Saturday, July 6, 2013

This is how we role

While working on new collage tags when I came across this pattern envelope, featuring bridal caps and veils. First reaction: they are soooooo '60s. And they are, the pattern was published in 1967. Second reaction: they look like Barbie dolls. Perky noses. Perfect pink lips. Doe eyes. Glossy, straight hair. Long necks. All white.

I was far from that '60s role. Both in terms of my physical appearance, especially with my wild mound of frizzy hair, and my indifference to fashion and cosmetics. Blue eye shadow? Give me a break. I barely used moisturizer.

These beautiful women may have been brainy, but that's not how they were portrayed in the advertising, television and movies of the time. At this point, getting married was expected to be a woman's top priority. Betty Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique" was published a few years before this pattern, but it took a while for it's finding that women were not happy in their restrictive roles to seep into the national consciousness.

Maybe all of this is why I like to subvert these images so much. It's unclear what will happen to the pattern above, but I'm sure something will pop into my head.

Meanwhile, here are two of the tags ... they make me wonder what the women are thinking, it could be marriage, then again ...


  1. Ditto for your commentary. By 1967 I'd thrown away this kind of stuff...bows, frilly collars (never blue eyeshadow!). I'd started to grown my pouffy hair long and sewing my own clothes ---Simple A-lines, bell-bottoms, gypsy shirts. Your subversions will be interesting. It gives me yet more inspiration for my own ephemera crafts I'd love to dig into.