Carter Man: Women and Household Appliances

I watched a twenty minute advertisement from Imperial appliances. The video showed a wide variety of household appliances, but focused mostly on the kitchen. As far as these technologies’ relationships with women are concerned, only the first part of the video is significant. The second half is basically just a description of the various refrigerators available. The ad started by emphasizing how good Imperial appliances look, showing them in a variety of different environments to show they blend in well anywhere. Imperial soon explained themselves why they emphasized the appearance of products early, claiming that “women want and demand kitchen products radiant with color. The rest of the commercial focuses on the utility and convenience of Imperial appliances. A woman demonstrates each of the appliances and acts as if each of these appliances are the greatest thing to ever happen. At some point during the demonstration, the narrator says that the appliances would “fulfill a woman’s fondest dreams.” The woman demonstrator looked absolutely in love with the appliances. As some of the appliances (or images of them were floating in the air), the awestruck women reached out for them as if she were in a wild dream. After explaining that these dreams were now within reach thanks to Imperial, the rest of the ad is just basic explanations of other Imperial appliances.

The ad leaves little doubt that it is marketed towards women. The ad uses a very satisfied women in demonstrating that Imperial appliances are useful, convenient, possibly revolutionary in regards to kitchen work, and stylish too. It’s possible the ad was tailored to men too, but not for their use. The ad was released in 1957, if men are still considered the breadwinners and women remained in the home, then perhaps the ad was tailored to husbands to buy wives these appliances to make their lives easier. The happy women was maybe an attempt to show men how happy they would make their wives if they bought Imperial products. Overall, the ad tries to demonstrate how revolutionary and efficient Imperial’s appliances make kitchen life.

The ad is very condescending in that it assumes women love nothing more than cooking or working in the kitchen. The dreamy feelings of the women towards the kitchen appliances demonstrate this. Such attitudes were relatively normal in 1957, and the ad reflected these rigid attitudes about gender roles at the time.

“The Futuristic Appliances of the 1950’s (720p).” Video file, 20:07. Posted by Documentary Tube, July 2, 2014. Accessed September
18, 2017.
Word Count: 398

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