Sunday, March 12, 2006
This is NOT your mother's women's magazine
Oh, wait a minute... yes it is! I have a confession to make: back in the early seventies when I was ten or eleven, I might have snuck the occasional peek at my mom's Cosmopolitan magazines.
There were ladies in their underwear in there!
Of course by 1974 the sexual revolution was well under way. Halter tops were getting shorter and mustaches were getting longer, people were streaking and Playboy bunny logos were multiplying like, well, bunnies on t-shirts, keychains and even mudflaps. Nudity was not exactly a big deal. But I had regular access to that great teacher of popular cultural history, the television rerun, and therefore had a very thorough understanding of what life had been like for mankind during the decades before my birth: from Ward and June to Rob and Laura to Fred and Wilma, it was pretty clear that men and women slept in separate beds, never went to the bathroom and kept their clothes on 24 hours a day.
Or did they?
Did young boys of the forties and fifties ever flip through their mom's icky ladies magazines and find themselves suddenly confronted by something like this? Just what the heck were those straight-laced, God-fearin' folks in America's heartland looking at in filthy rags like Good Housekeeping and The Saturday Evening Post?
This week we'll, ahem, take a closer look.