Doctor, My Eyes

Although this song came out in 1972, Jackson Browne might have been singing about our blog:

Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what is wrong
Was I unwise to leave them open for so long?

What has made me being so specific about the year? Well, you can blame Kathy. She shared an old magazine that she found and it has inspired me to do a post about what Woman’s Day thought was important in March 1972:

Evidently, this marigold color (sorry the picture doesn’t do it justice) was very popular then. Her dress and the background were both really, really orangey-yellow, just like this carpet ad inside::

I’m not sure how you get up every day and face the world if this is one of the first things you see! I feel like I should be wearing sunglasses right now because this color makes my eyes water, even in my picture. I hate to say it, but that butterfly has to be dead—no self-respecting beauty like that would willingly pose on that carpet! And I thought green shag was fugly!

Looking at the ads, because they are a great way to see what is going on that year, there were lots of advertisements for food, prepackaged and convenience foods especially:

I think more women were working outside the house in the ’70s than in the previous couple of decades. Helen Reddy’s song, I am Woman, came out in 1971 and even I can remember people talking about “Women’s Lib” before I knew what it meant. It seems sensible that working women wouldn’t have time to make a June Cleaver dinner after putting in a full day’s work. What I find funny about this advertisement is that they moved all the food onto a plate, so there will be dishes! Just eat from the tray and be happy you’re getting Salisbury Steak!

Besides food, the magazine had lots of ads for fashion, appliances, and home décor. I was astonished at the number of advertisements about two things:

There were eight ads for “sanitary products” which seems like a lot. They all stressed how easy it is to menstruate now that you aren’t stuck with the “old-fashioned products” that your grandmother had to use. Believe me, I was there for that in the ’70s, and it’s much better now as far as products go. I do doubt that any sanitary napkin was truly “flushable”. My dad, who had to clear the plumbing, would agree!

The other product that was advertised a bunch was:

There were five full-page advertisements for cigarettes, which is shocking now. 1971 was the year that cigarette advertisements were banned from T.V. We aren’t used to seeing many ads now, even in print, because of the 1998 settlement between tobacco companies and most states limits the marketing of tobacco, especially to youths even in print. I couldn’t help but laugh that Virginia Slims are “Slimmer than the fat cigarettes men smoke” Given that lots of women smoked to control their weight, Virginia Slims was a genius, make that evil genius, brand name.

The other ad that I saw that you don’t see any more is the Mark Eden Bust Developer. I didn’t take a picture, but I think that idea has gone the way of the dodo! Bras probably do more now for bust enhancement than ol’ Mark Eden ever did.

So, let’s talk 1970s fashion. Women’s Day is chock full of it, good and bad, for men and women:

I like the pink tweedy suit that Mom is wearing. It must have been quite a job to crochet. It looks like it’s lined, or crocheted very closely. On the other hand, the daughter’s dress is not quite as stylish, and those colors! Daughter’s dress looks like it would be acceptable at the strictest of Catholic schools without a fuss or comment. If my mom made me wear that thing, I would be giving her some serious side eye.

Just so the guys don’t feel neglected:

My first thought looking at the models, was oh my, that’s John Davidson and Bert Convy wearing the ugliest shirts I’ve seen in a while. The sleeveless tops are made from polyester knits, and they are bad enough over long-sleeved shirts, but that red one over short-sleeved shirt is shudder-worthy. Whoever made these shirts owes those guys an apology.

Okay, here’s another men’s fashion that made me smile:

Oh, the son knows that he is a happening dude with those white pockets and woven belt. But the father’s jeans are what amazed me. How is he even moving in those uber tight pants? I had forgotten about the big-button up flies, while sadly, the white belt is all too well remembered. It’s amazing that recycling was going on in the ’70s. The first I was exposed to it was probably in the early 1980s and it was pretty limited.

It’s time to get back to the ladies:

Glasses were really, really big in the 1970s. When you see seniors wearing enormous glasses now, you know that their eyeglass fashion sense was established when the style was go big or go home. I have noticed that eye glass frames are getting bigger again, sigh. I was so happy when glasses frames got smaller, because the lenses didn’t weigh as much—yes that was a consideration for me! Just in case you need to see more:

Well, I’m happy to oblige. I actually had a pair that looked a lot like the round wire-rim ones in the upper row towards the middle; I wore those glasses for years. Most of these frames are wider than the person’s face—that’s bold! Edith Head, or Edna Mode, would have been very comfortable wearing any of these glasses.

Turbans can be cute:

Hats and scarves were still pretty fashionable in the ’70s. I can remember tying a scarf behind my neck for the first time feeling like a rebel. It was kind of nice to cover your hair up once in a while so you didn’t have to do anything with it. I would have worn these turbans then, and might even wear them now. They are kind of cute and practical. B.H. says the model at the bottom reminds him of Rhoda Morgenstern, from the Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1970.

I’m not sure cute is the right way to describe the next fashion offering:

I’m not sure why they’re picking on Spring for these wraps. Nothing says Spring like a red and blue plaid poncho, said no one ever. They are so proud that these wraps don’t require sewing, but if you read the fine print, the trim is crocheted, and that is how the fabric is joined, I think. However, you can’t crochet a button on, and the green coat, and plaid poncho have buttons, so hah! Woman’s Day, you do have to do some sewing!! Plus, the blue coat admits right up front that it is sewn. Good thing I didn’t have my heart set on a No-Sew wrap.

I just wanted to show you these boots:

I would have killed for a pair of white vinyl go-go like boots. These are even better because they lace up. You could try and sell them to your parents as practical because they’re Hush Puppies, and only about $14.

I’m going to skip some of my pictures because this post is getting awfully long. I’ll just show you the worst of the home décor pictures:

OMG, what were they thinking? I’m pretty sure that brown, rust, white, and yellow pattern would burn out your retinas within a few days. Which would really be a mercy so you wouldn’t have to see your living room or bedroom any more. This is the reason we shudder when we see some ’70s furnishings.

Also, this:

I remember the spindle craze and it weren’t pretty! The shelving/divider is pretty bad, but it has nothing on the mirror and sconces, which are ugly with a capital UGH! You wonder why things come into fashion, but there’s no surprise when stuff like this goes out.

Hope you enjoyed the trip back to the whacky Seventies. It was a time of great experimentation, and some of it worked and a lot of it didn’t. We will get back to our regularly scheduled posts next week.

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