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May 1985 Seventeen Magazine Ads

May 8, 2005

The first copy of Seventeen magazine hit stands in 1944. The timing was perfect -- the gals needed something to do while they waited for their brave Boys in Blue to return from killing the Japs and Krauts. Early issues preached the doctrine of the perfect upside-down cake, how to set a proper table, the Easter dinner centerpiece, the etiquette of hat wearing (a lady never leaves the house without her gloves and hat) and the general expectations of a post-war bride.

Despite the cultural changes over the past 61 years, one thing has remained constant. From the very beginning, ads aimed at young female readers were a mainstay of the publication. This equates to thousands of ads for menstrual products, "sensitive area" hair removal, clothing and make-up. I recently acquired a copy of Seventeen from May 1985 and enjoyed the trip back to big hair, bold eye shadow and burly eyebrows.

The ads can generally be grouped into the following categories:

  • Musk

  • Your Body, Your Period

  • Removing Hair "Down There"

  • Skin Care

  • Hair Care

  • Clothing & Accessories

  • Nail Care & Make-up

  • Your Future, Your Memories

May 1985 Seventeen Magazine Ads

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