Time Magazine's Advice to Women Authors in the 1960s
Posted on August 4, 2015
Eliza Berman, Associate Editor for Time magazine, shared a hilarious series from the 1960s. The 1969 spread in the magazine told women authors how to promote their books for maximum effect. The photoshoot featured Jeanne Rejaunier, author of The Beauty Trap. The captions of the photos share super helpful tips for women writers.
A photo of Ms Regaunier shows her in bed with her bemused looking cat. She's wearing a pale blue peasant blouse, which is pulled down on one shoulder. She holds a pen to her head as she stares, lost in thought, at the ceiling. The caption reads, "Jeanne Rejaunier is a lady author, as you can plainly see --the new sort of lady author is always photographed in bed." It does not hurt that Ms. Rejaunier is a former model who must have been used to absurd requests from photographers.
Another handy tip is: "A lady author must swim a little." This caption is underneath Ms. Regaunier in a bikini. She's poolside and playfully splashing water at the camera. Our favorite is the photo, featured here, which reads: "A lady author must: exercise in a bikini. Writing a minor best-seller is sedentary work, but when promoting one a lithe figure is very useful. This contraption strengthens the stomach muscles and figures of speech."
Other great advice includes having your own billboard, using your first royalty check to purchase a horse and frequently communing with nature. The communing with nature photo shows Ms. Regaunier in a white Victorian gown, raking leaves -- as one does. Time informs us that the horse purchase did not work out so well. The author broke a vertebra after being thrown from the horse and had to wear a back brace for months. Thank goodness the bikini photos had already been taken.