“Romance fading? Maybe ‘too fat’ is why!” This 1945 ad for Ry-Krisp crackers suggested that the sole cause for a husband’s inattention was the fading attractiveness of his wife. Thus, the burden was on her to save the marriage by swapping her buttered toast for bland crackers and shedding those unbecoming curves.
First produced in 1899, Ry-Krisp initially found popularity among Scandinavian immigrants nostalgic for the crispbreads they enjoyed back home. By the 1940s, the company had rebranded as a digestive aid, thence taking the claim that “no one loves a fat girl” and shoving it down the throats of women everywhere.
The campaign illustrated women missing out on social occasions as they struggled to get over fences, atop horses, or into dresses. They were cheated on by husbands, passed over by male suitors, and mocked by passers-by. Chairs even collapsed under their weight. The consensus: “Someone ought to tell her about Ry-Krisp!” We can only hope the crackers weren’t as tasteless as their ads.