THIS WRITER’S LIFE: When Ad Gurus thought Women were Dumb

Before the 2nd Wave of Feminism in the 70s, this was typical of the patronising ads for women. We’ve come a long way since then … but still, have a way to go.

Kerry Cue is a humorist, journalist, mathematician, and author. Her latest book is a crime novel, Target 91, Penmore Press, Tucson, AZ (2019).

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Bimbos 4Eva

To Fiona Connolly,

Editor-in-Chief

Yours Magazine

Dear Ms Connolly,

YoursMag Feb 2014You claim your new magazine, Yours, from the Bauer stable (Women’s Weekly and Woman’s Day), is aimed at women in the 50+ demographic.

Really?

What does YOURS offer us?

More recipes, more gardening hints, more celebrities????

Bingo the lot!  But wait. These celebrities are old. You wheel out the old standards including Michelle Pfieffer (55), Sharon Stone (55), Nicole Kidman (46), Jerry Hall (57), Olivia Newton-John (65) etc. But it gets worse.

Christie Brinkly 60+ club 1Women’s mags have been pushing the skinny  big-boobed blonde bimbo stereotype since we were 16 years old. Now we’re 60 and you’re still doing it. See ‘Welcome Chiristie Brinkley to the 60+ Club’ (left).

OMG!

We’re meant to be Bimbos 4Eva.

You seem to forget women 50+ threw out the home & hearth stereotype for women years ago. We burnt our bras. Elbowed our way into the workforce often before equal pay was ratified in Australia (1975). We’ve reared children, which meant for many, post-divorce, supporting ourselves.

Meanwhile, you claim ‘We’ve spent the last year listening to what women like you …… want to know more about …..

Could Yours be aimed at the Geriatric Barbie Demographic?

Could Yours be aimed at the Geriatric Barbie Demographic?

Apparently, we want to know more about Pineapple Chutney, Homeopathy for dogs, Sexual Intelligence, swallowing our anger, loving ourselves and recipes for Date & Walnut Loaf (Could Tuna Casserole be just around the corner?).

Like all women’s mags that chortle the ‘love yourself’ mantra while providing 300 pages of how to change yourself, Yours, offers  makeover tips to flog products such as Immortelle Brightening Moisture Mask. Cost? $82. What do you get for your money? Wrinkles that last forever?

Honestly, if any anti-wrinkle cream actually worked we wouldn’t need the stuff as we’ve been applying this goop for over 40 years.

Or store your makeup brushes. Who needs 12 makeup brushes? Dame Edna?

Or store your makeup brushes. Who needs 12 makeup brushes? Dame Edna?

There are, of course, some lovely articles about some lovely ladies of a certain age, but whoever thought we should make a lovely cutlery roll out of a gingham tea towel should have her eyes stabbed out with a fork. Firstly, we are the generation who can – in varying degrees – sew. Secondly, we were a generation who were, too often, denied an education in useful subjects like maths and physics and taught instead how to embroider a linen tray cloth or cross-stitch a hessian peg bag. We’ve had to fight for the right to be treated as intelligent beings. Don’t mess with us. And finally, how dim-witted do you condescending 30-somethings think we are? If we really needed to take cutlery on a picnic, we’d simply wrap it in the bloody tea towel!!

If, you, Ms Connolly, a 30-something (Crickey) Editor, think you can patronise our generation, forget it. Go burn your booster bra, Ms Connolly. We’ve been through this before.

We’ll define ourselves, thank you very much, as we have at every other stage of our lives. And one more thing, we don’t give a rat’s what you or any other age-group thinks.

Cheers

Classic Kerry Cue piece on brainless women’s mags : Abracadabra

Cult of me-first fails to meet children’s needs

Classroom  Downey's Warren HS California

Classroom
Downey’s Warren HS California

quote 1Two factors promote me-me attitudes in schools today: brand marketing and corporate culture.

Schools have whole-heartedly embraced the brand-marketing ethos. They have websites and glossy brochures picturing happy, rosy-cheeked children. They all have an enriching environment that nurtures personal excellence. Most claim to ‘‘provide for the individual student’’ or ‘‘address individual needs’’. This marketing spiel doesn’t simply mould parents’ expectations; it is changing the very nature of schools.quote 2
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You can read more of this Edited Extract from MeLand: 10 Ways Self-Obsession Makes You Stupid, by Kerry Cue, Connor Court, $24.95, 2013 here:

The Age

The Age, 28 Jul 2013 Education

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OR here …………………………………..

SMH The Sydney Morning Herald, Comment

OR here……………….

The Canberra Times



The Canberra Times, Comment