How would you characterize the 1950s? You might mention the Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, the soaring fame of Elvis Presley, or perhaps even the groundbreaking launch of the first satellites into space. But would you ever imagine a time when magazines offered advice to women on how to seduce men? Kim Marx-Kuczynski, hailing from Madison, Wisconsin, recently unearthed a 1958 McCall’s article titled “129 Ways to Get a Husband,” shedding light on how dramatically societal norms have evolved.
The article kicks off with a rather eye-opening statement: “In the United States today, there are sixteen million women over the age of seventeen who are not married.” This statistic alone underscores a prevailing desire among many women of that era to tie the knot at a relatively young age. To compile this list, the author sought input from 16 individuals, asking them to propose strategies for single women seeking to capture the attention of potential suitors.
Among the suggestions, there are some that appear sensible and in line with the times. These include recommendations like ordering rare steaks at restaurants, refraining from gossiping, or even shedding a few tears in the corner of a room to elicit sympathy. These tips, one could argue, hold some degree of plausibility. However, there are also suggestions that raise eyebrows and seem rather questionable in today’s context.
In defense of the author and the magazine, it’s important to note that they encouraged the participants to set aside any judgmental attitudes and express their candid opinions. The result, as seen in the list that follows, is a curious blend of advice that offers a window into the societal norms and expectations prevalent during that period.
As we delve into this list, it’s clear that times have certainly changed, and the perspectives and expectations surrounding relationships and marriage have evolved significantly. Feel free to peruse the list and share your thoughts in the comments section below.