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“Now I have all the dates I want!” How adverts have been making us feel shitty for decades

It seems fitting that I stumbled across these vintage ads the same day I learnt that H&M has admitted using fake bodies in its online swimwear and lingerie galleries. Yep, they’ve created a computer-generated body and super-imposed models’ heads on to it, changing the skin colour to match. Because even professional models are apparently not perfect enough these days.

But now feast your eyes on these retro ads for weight-gain products (I think they actually mean ‘boob gain’ seeing as all the models still have teeny tiny waists). See, the media and fashion industries nowadays use subtle, sneaky manipulation to warp your body image and make you feel worthless, but back in the good old days they didn’t bother with any of that smoke and mirrors stuff – they just straight out told you that you were too ugly!

Hmmmm, I can’t actually decide which is worse?

Images courtesy of Retronaut



  1. Weirdly, the majority of men (I believe) still think like that. But somewhere along the line, girls stopped listening to men and started to listen to Lagerfelt and Wintour instead. Fashion doesn’t love you back, men do. Why are we choosing what fashion wants over what men want?

    • It is interesting how women have recently pursued an ideal of beauty that fashion has forced upon them, rather than one that men tend to find attractive – it just goes to show the power of marketing and advertising. However, I think pursuing what men supposedly want (as opposed to what fashion designers want) is equally unhealthy – that hourglass figure is completely unattainable for a lot women, without resorting to plastic surgery. I wish we could all just stop worrying about our bodies and what we look like!

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