"To work for victory is not to say goodbye to charm".
Yardley ran this series of wartime adverts over 1942/3. Each shows a woman engaged in "war work" - Wren, factory girl, nurse - and a patriotic message encouraging women to "work hard and let no weariness appear". The superficial read of course is that a woman’s duty above all is to be decorative — but, if you look at it a bit deeper, what intrigues me about this campaign is the focus on a specifically feminine strength - one echoed in this analysis of the Game of Thrones character Sansa Stark. The linked article argues that in the usual trope of “strong female character”, strength is derived from adopting traditionally masculine attributes such as physical combat. But for women of the 1940s and for Yardley, feminine strength means triumph over adversity, and maintaining an optimistic spirit in the face of hardship and the daily grind: “Let us always honour the subtle bond between good looks and morale”.