All posts by amanihussain

Sexism in the 1950s

Citation – 

Creator: Hoover 

Date: 1953

Format: Magazine advertisement


This advertisement in what one would assume a holiday gift guide, shows a woman dressed in typical 1950s attire and holding a Hoover vacuum that her husband had bought her for Christmas. The woman looks happy with her gift, though it seems as if this reaction is forced. Considering that this advertisement was posted in the 1950s, after women were granted the right to vote and were starting to hold their own place in society and seeking jobs, it shows how sexism was still so prevalent at this time and how stereotypes of women as mere housewives were making its way into the media. The advertisement reads “Christmas morning she’ll be happier with a Hoover,” which suggests that a vacuum would make for a better Christmas gift than jewelry, however the blank speech bubble above the woman’s head implies that receiving a household cleaning appliance for Christmas is in fact not what would truly make her happy. Looking at this advertisement in the 21st Century where women are now placed at the same stature as men, it is clear how sexist this image is – however, given that the mindset in the 1950s was different and women empowerment was not celebrated and practiced as much as it is today, consumers during the 50s were oblivious to the role sexism played in the media.