Another essay completed, thankfully out of the way for Christmas, and then I have to start planning a dissertation, for which I have no ideas at all. I do, on the other hand, now know a bit more about propaganda photography in WWII – how useful. Interesting, though. What go me into the latest essay was this strange picture from the archives of the US Office of War Information:
documenting the increased involvement of women in industry during the war. What is this woman, apparently dressed for a day out, doing with filthy oil-stained gloves and a pile of electrical wiring? The propaganda was aimed at recruiting women into war work, and the message is something like ‘you can work for the war and still look a woman’ (or at least like the conventional stereotype of a woman). Lots of comments about this image on Flickr suggest that she is a model, not an actual industrial worker, but that is extremely unlikely – it’s just not the way these photographers worked.
Another image by the same photographer was made into a poster. In his caption he describes this lady as a ‘girl in a glass house’, neatly summarizing the patronizing attitudes behind the propaganda, and giving me a catchy title for the essay.