Go Ask Alice, 1937

Alice Roosevelt Longworth, the daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, was a famous beauty in her youth.  Born in 1884, she became a fashion icon when her father became president at the start of the twentieth century.  Her favorite color, an azure blue, became known as “Alice blue.” The woman and color were memorialized in a popular song, “The Alice Blue Gown.”  In 1906, she married Ohio congressman Nicholas Longworth and lived the rest of her life in Washington DC.  Outspoken in her views, she reputedly had a pillow embroidered with her favorite adage:  “If you can’t say something nice, then come sit next to me.”

Widowed at the start of the Great Depression, she fell on financial hard times.  That might explain this 1937 cigarette advertisement.  Note her naturally graying hair and subtle jewelry.  She was still quite a beauty at age 53.

How common are celebrity endorsements by older women today?

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4 Responses to Go Ask Alice, 1937

  1. JS says:

    She looks very smart. The mix of traditional pearls and the more modern buckle ornament works. I like her makeup and her unpainted, short nails.

    I never read the book whose title you used as your headline. It was published when I was a young teenager. It wasn’t exactly forbidden but as it concerned a troubled teenaged girl on drugs it was vaguely taboo.

  2. Susan says:

    I’ve seen other vintage cigarette ads featuring mature women — but I’d consider trying a wrinkle cream endorsed by Alice Roosevelt Longworth! Interior decorator Elsie de Wolfe was pushing Lucky Strikes in 1926 — when she was in her sixties.

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