HIST 2930 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Population Connection, Wolf Wolfensberger, Legal Guardian

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Queen of the picket line: beauty contests in the post ww2 canadian labour movement, 1945-1970. The increased display of sexualized images of women may appear a contradiction in a period that was as a fertile breeding ground for new ideas about female equality in the workplace. Labor-movement beauty contests were statements of working-class identity, community and pride: represented their efforts to reach out to working-class women using popular and women"s culture. Labor"s eagerness to embrace mainstream cultural norms concerning feminine beauty and the body also reinforced the masculinist and patriarchal proclivities. Beauty culture was utilized to advertise the labor movement and as a union recruiting tool. With fashion shows, the rationale was to reassure unpoliticized working women that the union had a feminine, friendly, and unthreatening face. Most of these union fashion shows were replicas of marketing efforts designed to encourage consumption.

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