Ding Dong, Avon Calling! – Vintage Mid-Century Avon Lady Ads

Posted on June 09, 2020


All of these vintage ad and catalogue posts have been a way to generate some sort of marginally fashion-based content (at a time when there’s little to be found) with a light touch; something to dazzle the eyes, ignite old memories, or spur on conversation about the changing of the times. We’ve always had an Avon post in the works for this series, but it feels like, in light of the conversations currently happening all over this country, it’s hard not to look at this collection of mid-Century femininity and beauty tropes and not see how overwhelmingly white it is. Given how much of Avon’s brand was tied up in the image of the Avon lady and the strictly middle class lifestyle that was required to uphold that image (suburban, women without careers outside the home, the privilege of opening your door to strangers and inviting them in), it’s hard not to see the assumptions being made and the privileges going unquestioned in nearly every ad. Which isn’t to say we’re here to wag our fingers or deny that there’s any joy to be found in viewing these vintage ads (we want the Christmas angel one to be our next holiday card); just that it’s worth putting them in some context. To the brand’s credit, they were clearly reaching out to black women as both consumers and representatives in their advertising at a time when a lot of other mainstream cosmetics and beauty companies weren’t.













[Photo Credit: Pinterest – Video Credit: ElectraChime via YouTube.com]

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