“Keep your husband happy”: this is how advertising treated women in the 1960s

An advertisement for Philips.

The collector from Mieres Francisco Jurado has exhibited this weekend, at the X Mieres Collecting Fair (held at the Santullano fairgrounds), an exhibition on the evolution of the image of women in advertising related to cooking and other household chores. A total of 170 pieces, which included cans, cookbooks and posters. Marketing articles from the mid-30s to the 60s of the last century.

“The woman, in many of the articles that have been part of this exhibition, appears reified. It is represented as a mere appendage of a man, who has to dedicate himself to the house and the care of the children ”, explains the collector. Jurado adds that “Spain was then as it was on the issue of women. In fact, even today we continue to fight for equality ”.

Advertisements for children’s products ruled out parents from childcare: “Mamita knows what she’s doing,” read an ad for Maizena


Although there is still a long way to go, the change since those years is remarkable. Just pay attention to the epigraphs that accompanied the cookbooks: “Perfect cook. With this book, you no longer need more to cook well and cheaply “,” Cooks, by acquiring this book they will earn more salary, their owners will be satisfied and they will be congratulated by the guests “, “Ladies, by purchasing this book you will save money, you will keep your husband happy and it will be celebrated by your friends.”. “It is an advertisement with which, nowadays, we put our hands on our heads. But it is also true that these advertisements are a way to get a glimpse of history, ”said Jurado.

A good run through the images on the cans. Oil, paprika and cocoa containers, among other products. In all of them there is a woman, not a trace of the men in the kitchen. Although, in the oldest cans the figures represented are diffuse. In addition, the women wear demure outfits and draw themselves among ornaments. Closer to today, around the fifties and sixties, women look less covered. Chocolates “Coto”, which was manufactured in Langreo, sold its tablets by the cup with a smiling woman with a narrow waist.

An advertisement for Chocolates Coto.

“My collection of products related to food and cooking is very extensive. It exceeds 300 pieces. I think the approach of this sample is interesting, that not only has remained in the products, but has also addressed the message that these advertising objects keep “, said Francisco Jurado. Of some of the cookbooks in the sample, which were distributed as propaganda last century, hardly more copies are preserved.

The cookbook ‘Perfect cook’.

The Mierense is a well-known collector, who began his career with the cinema. His collection on advertising and cooking was the central exhibition of this X Collecting Fair. “We have had a good number of visitors, I am satisfied. Visitors have been surprised, above all, by the posters, ”said Jurado.

It is not surprising. In addition to the aforementioned Philips advertisement, most of the posters appeal to women only as mothers. They imply that the men had no responsibility in caring for the little ones in the house. The only male figure that appears among the 170 pieces is that of a man, with a large knife, in the book “The homemade (pig) slaughter.”

Crema Tulipán sold margarine with a caricatured drawing of a blonde mother handing out sandwiches to three children. Attention to Maizena’s message, on a poster that holds a baby in diapers: “Mamita knows what she’s doing… She only gives me the best! ”, Accompanied by the caption“ Raise robust children ”. Taking care of the child was not Daddy’s thing.


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