These past few years I have become fascinated by the lives that women lived in the middle of the 1900's. Aside from admiring the fashion trends of this era, I have become particularly interested in the mindset and perspectives women had at the time about their life goals and their definition of true happiness. I recently stumbled upon a 1950's Pepsi commercial, in which a little girl grows up to get married to the man of her dreams and lives happily ever after. Of course, I don't see anything wrong with this picture, yet I struggle with the idea that this girl's happiness depends on her success in marriage, which of course requires her to maintain a particular appearance. As described in the commercial, more than once, in order to keep her beautiful, "slim" image, she goes on walks. In order to keep up with her beauty and remain "slim", she plays sports, which in this case means she fights other women for a purse on sale. While to some this may seem comical, I could not help to feel offended by the implications of this commercial. Nevertheless, it got me thinking: How much has really changed over the years for women? Body image issues for women are prevalent, and with commercials such as this one it is no wonder why this has been a problem in our society for decades.
Of course, now we have more rights than ever before and are slowly being integrated into leadership positions in this country. But aside from career advancements/constitutional rights, what has changed about our ultimate goals? The makers of this Pepsi commercial simply integrated society's viewpoint of the time that women needed to be successful housewives in order to happy. While that may not necessarily be the case anymore, what does society consider a woman needs to be happy now a day? What I struggle with is that we claim to have improved in many ways from the past, yet women with too much power are seen as scary and not attributed the same respect that men are given. My best guess is that men are still trying to achieve power and status, as they always have,but for women: what defines our happiness in 2011?
By Diana Hinojosa,
Diana is the Bachelor's level intern at the Awakening Center. She assists with the EDA groups and is a senior at DePaul University with a psychology/journalism double major.