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This “129 Ways To Get A Husband” Guide from 1958 Is A Feminist’s Nightmare

by Evi Arthur

Looking for a husband? Well look no further.

An article from a 1958 issue of McCall’s magazine titled “129 Ways to Get A Husband” went viral online in 2018 when Facebook user Kim Marx-Kuczynski shared her vintage purchase. Now it is making the rounds again, and this time the BUST team saw it. Let’s just say it does not disappoint.

The article features categories for your reading convenience including, but not limited to: “Where To Find Him,” “How To Let Him Know You’re There,” “How To Look Good To Him,” and, most importantly, “How To Land Him.”

Looking for eligible bachelors? Why not try having your car break down in “strategic places”? It’s not dangerous at all. Plus, I think we ladies know how to make our cars break down when its convenient and “strategic” to do so, so definitely jot this one down. Another hot tip McCall’s offered was to read the obituaries to find eligible widowers; you deserve a guy who just went through something traumatic and is grieving. And we can’t forget “Get lost at football games.” I think we’ve all been watching the big game, gotten up to get a hot dog, and then couldn’t figure out our way back to our seat. Thank goodness there are so many eligible bachelors here to guide me and my snack back to my seat! Women are just so bad with directions, as everyone knows.

Once you have located your bachelor, the next step is letting him know you’re there. This is a tough step, because you have to both be there and make sure that he sees you there. Listen carefully: McCall’s recommends stumbling when you walk into the room your bachelor is in. Men love women who can’t enter doorways—it’s basically right up there with boobs. Plus, what better way to have a man notice you than by threatening to break your nose on the ground in exchange for his attention? A similar strategy to try is standing in the corner of the room he’s in and crying softly: “chances are good that he’ll come over and find out what’s wrong.” This one does require some Meryl Streep-esque acting chops, though.

Onto “How To Look Good To Him.” One quick and easy tip: get a sunburn. Men like women who are bright red and peeling at the edges; it’s just sexy. Another easy tip to look good to him is ordering your steak rare—men like women who aren’t opposed to blood. McCall’s also made sure to warn all you ladies to not tell your man about all your allergies; I think it’s for a “survival of the fittest” type deal. Men don’t want women who have allergies—natural selection is coming for you, and quickly.

Next hot tip: “European women use their eyes to good advantage. Practice in front of a mirror.” I actually don’t know what that last one means. Like… as in bedroom eyes? Anyway, moving on.

The last step, landing a guy, is the final topic of the article. McCall’s suggests things like talking to his father about business and agreeing that “taxes are too high!”, sending his mother a birthday card, and buying his sister’s children occasional presents. Nothing makes a guy want you more than a sudden and creepy attachment to his closest relatives.

Other strategies include finding out about the girls he didn’t marry to make sure you don’t repeat “the mistakes they made,” “turning wolves into husband material by assuming they have honor,” and, of course, never—and I do mean never—let him believe your career is more important to you than marriage. Exactly, because…ok, I don’t have a joke for this one. It’s just very ew. I mean why on earth would you want to marry a guy who could ever be considered “a wolf”?

Last, but not least, tip no. 110 is to point out to him that the death rate of single men is twice that of married men. Yes, that’s right. Tip number 110 is threatening the man you want to marry.

Okay, enough of that. Here’s a rapid-fire list of some of the tips we couldn’t get over from the final category: “Wild Ideas—Anything Goes.”

  •  “If your mother is fat, tell him you take after your father. If he’s fat too, tell him you’re adopted!”
  • “Stow away on a battleship.”
  •  “Rent a billboard and post your picture and telephone number on it.”
  •  “Paint your name and number on [a] roof and say, ‘Give me a buzz, pilots.’”
  •  “Ride the airport bus back and forth from the airport.”
  •  “Stand on a busy street corner with a lasso.”
  •  “Carry a camera and ask strange, handsome men if they would mind snapping your picture.”
  •  “Make and sell toupees—bald men are easy catches!”
  •  “Carry a tow chain in the trunk of your automobile.”
  •  “Don’t marry him if he has too many loose buttons!”

Needless to say, I’m so happy I wasn’t alive and dating in the ’50s.


Header image by Aeva Karlsrud
background image via Museums Victoria/Unsplash; text: McCall Magazine

Aeva Karlsrud is a graphic and editorial designer based in New York, NY. You can find her work on her website at aevakarlsrud.com


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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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