Are you in the know? GREAT BOOKLET (U.S.A., Kotex napkins and belts, 1956)
Many more Are you in the know? ads
& all ads for teenage girls
CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
Some MUM site links:
MUM address & What does MUM mean? |
Email the museum |
Privacy on this site |
Who runs this museum?? |
Amazing women! |
Art of menstruation (and awesome ancient art of menstruation) |
Artists (non-menstrual) |
Asbestos |
Belts |
Bidets |
Birth control and religion |
Birth control drugs, old |
Birth control douche & sponges |
Founder bio |
Bly, Nellie |
MUM board |
Books: menstruation & menopause (& reviews) |
Cats |
Company booklets for girls (mostly) directory |
Contraception and religion |
Contraceptive drugs, old |
Contraceptive douche & sponges |
Costumes |
Menstrual cups |
Cup usage |
Dispensers |
Douches, pain, sprays |
Essay directory |
Examination, gynecological (pelvic) (short history) |
Extraction |
Facts-of-life booklets for girls |
Famous women in menstrual hygiene ads |
Feminine napkin, towel, pad directory |
Founder/director biography |
Gynecological topics by Dr. Soucasaux |
Humor |
Huts |
Links |
Masturbation |
Media coverage of MUM |
Menarche booklets for girls and parents |
Miscellaneous |
Museum future |
Norwegian menstruation exhibit |
Odor |
Olor |
Pad, towel, napkin directory |
Patent medicine |
Poetry directory |
Products, some current |
Puberty booklets for girls and parents|
Religion |
Religión y menstruación |
Your remedies for menstrual discomfort |
Menstrual products safety |
Sanitary napkin, towel, pad directory |
Seguridad de productos para la menstruación |
Science |
Shame |
Slapping, menstrual |
Sponges |
Synchrony |
Tampon directory |
Early tampons |
Teen ads directory |
Tour of the former museum (video) |
Towel, pad, sanitary napkin directory |
Underpants & panties directory |
Videos, films directory |
Words and expressions about menstruation |
Would you stop menstruating if you could? |
What did women do about menstruation in the past? |
Washable pads |
Read 10 years (1996-2006) of articles and Letters to Your MUM on this site.
Leer la versión en español de los siguientes temas: Anticoncepción y religión, Breve reseña - Olor - Religión y menstruación - Seguridad de productos para la menstruación.


Are you in the know? (November 1945, The American Girl magazine)
Ad for Kotex menstrual napkins teaching etiquette to teenage girls right
after World War II

People often enjoy these funny ads more than other ads for menstrual products. Radio programs of the era - I listen to them on WAMU, Washington, D.C. - often have similar language, a zippy, rhyming rhythm; great fun.

The advice you read here reflects a much more formal era, in spite of the zippiness. Kids - as pure and white as a fresh Kotex - dressed up, and behaving the right way was more important. And this was before women's liberation.

Teenagers from a yet earlier era made fun of their parents' old-fashioned ways in funny ads which seem heavier handed than the ads below.

The characters were always white except for the few servants in the well-off places these teenagers sometimes visited (see the booklet). And they were SLIM.

About the man who drew these ads (I plagiarize myself from here):

Irving Nurick (1894-1963) illustrated [these ads as well as ads for other companies] as he did the whole "Are you in the know?" series. His girls and boys are usually blonde, slender and baby faced. No one's poor - although they may be short of money now and then since they're dependent on allowances from their parents. (See another feminine ideal from decades earlier.)

I wonder how much Kotex coached the artist in creating his WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) kids. "Irving Nurick" doesn't sound like a WASP name. He illustrated other companies' ads from at least the 1940s on and nailed the ideal American teenager for that era. But Kotex (and its main competitor Modess) had usually advertised to a middle-class-and-above clientele anyway; that would continue for the next couple decades.

The text, as always, was sprinkled with funny slang and solutions to teenagers' problems. One answer to one problem was always Kotex.

Notice the colors, black and blue - Kotex blue.


Many more Are you in the know? ads & all ads for teenage girls.
Are you in the know? GREAT BOOKLET (Kotex napkins and belts, 1956)

Below: The ad forms 2/3 of the page horizontally.
Sample language: DROON (first situation), DRIPPING LITTLE PAWS (second).
Bottom: "Si, si to all 3. Copy this chick for whom the camera clicks . . . ." (reference to
Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940), which kids might have been reading in high school English.)
Does it get better than this?
Yes, it does.
Keep clicking on the NEXT below the images for the third ad (Dec. 1946).
Below: I wanted especially to show you the record player, a rarity today.

NEXT Nov. '45, Dec '45, Dec. '46 Many more Are you in the know? ads & all ads for teenage girls.
Are you in the know? GREAT BOOKLET (Kotex napkins and belts, 1956)

© 2008 Harry Finley. It is illegal to reproduce or distribute any of the work on this Web site
in any manner or medium without written permission of the author. Please report suspected
violations to\