“Do Your Duty to Your Beauty”: Beauty as Duty in Advertisements in the News of the World during the Second World War

In Dynamic Media, we learned how to make simple animations in Abobe After Effects. For our second assignment, we were asked to make a picture slideshow. I decided to use the images from one from of my major fourth year seminar projects on ‘Beauty as Duty’. During the Second World War in Great Britian, women were encouraged to spend money and time on their appearence. It was argued at the time that putting on cosmedics or dressing feminine helped women cope with grief and stress during the war (this is colleborated to an extent by first person accounts found in the Mass Observation Archive). However, at the time there was also pressure for women to appear conventionally feminne to keep up the morale of men (both civilians and soldiers) and women who appeared to be “slacking” were shamed. Using cosmedics advertisements published in theNews of the World¬†between September 1939 and December 1945, I argued that during the Second World War, ‘Beauty as Duty’ rhetoric was used to combat fears of changing gender roles as a result of the Second World War.

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