Between 1880 and 1920 Pink Pills, a medication for blood and nerve strengthening, were heavily advertised in Dutch newspapers. The advertisements consisted of the personal stories of patients who had been amazingly healed. This article argues that the Pink Pill advertisements contributed to the ‘psychologizing’ of society. The advertisements created an imaginary community of people sufferingfrom nervous disorders with whom the readers could identify. Initially, the Pink Pill advertisements highlighted somatic explanations for the correlation between weak nerves and ‘thin blood’. After 1910 the advertisements placed ever more emphasis on the personality traits of those with nervous disorders. Furthermore, causes were mentioned, such as considerable work pressure. It is notable that such external causes of the disorders were particularly sought for male sufferers, whereas for female sufferers the cause continued to be attributed to them being the ‘weaker sex’. In this way the Pink Pills promoted awareness about female and male sufferers of nervous disorders.

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Publisher Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid
Journal Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis
Rights Auteursrecht van ieder artikel berust bij de auteur en wordt met toestemming van de auteur gepubliceerd. Indien een artikel is geaccepteerd voor publicatie gaat de auteur akkoord met een Creative Commons licentie Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Netherlands License
Note Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis; Vol 16, No 1 (2013): Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis: themanummer Waanzin en media; 46-62
Blok, Gemma, & Spijkerman, Rose. (2013). ‘De ongelukkigsten onder de menschen’ De Verbeelding van zenuwzwakte in advertenties voor Pink pillen, 1900-1920. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 16(1), 46–62.

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