on their way to steal your men
Red lipstick in advertisements in the March 1, 1942 issue of Vogue Magazine.
As the United States and other Allied powers tried to prevent the spread of the totalitarian regimes of Italy, Germany, and Japan, they assembled the largest fighting force in history. The urgency of the war, along with changing conceptions of women’s roles in society, meant that the U.S. military enlisted the help of thousands of women. In fact, about 350,000 women served in thee armed forces, while 19 million women held jobs at home supporting the war effort (Collins 374). When women shipped off, they took cosmetics with them into battle. Lipstick was one of the ways these women defined themselves; to them it signaled femininity and strength.
The U.S. government endorsed lipstick for other reasons. Along with cosmetic companies, the government nationalized women’s bodies and militarized their sexuality, creating a new proper usage of lipstick by associating it with war effort. Women took the encouragement to wear lipstick as an opportunity to participate in war support and boost morale, as well as to explore personal expression of the once taboo topic of the female body. The necessities of war clashed with traditional gender roles, and as women took on greater responsibilities, they had to satisfy seeming impossible demands. Women were to be feminine, but not too sensual, and able to do a man’s job when needed, but not become masculine in the meantime. Ladies navigated this treacherous terrain by using a widely accessible vehicle: the simple, everyday item of lipstick.
[Detail from Tussy lipstick ad:]
New brave lipstick color by Tussy
Like warming your lips with rosy-red courage! Tussy Fighting Red—new as today—is brave in color. And on your lips it glows like Liberty’s torch, it wins! Perfect make-up partner for your spring costume colors of navy, aqua, air-force blue, rose, and beige … adds dash to your defense uniforms. This spring wear the new Tussy Fighting Red and be brave—for him!
[Illustration detail from Tussy lipstick ad.]
[Detail from DuBarry lipstick ad:]
WHEREVER THERE’S A JOB to be done, you’ll find her. The American beauty has rolled up her sleeves and gone to work. And what’s more—she’s kept her spirit and her perspective.
SHE HASN’T FORGOTTEN the job of being a woman too! She knows that “beauty is your duty" … that little things like a radiant smile, a dash of color, and a fresh, well-groomed look can add up to a very important thing called morale.
AND SO DU BARRY SALUTES the new American beauty with a spirited cosmetic color—Emblem Red. A bright, brave red … clear as a bugle call. In lipstick, to add sparkle to her smile. In rouge, to play up that vital clear-skinned glow. A perfect foil for muted “military” blues and olives … lovely, too, with Easter Parade navy, grey, and beige. On duty—or off—the new American beauty looks her best!
Note: Look at the rhetoric used in the ads. Words such as “courage” and “brave” are used to describe appearances, colors are described in military terms (“navy,” “air-force blue,” “beige,” “‘military’ blues”), and patriotic imagery is used (“Liberty’s torch,” “American beauty”). The lipsticks are named “Emblem Red” and “Fighting Red.” The war is never explicitly mentioned, but there’s no doubt what effort the American beauty should be working towards.
The Tussy ad shows a woman in a dress dancing with a man in uniform and emphasizes how the lipstick will make her look brave “for him”. Conversely, the DuBarry ad shows a woman in uniform and speaks of her “duty” to both work and beauty.
Both ads frame woman’s appearance as a responsibility — to retain her femininity and maintain male soldiers’ morale.
i like how steve’s plan on stopping the insight helicarriers from being launched in cap 2 was to more or less guilt trip the hell outta the shield agents into not launching them
the only known thing to combat this unknown power of his is Tony Stark’s level 16 personal denial.
The Secret Avengers: Steve is regretting his life choices, Clint is a troll, Captain Britain is trolled, Black Widow and Valkyrie are totally awesome and thoroughly unimpressed.
(Secret Avengers #22, 2012)
…She always had been a curious girl.
A while ago I got a message requesting something related to this tweet from ssspock (who runs the official_bucky account on Twitter)! It took me forever, but this is what I came up with! This was good fun to draw, and as you can see Bucky’s twitter account is a true blessing so you should follow it (if you aren’t already!)