Summing it Up...

Now, that I'm way on the wrong side of sixty, I feel that being true to self is important. "I yam, what I yam." Kindness and smiles are to be given away. Women are strong. Men are more vulnerable than we believe. Husbands may come and go...but one thing I know for sure is that I will NEVAH live without a corgi or coffee in my life if I can prevent it. Come piles of dog fur or hot water!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Women of the '50's...fluff or ironmaiden?


It's Vintage Thursdays with the Apron Queen,
and this will be my last post concerning the 1950's. I think about the women of that era all the time. My mom was one; she's now 91, and still fit and fiddle. So, in honor of all that...I'm going to review their history; from my point of view.
Following WWII, women went back into the homes, losing their wartime jobs to the men, returning from service. 97% of all marriageable people at this time, were in fact, married. The women of this era were the mothers of the baby boom.

Home and hearth were very important. Women were expected to stay at home and raise their family, and somehow, get all their needed fulfillment from that. The Stepford Standard was alive and well. They weren't expected to be informed, and stress over national and world issues. They were expected to focus on family life.

The suburbs developed in the '50s. The sense of neighborhood in the 'burbs allowed children to run and play all day safely. Men went to work, in the family car, leaving the wife and kids at home until the end of his workday. Avon and Tupperware parties, became popular at this time, as a way for women to gather together and feel less isolated as neighbors gathered over coffee.
Women were wearing both seamed and unseamed hosiery. Neck scarves, hats, dress gloves, girdles, pointy-toed high heels, pleated skirts, pointy perky breasts and tiny waists were "IN." Can you imagine wearing one of those cone bras today? Yikes!>a
Everybody did Lilt or Bobbi perms at home, using bobbi pins. Easy to make dress patterns by McCall's were popular, as the number of new fabrics coming out, made fashion easy at home. Consumerism grew due to the 50's woman. Advertising directed at women encouraged shopping.
Betty Friedan described the suburban home as "a comfortable concentration camp." She began writings on the subject around 1953, which led to a whole hog women's movement in the '60s. Maybe, women began to rebell, getting tired of being good, sweet and pretty. Maybe Sylvia Plath, a jeans wearing, chain smoking poet of the time, chucked it in too soon. I think women of this era had backbone, but conformed to the times. I think they got things done in their own way, without stirring the nest too much.
I think they swallowed their opinions a lot, but probably had some terrific conversations among the girls. What do you think?

16 comments:

Diane said...

I think it took a lot of strength for women to live "perfect" lives back then. I thank them for doing the best they could and for paving the way for us to have more options. Love those glasses :)

Coloradolady said...

Oh, the 50's. It was a remarkable time. June Cleaver and all. Love your post and all the pictures.

sista #2 said...

I so want those glasses.



peace
#2

Vintage Mommy said...

Thanks for the good laugh! Great glasses!

Grandma Faith said...

I was born in December of 1950, so I'm a baby boomer, too. I began reading your blog and I just kept on and on reading. I enjoyed reminiscing. Thanks for the memories.

Patty said...

Count me in as another one who loves the glasses. I can't imagine wearing that bra though. And, thank you for putting Bobby Darin on your Playlist. :)

ellen b. said...

Oh what did I do with my glasses like that ! I love these adds. Fabulous...

~SkullBlossom~ said...

I am so glad I found your blog! It's a very enjoyable read, and very enlightening, too!

Elizabeth said...

I agree that there were probably some great ladies-only convos of the time! I also love your writing and pictures! Please keep sharing your neat ideas!

Threeundertwo said...

OMG that bra! I have trouble understanding the appeal of that pointy look.

Great blog - I'll be back!

Jennifer said...

Ooo I love vintage clothing! I would wear what they wore if I had it. I would much rather do that than actually live in that time. I love my family, but I also need my own interests as well.

Miri said...

My mother loved Mary Tyler Moore because she wore pants on the Dick Van Dyke show (that was about 1960 or '62) and freed my mother from being June Cleaver. Thank you for the memories and the Platters song.

Joy in the Burbs... said...

I love the pictures you posted. I was born in the 60's. But I think the way men and women dressed up back then is so classy. (minus that dreadful bra)
The pride they had in themselves and the way they presented themselves. Too bad we lost that. Today as I sit at my computer in old gym shorts and ratty shirt and a ballcap on my head, I know that would never happen back then. I know my mom and grandmother were hard working women who kept everything going and were the glue for their families. The women of that era were strong. My mom did complain to me that the girls sports in her highschool were non-existent. It all centered around the boys and she was a tomboy and wanted to play basketball. She had to just play clarinet in the band. Great post and lots of meat to think about.

Debbie said...

Hi there!...thanks for stopping by Blog Around the World. You are all linked up! Check in daily to see where in the world we are headed next!

Tanya said...

I loved certain things about that era and hated certain things also. Still, I want to put on an apron and stay home and bake all day sometimes! I would even greet my hubby at the door with a decorated cake :)

love you blog!

Veggie Mom said...

I think those '50s gals were pretty tough, considering that they didn't have all the conveniences that we have today! BTW, got a Great New Giveaway going on over at my place, to commemorate my 100th post--please stop by!

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