Wow, This 1959 'Girl Watcher' Magazine Sure Is Rapey

04.24.12 Marina Galperina

If 1950’s Man’s Life vintage rags of cartoon pin-up gals battling Nazis and being toplessly rescued by manly men brought you amusement, behold: Girl Watcher magazine. A gem (of sorts) of American culture, it’s a silly skeevy fetishy voyeur periodical… or something. Obviously, it’s all coy and tongue-in-cheek and the curvy, giggly damsels are pertty, but damn is it ever sinister. The irony in some of these predatory passages has rubbed off over the decades, down to rapey: “In a natural procession from Girl Watcher to Girl Collector, there is always the vastly important decision of whether to become a collector of impressions of girls per se or a collector of girls purr, say!” it reads. “A yummy nicknack attracts your attention in a restaurant, you haul her off home for a trial run as one of your collector’s pieces. When your current crop gets a little shelfworn, you turn them out and go collecting all over again.” Comical, albeit creepy. Mad Men is set right around the decade’s corner. That makes sense.