5th February 2023

Modern Miss

General Plastics, 1940s.

The term ‘Modern Miss’, as used on the card of buttons, is to indicated a fashionably up-to-date young woman. However, this term was used in Australian newspapers as early as 1867, usually as part of a critique of, or a joke about,  young ladies who had poor manners, were a little naive, or a ‘know-it-all’ such as:

News (Adelaide), 9th August 1929 page 8.

Warwick Daily News (Qld), 6th March 1944 page 4.

Sometimes, it was quite simply condescending:

Warwick Daily News (Qld), 10th December 1943 page 2.

RAAF News, 1st January 1972 page 9. Why, pray tell, is she “a fine advertisement for the service”? Because she’s pretty?? Would the photographer posed a male college next to a rose?

I thought I’d check advertisements from the 1940s, to see what the fashionable’Modern Miss’ was all about …

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 28th December 1940 page 32. Of course she takes a laxative.

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 20th April 1940 page 6.

Detail from ad.















The Australian Women’s Weekly, 1st June 1940 page 23.

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 31st May 1947 page 42.

Detail from above ad.

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 9th October 1948 page 16. Detail from above .

It seems the Modern Miss was clean, fresh, beautiful, pert and regular!

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