We Can Do It' poster was produced in the year 1943 by an artist working at Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company named Howard Miller. This was during the Second World War. The idea was to promote female patriotism and motivate women to work in defense industries since most men were away fighting.
This image of Howard Miller shows an iconic image of a female wearing a red scarf with the primary focus being the powerful flexed muscle of a woman. The poster has three distinct colors; red, yellow, and blue each having its meaning and interpretation. The color yellow is primarily associated with self-esteem and optimism. Its primary intent was to evoke emotions of confidence and positivity among the women who had to tackle new responsibilities in industries. The task assigned to them was previously undertaken by men who were far away fighting for their country. The psychology behind the color was to motivate them to tackle duties assigned with cheerfulness. The blue color which covers most of the top and bottom parts of the poster is associated with positive thinking and calm mind which leads to innovation. The two colors acted as checks in between a cool intellect and optimism in the industrial environment of weaponry manufacture they were involved in. The scarf that is designed and considered to be feminine is red. The purpose was to create enthusiasm and consequently a feeling of masculinity among women so that they could quickly adapt to new roles and defy the traditional view of chores that women should be involved in.
The poster was aimed at appealing to female workers so that they could be recruited in industries manufacturing defense weaponry during the war. The effect of the campaign was the mass entry of American women in the defense industry. The unprecedented numbers of the women joining the labor force filled the gaps that were left by men enlistment into the army. The woman in poster idea is to attract, call, and encourage other women to join her and serve as a factory employee. Through the poster, the author can capture the attention and interest of women by showing a determined woman who is working and supporting the efforts to win the war. This image of the happy strong-willed worker was able to serve as propaganda that enabled and created a sense of belonging, identity, and teamwork among the employees. The primary role that the corporate war committees were charged with was the maintenance of productive and stable workforce free of labor disputes. The propaganda created by the poster by solving problems that the committees faced since it invoked a sense of patriotism that diluted strikes and branded unrest by the workers as un-American since this was against the war efforts.
The photographer made an apparent appeal to women through the use of raised arm and the clenched fist. The gesture interpretation focuses on team building and building the society as opposed to displaying a woman who is an individualist and rugged. The high cheekbones, curled hair, and eyebrows that are plucked shown in the image are feminine characteristics dictating how women should carry themselves in a work environment. The appealing attributes of a woman shown do not only motivate others to join the workforce but also emphasizes the need for women to maintain their looks as they accomplish designated roles and duties.
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