Thursday, March 18, 2010

Be a Mindsticker, Part 3

Okay, the obsession ends after this. I promise. But first, here's a third Mindsticker commercial from 1969.

This time, the guy in whose mind the woman is working hard to be a Mindsticker is a leering, greasy-haired fellow who can't seem to close his mouth. This time, they have added an additional phrase to the jingle: "Why don't you keep your shape in shape?" Seems a little confrontational, doesn't it? As in, "Look, we've been telling you! Keep your shape in shape! Why don't you listen? Your husband's going to dump your fat self if you don't listen!"

A decade later, that was all gone. Look at this one from 1979 (which is the one I was nostalgically looking for in the first place, before I fell down this rabbit hole!) or this one from way later in 1986. Men and women alike drinking Tab. No more creepy Stepford wives. I mean, sure, there were and are plenty of similar messages - I'm not pretending otherwise, just look at the 'Housewives' franchise! - but the message is generally not quite so - how do I describe it? - claustrophobic. Women are generally not depicted as sitting around in a walled garden or on a deserted beach, hungry, forlornly drinking Tab, waiting for their husbands to return and restore meaning to their lives.

Bottom line: I am so grateful I was born into the generation I was! And I applaud the women who not only survived the Mindsticker era with their dignity intact but also helped to transform it. This means you, Mum!