This is an ad from 1935 and is for Foot Saver Shoes.
The text reads:
Just a Foolish Vestal Virgin!
She went to the Masquerade Ball as a Vestal Virgin. And everything was thrilling – till he asked her to sit out a dance. It was then that she saw him looking at her feet – her weak points, she knew, the toes twisted, the arches swollen, the heels all calloused. She shouldn’t have worn those revealing sandals to this party.
…He left for the West several days later. A short note from him. Then silence. Gossips wondered what could have nipped their budding romance. But she knew!
Women of every age are thinking, as never before, about the appearance of their bare feet. Swimming, stockingless ensembles, openwork sandals – all reveal feminine feet to critical eyes. And misshapen feet are not only unlovely to look at but they indicate foot troubles which exact their penalty in “crows feet” at the eyes, jagged nerves, loss of vitality.
Foot Saver Shoes are smart. Your first glance will tell you that. They breathe New York – Paris – in every line. They flatter your feet, make them appear trim – yes, even dainty!
Yet Foot Savers are also comfortable. A slender hidden spring supports the arch, makes walking once more a pleasure. Correctly shaped over “free walking” lasts, they grasp the foot gently, but snugly, prevent the toes from jamming down in the point of the shoe, keep the heel from sliding. Wear them and you can retain – or regain, if need be – true beauty of foot – something to remember with summer bathing days just ahead.
This ad made me laugh when I first came across it. The story about the guy who dumped the girl because of her ugly feet just struck me as very funny. Why would you even want a guy who would dump you for having less than perfect feet? And the girl in the picture has very pretty feet indeed, so either she’s the woman in the story after having fixed her feet or (more likely) they just couldn’t bring themselves to use a model with less than perfect feet.
I also find it interesting that this ad talks about pretty open sandals, but shows closed, full-coverage leather shoes.
Still, I can understand wanting shoes that are both more comfortable and better for your feet. It’s a worthwhile thing to look for, so it makes sense to advertise a product that way. I’m just not sure about the story!