Have a cigarette to celebrate.

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Photo by Milan Popovic on Unsplash

In 1968, the Philip Morris company launched an ad campaign specifically targeted to women to sell their new product, Virginia Slims, under the slogan “You’ve come a long way, baby.”

The print campaigns featured stylish (and slim, of course slim) women in catalog style spreads; they could just as easily be selling clothing were it not for the cigarettes held sophisticatedly between their fingers. Sophistication, style, glamour. All the things a liberated women should aspire to emulate.

The television ads were along the same vein, often telling a story of what it was like before the women’s rights movement when women were punished for smoking, and how much better things are now that they can do whatever they please. To celebrate, have a Virginia Slim, the woman’s cigarette, fit for delicate fingers in snazzy thin packs that fit right in your purse! …

That rich interior life we sometimes don’t see.

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Photo by Julia Caesar on Unsplash

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a term coined by film critic Nathan Rabin to describe a stock female character who “exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.” In his A.V. …

Add these beauties to your next reading list.

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Yes Books, Portland, ME; Image by Colleen Rose Sullivan

Sometimes I see a book on a library or bookstore shelf and feel a pit of longing forming in my stomach. I’m not one to fall in love with people at first sight, but books are a very different story.

“If I can’t make that book mine, I’ll surely die.” My flair for the dramatic is alive and well.

The first time I can remember feeling this way, I was six years old, standing in the middle of my elementary school’s multipurpose room on the most wondrous of days: Scholastic Book Fair. …

“You can’t just take a teddy bear from a grown man.”

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Image by Colleen Rose Sullivan

“‘Pooh, promise you won’t forget about me, ever. Not even when I’m a hundred.’
Pooh thought for a little.
‘How old shall I be then?’
Pooh nodded.
‘I promise,’ he said.”

I don’t think there are many people who haven’t heard of the beloved Winnie-the-Pooh and Peter Pan, and no doubt that that is in large part thanks to the Disney company.

Disney adapted both of these works into successful animated films that spawned multimedia franchises that are still, evidently, chugging along, inviting generation after generation of children to play in the Hundred Acre Wood and Never Land. This is not to say that everyone’s exposure to Winnie-the-Pooh and Peter Pan are thanks to Disney, and it’s certainly not to say that Disney is the only company that’s had a go at revisiting these characters. But for properties so pervasive as these, and with so many generations knowing by name from the early twentieth century through the early twenty-first, the fact of the matter is that these nostalgia-driven pieces have made Peter Pan and Winnie-the-Pooh integral to thousands of people’s growing up. …


Colleen Sullivan

Writer from Boston, MA // colleenrosesullivan.com

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