Advertising is an effective way to teach college students in United States history courses about American culture. This article outlines how I use advertisements to help students understand the developing aims of advertising as an omnipresent industry by the 1920s, its relationship to the consumerism of the emergent white-collar class, and their connection to changing notions of baseline material comforts in American life. It demonstrates the ways that students learn how advertising aimed at single and married middle-class women in that era sought to tap into their insecurities using both age-old ideas about women's roles, more novel "scientific" reasoning, and new ideas about women's beauty and sexuality. Finally, this article illustrates how students might engage the contemporary relevance of advertising, consumerism, and sexism in women's representations in the media in consideration of how it impacts their own lives.

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