.

12
views

Every year since 2010, Big Slick KC has been a huge event held in Kansas City, Missouri, where celebrities from our favorite shows and movies come together for one weekend to raise money for Children's Mercy Hospital.

The hosts of Big Slick are none other than Paul Rudd, Eric Stonestreet, Jason Sudeikis, Rob Riggle, and David Koechner. Every year, they invite around 40 celebrities to participate in the weekend's events.

This year had some big names like Selena Gomez, Olivia Wilde, Zachary Levi, Haley Joel Osment, Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, and many more. Each year they try to bring in new people, while also having some Big Slick veterans return.

The busy and wonderful weekend starts out with the celebrities all coming in and visiting the children at Children's Mercy Hospital, spending time with them and taking pictures. I think it's amazing how they take the time to actually get to know some of the kids that they are raising the money for.

After that, the celebrities head to Kauffman Stadium, break up into two teams, and face-off in a not-so-serious softball game before the Royals game. Each celebrity gets their own signature Royals jersey and they play a few innings. They also come out again and sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" for the seventh-inning stretch.

The next morning, the celebrities all make their way to the Pinstripes bowling alley in Overland Park, where they are greeted by hundreds of awaiting fans.

After the children of Children's Mercy are introduced and walk along the red carpet with their parents, the celebrities follow, taking pictures and signing autographs along the way. They head inside and bowl with the children from the hospital.

That night, the celebrities all come together one last time to host a huge party, this year it was at the Sprint Center, where they all just perform and have a good time. They also host an auction where some pretty cool items and opportunities are auctioned off.

Besides just being a fun event to attend and a good way to see some of your favorite celebrities up close, Big Slick is just so important because of its cause.

This year, Big Slick KC raised around $2.5 million for Children's Mercy Hospital. That brings the total to over $10 million that Big Slick has raised since 2010.

This amazing weekend is always so much fun, not just because some big stars come to a fly over state, but because of the children that they are raising the money for. The hosts and the celebrities that attend all care so much about the cause, and they make a great weekend out of it for anyone who attends.

I'm already looking forward to next year's exciting weekend.

Related Content

Facebook Comments