Online Exhibits@Yale

Men, Women, and Gender in Cigarette Advertising

When cigarettes were initially advertised for women in the first decades of the twentieth century, the advertisements related smoking to changes in social custom such as shorter and more revealing dresses, dancing, and dating.  By the mid-1920s, cigarette smoking among women had taken hold. Women in cigarette advertisements are always young and attractive.  Often they exude sexuality as well.  Even in ads for Virginia Slims, a brand created for women in 1968 that took advantage of the emerging women’s movement to promote its product, women remained feminine and fashionable and not a threat to gender roles.

Men, Women, and Gender in Cigarette Advertising