Monday, March 28, 2011

Selling Romance - Career Girl Guides

"A gal trying to successfully solve bewildering problems about a career, marriage, etc., will find these SUCCESS GUIDES reveal startling but proven steps to success."

Or so promised this ad selling "Career Girl Guides" that appeared in romance comics such as Falling in Love #94 (October 1967). Aside from the guide that features tips on how to become a successful, glamorous model and the one with advice on breaking into show business, these guides appear to have left much to be desired for young women in search of career counseling.

We can only hope that the young ambitious readers of romance comics turned their attention to Charlton's Career Girl Romances instead!


  1. Noticing how many of them, though phrased to sound different, boil down to: How To Lose Weight - or Put It On In The Right Places - I was about to identify the other abiding theme as: How To Impress And Win Guys.

    But then I spotted their TRUE and abiding underlying theme - and that of all Advertising 'Science': making us feel self-conscious to the degree we become convinced we're inadequate - at which point they step in with the 'cure'.

    One advertising campaign over here in the UK depicts a young couple about to fall into bed for the first time only to abruptly break off and begin frantically searching for something: though not, as you might suppose, a condom, but his'n'hers body sprays - at which point they recommence ripping off their clothes while spraying each part of their body as it becomes exposed.

    My 18 year old son and 15 year daughter assure me they're not fooled by such adverts - though they both smell ever so nice! - but tell me tales of friends who feel compelled to spray every orifice of their bodies all day long for fear other people might think they stink!

    In short, simply to make a buck, advertising agencies're quite prepared to induce neurosis in the young.

  2. You nailed it, borky. This is a dated, blatantly sexist example of the purpose of advertising: to make people feel bad about themselves so they'll buy what you're selling.

  3. Very true, Borky and Diana. I am not gonna lie -- advertising has worked on me successfully in the past, but I like to think that I am thoroughly conscious throughout the process! So, if a young woman reading the romance comics did actually want to learn how to make low calorie dressings and what not, then that is great, but it is interesting how the real intentions of turning a profit come before offering quality career advice as advertised. But, at the same time, I guess you could argue that the pamphlet subjects such as makeup application and weight control could have very well been desired information for "career girls" such as flight attendants and industries that required high levels of femininity.