Friday, January 23, 2015

Go, men. . . go Munsingwear!

These are some choice cuts from the Munsingwear cartoon-style ads I love so well. I find these rife with paradox: at a time (1940s) when homophobia could not have been more rampant, it was common, even perfectly acceptable to depict half-naked men in locker rooms talking about their underwear. They would even argue about the relative merits of their ginch (gonch, gitch, gatch), often criticizing their buddy for having a baggy ass or sagging crotch. My favorite shows two men in bed:  "Leave me alone, you big overstuffed Easter Bunny!" "Wise guy, huh? Tomorrow a.m., when you're sweating icicles, think of me in these draft-proof Slumberalls! They're so comfortable, you don't know you've got 'em on!" A not-so-subtle image, when you think about it, and which (when added to the pillow fight with the guy bending over) makes for an uncomfortable, yet compelling sociological whatayacallit.

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