Monday, November 16, 2009

Thinking Inside the Underwear Box

Something about Maidenform gives women strange hallucinatory dreams - and we can't blame this one on Halloween. So many questions spring to mind; springing, as it were, like nutty ladies out of underwear boxes:

-Would she not be a Jill-in-the-box, for starters?

-This does not seem to be a bad dream, she looks pretty happy. But being stuck in a box in a stupid outfit is not most people's idea of a good dream. On the contrary: being seen out in public in one's underwear is the stereotypical bad dream. Never mind being also stuck in a box.

-And her right hand - what's up with that? The left one seems to have disappeared altogether, although there is part of a glove still hanging on.

-Why is her outfit decorated with pineapple leaves, or possibly shellacked banana peels? Maybe she's happy because she's ahead of her time: recycled fashion!

-Why does she have a scarf wrapped around her head and neck? She can't possibly be cold, can she? If she is, why would she go around like this?

-Why are the little cartoon elves looking so pleased to see her? And there is a miniature horse there, too. (What's he doing there?) If I was a tiny cartoon creature, I would be terrified to see a large excessively happy woman in a strange semi-outfit popping out of a box.

-Finally - and this is important, I think - how on earth is she going to get out of that box? I mean, look at the skirt, it's a bunch of big rubber bands sewed together.

-Come to think of it, how did she get in the box in the first place?

Thank you Retro Ads and Graphics for this peculiar ad from 1949.


heidi said...

this reminds me of the island of misfit toys. i'd suggest she go back-in-the-box, but i fear her bullet bra breasts wouldn't allow for lid closure.

ladyslounge said...

I don't know about you but I wish underwear adds were still like that.

Beats the ones today of starving 14 year girls with 18 lbs of make-up shoveled onto their pouty faces.

I want undies that make me feel like a clown leaping around the house for no apparent reason!
But yeah...the scarf has to go.

The Crazy Suburban Mom said...

I've seen these ads and totally don't get why they would make someone buy underware - don't get it at all!

vanilla said...

I have wondered often why a woman would dream "I was a..." in her underwear. Just odd, to say the least, and maybe even twisted.

wngl said...

Wow, that is amazing. Jane-in-the-box? She would make a great addition to a horror franchise.

Lidian said...

heidi - I wish she'd go back in the box, too!

ladyslounge - Oh, I agree, this is way less objectionable.

Tracy - It is such a weird series of ads! Maybe they thought they were being creative and funny.

vanilla - This is just not true! Women never have dreams like this. No one does.

wngl - That is just the place for her, no question.

vanilla said...

Thank you, Lidian. So it is the MadAv types who are warped, not real people. Always suspected as much.

Tori Lennox said...

The ad dudes were certainly smoking crack the day they came up with this one!

Bill said...

This chapter of Maidenform ad history was absolutely over the top. It's hard to believe that an ad campaign so bizarre came out of this era. I love 'em!

I have one somewhere that's an "I dreamed I was lost in a London Fog in my Maidenform bra..." All misty grays with a hazy Big Ben in the background, torpedo-breasted woman wandering London with her jacket wide open. They must have had a blast (and a few martinis) coming up with each loony advertisement.

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

This ad is more freaky than clowns!

The scary munchkins in the bottom left hand seal the deal: this is nightmare material!

Frogs in my formula said...

I can just hear her husband:

"Honey, can you do the Jack in the box thing again?"

Er, maybe not.

Lidian said...

vanilla - Well, these admen were, anyway.

Tori - And drinking Seven-Up and milk, too ;)

Bill - I love this series of ads too! I might need to make a special tag, if I write about more of them (you know I will)

Richard - It certainly is a nightmare. But calling it that wouldn't sell a thing, would it?

Kristie - Yeah, maybe not, lol!

Anonymous said...

OK,the cartoon kids watching the stripper jumping out of a cake that looks like a Jack-in-the-Box is just wrong, so wrong. - G

Sugar Daddy Dating said...

uhm, a very crazy dream. No one wants to be a jack in the box.

Hairball said...


Men's shorts said...

hate to say it, but it looks to me like someone has sewn straps onto the underwear and turned them into an apron! other wise great posting .

Marcheline said...

See? Those genius ad men knew what they were doing!

You're all focusing on the crazy Jack-in-the box outfit and the elves (plus horse) (?!?!?) instead of noticing how pointy and stupid the bra actually makes her chest look!

This is a shining example of smart advertising, peeps.

P.L. Frederick said...

Hm, I'm thinking that at the time looking "pert" was just the thing. So a jack-in-the-box popping out was a euphemism for the look of boobies popping out. Did I win?

P.L. Frederick (Small & Big)

Cari Hislop said...

It's the toys smiling up at her I find really disturbing though the thought of having to wear a bra like that is pretty disturbing too. Whoever came up with the idea to create a bra that would mold 3-5 pounds of fat into large pointy cones didn't have breasts!