When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies, The Office Picks Up The Slack

What a great time to be a woman in the workforce! You’re free to rise as high as you can, as long as you’re also cool with taking on additional feminine responsibilities pro bono — such as mentoring younger women, taking notes, and “bringing cupcakes” (??) — and also taking the terrible jobs no one else wants because you’re fat.

The Working Life of Gwyned Filling, the ‘Career Girl’ of 1948

On a recent sleepless night around 3 a.m., I bought a bunch of mint-condition LIFE magazines from the spring on 1948 on Ebay. Reading about stuff that was going on in 1948 is good for my 2014-era anxieties, which are currently off the charts. When I consume a news magazine from 1948, I already know what’s going to happen in 1949 and 1950, and beyond; being a detached, omniscient observer feels weirdly reassuring. Also reassuring is the evidence that the world has always been a huge mess, and that maybe some things are improving (very, very slowly). Reading these old LIFE magazines feels so poignant because the writers and subjects within have no idea what lies ahead—they’re all struggling to make some sense of their time and place.