Pot Pourri

If this entry were to be categorized on Jeopardy!, it would definitely be “Pot Pourri.”

Also: Suck it, Trebek.

Book CoverAnyway, thanks to Michelle Styles, I have an updated autobiography to look forward to. Harlequin will be releasing an updated edition of Ida Cook’s autobiography Safe Passage, which tells how Cook and her sister used funds from her writing to help save Jews from the Holocaust. Styles reports that she saw a copy at a recent event, and the book has a new forward and new pictures. “Part of the reason for the publication is all the interest renewed interest in her story,” Styles says – which makes sense to me. We cite the Cook sisters in The Smart Bitch Book as examples of the power and use of romance novels – and as useful evidence to shut down even the most irritating of detractors. I’m a big fan of the sisters Cook, and am all about this new edition.

And speaking of romance novelists forging new paths – here’s a totally different direction for authors: Roslyn Holcomb is at Sephora’s beauty blog revealing the three beauty products that every romance heroine needs:

More than one hero has found himself being rescued by a woman that has somehow managed to slaughter a roomful of bad guys while maintaining a luminescent beauty that renders him speechless. Not only that, but they’re frequently haring off to some exotic location on a moment’s notice.

I won’t spoil the fun, but without question, lip balm? She is 100% right about that.

And you should look good while banging your head on the desk – so here’s your daily opportunity to use that well-worn dent in your desk: vintage ads that are so sexist you’ll want to go buy yourself a vibrator to make everything all better. Thanks (I think!) to Tae for the link.


The Link-O-Lator

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  1. 1
    hollygee says:

    The Mennen Skin Bracer ad has the model doing those weird hands that the gymnasts use: http://photoshopdisasters.blogspot.com/2008/09/sports-illustrated-omg-crop-circle.html

  2. 2
    sunissa says:

    I’m so excited to see “We Followed Our Stars” reprinted as “Safe Passage”.  I’ve been collecting the Mary Burchell novels (still looking for “I’ll Go With You” from 1940) and I have a copy of the autobiography but have pre-ordered the new edition.

    The romances are really well done—not what you would call passionate, but they have a sense of humour and the characters are generally extremely nice (some judgemental bits creep in in the 1960’s, but I was charmed by the more broad-minded novels from the 30s and 40s). I started with the Harlequin paperback editions and have been extremely tickled by some of the editorial differences between the early Mills & Boon versions and the later Harlequin reprint. (My favourite may have been one where the Harlequin version had a very upstanding matron refer to an unpleasant female character as “monstrous” only to find out that in the original Mills & Boon she flat out referred to her as “a bitch”.)

    There was a rumour going around a couple of years ago (I think when the new edition of the Oxford Biographical Dictionary came out) that someone was going to publish a new biography of the sisters, but I haven’t heard anything more recently.

  3. 3

    When I complain about remnants of sexism still clogging our North American society, I’ll try to remember the “projector” ad. I think I hurt myelf laughing. Then I definitely hurt myself bitching.

    There was an older how-to book somewhere, can’t remember the title, that my mother got me as a joke that listed things a “wife” should do/be/arrange for her man before he got home from work. Wash the kids, tone down the noise, dim the lights, let him tell her about his day because hers wasn’t important anyway, prep the slippers…

    I kid you not, prep the slippers!

    Damn, I’d love to get my hands on that book. Anyone?

  4. 4

    Hee, my eyes played a trick on me. When you said “…buy a vibrator to make everything all better” I read it as “…to make everything all wetter.”

    Which would be true, I suppose, but I couldn’t figure out what personal lubrication had to do with sexism.

  5. 5
    SonomaLass says:

    IIRC, that first ad, the 60s breast development one, actually sold more copies of the brochure (“64 pages, all fully illustrated”) to men than women.  Whether intentionally or not, those sort of things had more appeal as porn mags (“drool…boobehs…drool”) than as exercise guides.  Go figure.  Anyway, as I seem to remember from a class back in college (communications?  women’s studies?  could be either), the companies figured that out pretty quickly, and slanted the advertising accordingly.  Looks like by the 80s that wasn’t the case so much, as I don’t see any references to pictures of boobehs in the second example.

    The bath oil ad gets to me the most, perhaps because it’s more recent, perhaps because it’s Veronica.  Pretty clearly an ad designed to play on her Hill Street Blues character—the actor nuzzling her neck is NOT Daniel J. Trevanti, but he’s being photographed at an angle designed to make him look as much as possible like the Pizza Man.  There’s a whole scholarly piece in here, but who has time to write it?

    Anyway, thanks for the perky start to my day!

  6. 6
    tracykitn says:

    Is it sad that I actually kind of prefer the older ads because at least they don’t butcher punctuation as badly as more modern stuff?

    Plus, hey! apparently Skinny Girls are NOT Glamour Girls! so that’s good, right?

  7. 7
    ME2 says:

    The bath oil ad gets to me the most, perhaps because it’s more recent, perhaps because it’s Veronica.  Pretty clearly an ad designed to play on her Hill Street Blues character

    How/why do you figure that?  The bath oil ad was circa 1970, Hill Street Blues didn’t air until the late 70’s/ the early 80’s.  Sorry, not seeing any correlation whatsoever. 

    spamalot – present39 . . . . no I am not presently 39

  8. 8
    Suze says:

    Damn, I’d love to get my hands on that book. Anyone?

    I saw that excerpt, it was floating around the e-mail circuits 15 years ago or so.  The one I saw said it was lifted from a Home Economics textbook from the 1950’s.  I can’t recall if it said the title or author, but there you go.

    Note, at the time, I was a young, new secretary working with old(er) secretaries who told stories about having to buy gifts/pay the rent of the boss’ mistress, while coming up with excuses why he wasn’t available to talk to the wife (on account of the mistress, who was the SENIOR secretary, was currently servicing him, in his office).  I thought they were pulling my leg.  Turns out, not.

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