My mom gave me treasure: a small pile of small paperback books produced by someone named Jose Bonomo who may or may not be a real person, from the 1950s-1960’s on various womanly things, like how to have flawless hair, makeup, figures, diets, and even parties. I feel like I am a 1960’s housewife in the modern world, despite not being married. I want to write the feminists’ guide to being a single 1960’s housewife, which I realize makes no sense and is contradictory, but I’m just so curious about how women lived in the ‘50s and ‘60s (thanks, “Mad Men”). I want to know how they did their hair, makeup, and maintained their figures.
So when I saw this one diet book in particular, I thought I misread the title. But no, I hadn’t, it’s actually a book titled The Scientific & Easy Way to Gain Wight. The cover shows an illustration of a thin woman measuring her thighs. “SHOWS YOU HOW TO ADD POUNDS AND INCHES” the book assures, while proclaiming, “SENSIBLE! SURE!” Keep reading »
I guess back in the ’80s some baby genius manufactured a phone reflective of the hit Boy George song “Karma Chameleon.” As evidenced by the video, it’s a phone shaped like a chameleon that sings to you every time someone calls. I want it, I want it, I want it! [YouTube]
Sometimes you’re like, “Geez, I really wish I could enjoy a healthy, invigorating steam while watching ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ in my living room.” You are always saying that and you know it! Too bad you — and “Rizzoli & Isles” — weren’t around in 1983, when some monster took it upon himself to invent a portable, plug-in steam cabinet, available for sale in the Fall/Winter 1983 Sears Catalog. All for the the low, low, price of $389 in 1983 dollars, which is basically the down payment on a house in today’s money. [Wired]
As far as I’m concerned, the ’80s toy Teddy Ruxpin was already a bit of a creepster. A strange combo man/bear with perpetually outstretched arms, Ruxpin was at turns needy and difficult, with the vocal intonations of a serial killer.
Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so. Portland, Oregon, artist Sean Hathaway hacked into the Teddy Ruxpin computer system and created deviously modified bears. Hathaway replaced the Ruxpin vocal box with an array of creepy alternatives, all having mental breakdowns. The effect is chilling and confirms our deepest fears about Ruxpin. He’s a maniac.
Above, check out 10 more toys that we find totally creepy, bizarre and kid-inappropriate. And check out Hathaways T,E.D. project after the jump!
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Betsey Johnson has been around for a long ass time. Here she is in 1966, checking out models in her studio (Betsey is seated on the left), looking the picture of mod coolness.
Whether you grew up with a cool mom or not, chances are your mom’s got something vintage and amazing worth stealing in her closet. The nostalgic nature of fashion means that we’re always looking back, even as we’re looking forward — so if you keep stuff in your wardrobe long enough, eventually it’ll be cool again. Except electroclash. Let’s never collectively decide we should all wear neon again, mmkay?
It’s with that in mind, that we’ve decided to do a little closet raid. On our moms. We know she’s been keeping some cool stuff hostage back there, and that’s why we’ve created this handy guide for steal-worthy fashions from her glory days — and offering her something of yours in return. Keep reading »
What were the most cutting edge men of the 1950s wearing to the beach? Butt-baring barely-there swimwear, if this old reel is any indication. This fashion show, highlighting the creations of campy Brit designer Dale Cavana, features male models with shockingly tiny waists, revealing animal-print banana hammocks, and de rigeur “leisurely” knotted ties. Enjoy! [YouTube]
We slather on tons of lotions and potions in order to get our skin glowing and gorgeous — and apparently women have been doing this since the beginning of time. Just ask Cleopatra’s eyeliner applier. But in the 1950s and ’60s, beauty treatments took a strangely Draconian turn. Our friends at Collectors Weekly dug up some of the most bizarre beauty devices from the era. We want to see if you can guess what women might have used them for. Take our quiz above!
Do you ever pause before putting in your mouth guard and slipping into your oversize Sugar Ray concert T-shirt and think, “Maybe I need to add some old-fashioned sultriness to my bedtime routine?” Don’t worry–Life magazine has got you covered. In a 1937 issue, they published a photo spread to teach wives how to undress in front of their husbands, featuring ex-burlesque dancer June St. Clair. Click through to learn the lost art of de-robing for yourself! [Retronaut]
In 1902, photographer A. Bergertet shot a series of images imaging the bizarre jobs that women of the future might have. Women working? HOW WILD! Bergertet came up with a total of 20 possible professions and shot adorable and slightly risque postcards depicting how women might look in various fields. See more of the photos after the jump! [Longstreet]
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