There are, however, far fewer things that used to be considered ladylike that are now fully embraced by macho culture. It's almost as if guys have some ridiculous obsession with not looking girly. That said, a handful of things have managed to go from pink to blue in our culture, and here are four of them.
4The Ford Mustang
The Mustang. Perhaps more than any other car, its name calls to mind things like power and motor oil and pure manliness. (Why is manliness always so dirty and gross?)
I'll pause while a certain segment of Cracked's readership rushes to the comments to argue the timeless "Ford vs. Chevy" debate while the rest of us wish you'd all take public transportation and just stop talking about everything.
Out of your system now? Great. Anyway, quality or style issues aside, you have to admit that the Mustang is a quintessential guy car. Even Top Gear, the most testosterone-driven show in the world, is desperate to love it. So, I'm sorry if this news shocks you, Mustang owners, but your $30,000 penis extension was originally intended to be a car for ladies.
OK, obviously car companies would sell to every person on Earth if they could, regardless of sex or gender, so they could make all the money. But in 1964, when the first Mustang hit the sales floor, there was a concentrated effort to sell it to women specifically. As part of their initial campaign, Ford put Mustang ads in the "women's" section of 2,600 newspapers on a single day.
Here, have some vintage sexism.
But the first Mustang had already been sold, two days before it was supposed to be available, to, no surprise, a lady. Gail Brown was a 22-year-old teacher and the car's first-ever buyer. As of 2013, she still owned it.
Even a few years after its debut, Ford was still telling women how a Mustang was perfect for their lifestyle. This hilariously dated commercial from 1966 promises "single girls" that the car is not only "all you could ask for on a secretary's salary" but at the end implies that owning one will help you do the only important thing in life -- find a husband.
And the whole young, unattached girl and her trusty Mustang theme continued in their print ads.
That's the number of guys who have been in the backseat.
Honestly, Google Image search is so full of these early women-oriented ads that I have had to be really selective about the ones I'm including. But I have to throw in this final one that seems to promise women with young children ("Life was just one diaper after another until Sarah got her new Mustang") that if they buy one, their husbands will be so turned on by it ("Suddenly there was a new gleam in her husband's eye") that they will want to have more sex with them ... or the car; it's not really clear.
Easy mistake either way.
Soon, though, the ad campaigns changed to the manlier fare we're used to, and the Mustang went on to be known as a guy's car, hitting the peak of cliche maleness in 2007 when it starred as an evil police cruiser in a Michael Bay explosion-fest about boys' childhood toys.
So, in a sense, it was probably the racist Transformer too.
You've come a long way, baby! I guess!
Old Spice has gone through a lot of changes. The one we're most familiar with happened in recent years when the scent we've long associated with the days when your grandfather used to smoke at the doctor's office while getting his nagging cough checked out suddenly switched gears and rebranded itself for the younger generation. While Old Spice has put off a manly air for a long time, these new ad guys act as if they must defend their stereotypically masculine credentials at all costs, lest they literally die of cooties. I just pulled my husband's Old Spice Denali body wash out of the shower. On the bottle it is described as smelling like "freedom" and compared to owning "a cool car."
"But not a Mustang -- those are for chicks."
Unless you are really bad at reading titles and predicting patterns, you know where this is going. Despite its uber-masculine appearance, Old Spice was originally created for ladies.
More like BOOBY sachet, am I right?
Technically, there is nothing masculine about spices of any age, unless you count the fact that we sometimes used to go to war over them. That was a long time ago, though. Nowadays, the word mostly calls to mind kitchens and baking and grandmothers. And in 1937, when William Schultz released Early American Old Spice, he based it on his mother's potpourri, with notes of rose, spice, and herbs. And while the men's version was released a year later, it smelled pretty much the same, and traditionally scented Old Spice still contains hints of those girly aromas.
At least the store names were phallic.
The original ladies' scent was hugely popular, but soon the men's version eclipsed it, and the branding was changed to reflect this, with manly ships instead of lame-ass flowers.