Helping at Home

As a collector of Housewife Ephemera and a life-long associate of Psycho-Housewife I can't resist dipping into the luscious assortment of aprons, kitchen sinks and shopping baskets which adorn the Ladybirds of the golden age (1950's-60's). Although LBs of the 40's portray women in fairly traditional style such as Tiptoes the Mischievous Kitten, etc., the social effect of war gave women a sense of freedom from the home and a scan of women's magazines from the corresponding era reflects this. The homely housewife is replaced in advertising terms by the liberated women stepping out in utility chic.


1950s advert.
Basically mother has made her children sick
because she doesn't have a fridge to keep food fresh.

1950s ad.


Advert from 1969 - yes 1969!

It took a decade before slacks 'n' tanks disappeared and the Dior look which epitomises the elegant housewife - nipped-in corsetery, flouncy pinny and matronly bosom - became the look in magazines and one which we are familiar with in LB titles such as Helping at home.

It may seems improbable for those born after the 70s to imagine that this was the norm less than 30 years ago and not a parody of women's role, which is why I've included actual adverts from that time to correspond with LB titles.

Adult LB collectors are no doubt attracted by the nostalgic element of LBs, although reasonably we select the fragments of the past which appeal.

No one wants a return to the domestic drudgery of wash day blues and restricting roles dictated by gender. but surely being pressurised into a low status, low pay dull job whilst kids are whisked off to state childcare before they are two is no more appealing .At least wannabe Beetons and 'Mother' assumed the role of boss, albeit in the kitchen!


Tiptoes, 1949
Frilly pinnies were yet to come...

Helping at home
Yes, I know the boy is helping too
     
Keywords title, 1964
       

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