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Selling Modernity: Housewives as Portrayed in Yuefenpai (Calendar Posters) and Magazine Advertisements in Shanghai of the 1920s and 1930s

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Chapter Summary

Yuefenpai are the calendar posters that were used for advertising consumer products in the international city of Shanghai during the 1920s and 1930s. The Yuefenpai calendar posters, newspaper and magazine advertisements typically depict four types of modern women: first, female students who wore pale blue qipao made of cotton as their uniform; second, professional working women as represented by movie actresses, singers, dancers, and stewardesses; third, upper-middle-class women as represented by daughters of celebrity families, noble ladies and middle-class housewives; last, "seductive" nude or semi-nude women who are normally considered to be prostitutes. Mass media, such as the yuefenpai calendar posters, newspaper and magazine advertisements, and motion pictures that developed in the years of the Republic of China, not only presented the image of the new-born "modern woman" represented by middle-class housewives and their modern lifestyles, but also created modern daily life in the metropolis of Shanghai.

Keywords: magazine advertisements; middle-class housewives; Shanghai; yuefenpai calendar posters



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