Beau Monde Hosiery: What Makes Miss Australia (1949)

Beau Monde Hosiery: What Makes Miss Australia (1949)
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This late 1940s colour cinema advertisment for women's stockings spends much of its running time focused on the qualities that a young woman needs to compete in the Miss Australia pageant.

She must possess natural beauty, good health, fine deportment, a pleasing personality, a photogenic look, education and culture, a good figure and impeccable dress sense. All these qualities represent 'all that is finest in Australian womanhood'.

Finally, the advertisement mentions the importance of the correct hosiery and the part it plays in supporting the ideal woman.

Like many cinema advertisements of the 1940s this ad for Beau Monde (fashionable society) hosiery plays like a short film with opening titles and closing credits, and features a formal-sounding narration.

It also reinforces then-prevalent gender stereotypes, showing young women being evaluated by mostly older males.

For single women in the 1940s, the apparent goal was to be attractive and accomplished in order to have the best chances of catching a good husband.

And, as can be seen by other advertisements – such as Rinso and Persil – once they were married, their place was in the home: cooking, doing housework and looking after their husband and children.