Are you in the know? GREAT BOOKLET (U.S.A., Kotex napkins and belts, 1956)
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Are you in the know? (May 1945, Woman's Home Companion magazine)
Ad for Kotex menstrual napkins (pads, but Kotex also made tampons,
belts, panties & napkin deodorant powder)
giving advice about grooming, fashion, menstruation & dating to
teenage girls during World War II

I'm repeating much of my text from an earlier Kotex ad.

People seem to enjoy these funny advice ads more than most 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.


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 black & blue ad covers the whole huge page, which measures
10 1/8 x 13 5/8" (about 25.6 x 34.4 cm). This was the era of large magazine pages; it
ended with the oil crisis of the 1970s.
The blue, of course, is Kotex blue.
First text: "[N]ot merely dusted on" refers to powders such as Kotex's own Quest.
Third text: I love it: glamazon. And stoop droop.
Bottom drawing: How 'bout that hat - and on a teenager!
The uniform might be an officer's uniform since it lacks sleeve rank,
a feature of enlisted soldiers - unless he has the lowest enlisted rank. Officers in World War II could be very young, partly because
they replaced the many injured and dead.
Below: I had to show you this publicity photo for Frank Sinatra's second movie, Anchors Away (1945), on the back of the above ad.
Frank Sinatra (left) and dancer Gene Kelly surround an irritated-looking Kathryn Grayson; Kelly might be sniffing her.
The film was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Original Song (Sinatra's "I Fall in Love too Easily")
and Best Picture.
A theory: Gene Kelly's hat is on firmly and correctly since it would be harder to fall off when he was dancing.
Just a theory.

NEXT another WWII ad 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)

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