There Are Many Gross Diamond Ads, but This Is the Grossest

"Thank you, honey, for ignoring my infidelity, here's a diamond."
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There's something about diamonds that brings out the worst in ad makers. Perhaps it's the subtle implication in almost all diamond ads that you must purchase jewels for women in order to secure their love. A bit chattely for my taste.

But journalist Ruth Graham dug up an especially disturbing ad from a 1971 Life magazine (above). "Your Henry VIII, with the wandering eye," we read. The suggestion, it would appear, is: thank you, honey, for ignoring my infidelity, here's a diamond. Woof. As Graham told me, "42 years later and I'm feeling so sad for the imaginary woman in this marriage."

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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