We here at UW MFA HQ are gushing with applause, hugs and great congratulatory gestures for our very own Adrian Shirk. Today, she published an essay in The Atlantic, “The Death of the Cool Feminist Smoker.” The piece unpacks the use of feminist imagery and ethos to help sell cigarettes at the height of the feminist movement forty years ago.
Here’s a teaser:
This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, the public announcement that definitively implicated cigarettes in lung cancer and heart disease.
Yet it would still be another four years before Phillip Morris launched Virginia Slims, the first brand marketed specifically to women and the last tobacco campaign to air on television: a one-minute genealogy of women smokers “from Flapper to Female Lib,” in the campaign’s signature style. The trappings of late-60’s and 70’s female counter-culture were Virginia Slims’ primary rhetorical currency.
Read the rest online.
Way to go Adrian! We can’t wait for the next piece!