Didn’t you know that according to the famed male model Derek Zoolander “there’s a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking”?
Try telling that to the Department of Defense in 1971.
In a campaign to promote “the important points of good grooming” for women, one can watch the full cringe-inducing 16 minute and 20 second video, which, thanks to the National Archives YouTube page, has since been digitized and uploaded for all to view.
The video runs the gamut on beauty advice and covers, according to the original agency catalog description, “cleanliness, health habits, hair styling, cosmetics, and tailoring.”
Come for some classic 1970s sexism, stay for the beauty tips.
Chock-full of useful information like, “soap and water is refreshing and it’s a fine skin conditioner”, viewers are also treated to some sage advice doled out by the narrator—“You learn in a hurry that you can’t get by with deodorant alone.”
He… isn’t wrong? But also, were women really not showering enough to justify creating this video?
The narrator then seamlessly transitions into hair care, boldly stating that “nobody can be attractive with unkempt and poorly styled hair.”
When it comes to makeup the narrator notes that “each woman is an individual and represents an individual set of problems.” It also leaves us all to wonder, “who hurt you?”
After that bizarre turn, the narrator quickly redeems himself with the not-so-off-the-mark observation that “the right cosmetics, skillfully applied, can make a woman appear more alert and alive.” Who among us doesn’t need a good under eye concealer?
Cut to the weirdly specific eyebrow instructions:
Alas, always remember ladies, eyebrows should be sisters, not twins.
Finally, women of the 70s are reminded that not all are born naturally thin and that a strict diet will not “only make you feel better” it will make you “look better in your uniform.” Truly, which is all that matters.
That the DoD actually spent time and money producing such guidance with the Vietnam War still ongoing is perplexing enough, but it also begs the question, how much did the U.S. taxpayers pay for this?