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September 2, 2022

1954 Warner’s Ad: “You don’t need to wear armor to be a charmer.”

In this 1956 ad, it’s not the woman wearing the animal print but an actual caveman. If Warner’s was trying to sell their new STA-FLAT that’s “light and flexible—modern as your way of life, sensible as vitamins,” then why the image of a woman being dragged by her hair? There’s nothing modern or sensible about that.

Sure, there’s a wordplay on the word “bones” since the form-fitting foundation garment does away with the pokey bones of old-fashioned girdles, but again, why the picture of a woman—who, by the way, is on the phone and smiling, seeming to enjoy the demonstration of dominance—being yanked by her hair? If Warner’s wanted to market their latest shapewear that provides “pinpoint support… with lively comfort,” they need to come up with a different picture. Instead of support and comfort, the words “barbaric and crude” come to mind.


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