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Hartman Collection, Duke University Library

(detail) “You’re the Fun in His Furlough,” Kotex Company, 1942.

During World War II, the beauty and feminine care industries mobilized for the war effort. Despite rationing and hardship, caring about beauty reflected patriotic duty and national pride. In this advertisement, Kotex uses these concepts. Modern feminine hygiene was supposed to make women feel not just normal, but beautiful and energized to raise soldiers’ morale. “Beauty as duty” removed the guilt from buying sanitary products during wartime because maintaining beauty and vivaciousness was a patriotic act.

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