Magazine article from 1958 about '129 ways to get a husband' shows just how much the world has changed
The list includes ridiculous suggestions like asking women to "stand in a corner and cry softly" to attract the attention of the men passing by.
We have come a long way since the days of courting, exchanging secret love notes, and other secretive gestures of pursuing someone. There are still some explicit as well as unspoken rules when it comes to dating today but more and more people are okay with being by themselves. Not everyone's goal is to get married by 23 and start a family as soon as possible. Especially women, who have been steering away from the institution of marriage. Back in the 1950s however, it was not an option that many women had especially if they wanted to be accepted by society.
Catering to the demands of the times, a woman's magazine curated a long list of ways women of "marriageable" age could land a husband. Kim Marx-Kuczynski, a resident of Wisconsin found this vintage magazine issue and picked it up for a dollar. She took to Facebook to share the gem and wrote in a post: "I bought a McCall's magazine from 1958 because the cover advertised an article titled '129 Ways to Get a Husband' and it did not disappoint. The whole list is littered with WTF but my personal favorite (#40) has had me randomly bursting into laughing fits since I read it three days ago."
If there is one thing we learn after going through the list is that we have indeed come a long way as a society. Or maybe not. “It’s outdated and absurd and funny, but it had serious intentions,” Kim told Bored Panda. “Society has changed so much in the last sixty years, and this article exemplifies the differences between what our moms and grandmas grew up with compared to ourselves and the coming generations. It’s fascinating.” The list includes ridiculous suggestions like Kim's favorite, #40 which suggested that women should "stand in a corner and cry softly" to attract the attention of the men passing by who will come over to find out what's wrong.
The list was curated by a panel of 16 experts who used techniques that helped come with business ideas and applied them to love. Other ways you can get a husband, as per the magazine includes #30 which stated: Learn to paint. Set an easel outside an engineering college. The infamous, dropping a handkerchief trick was on the list too. Another one on similar lines is #47 "Accidentally" have your purse fly open, scattering its content all over the street. #33 just stated: Carry a hatbox. They even suggested women lookup the obituaries to find eligible widowers. Many of the tips were downright sexist and it even sections with advice on "how to look good for him" and "how to let him know you're there."
“I think if someone is actively looking for a life-long partner just for the sake of being married, they will end up in a failed relationship whether they legally sever it or not,” Kim said and added. “I’d like to read about someone’s attempts at trying out everything on the list though. They would either end up with a degree from Yale, in federal prison for stowing away on a military vessel, or in an intervention meeting with friends who’ve been very concerned with their recent dating profile choices.”
The post went viral and has been liked more than 6.2k times and shared over 17k times. Facebook user Katewin Peterson commented, I LOVE 58 — get a sunburn. What the heck does that have to do with getting a husband? Kim replied and explained: the best (and only) explanation I've heard for that one is that pink/red skin used to be attractive because it showed that you were afforded leisure time. The only other thing I can think of is doing yourself an injury for the "pity attention." EWWWWW.
Joy Ballinger commented: This is the BS I was living under as a child. NEVER liked the idea of manipulating anyone, so dishonest and creepy, though I’m sure I probably did. My mother would tell me it was easier to catch flies with honey than w/ vinegar (if I was in a ‘mood’). I always wanted to ask her who wants to attract flies, LOL? Note I didn’t say it, I wanted to keep my teeth!