Tokyo Rose / An American Patriot cover
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In chapter 1 of the 2014 Revised TR/AP (pp. 22-25), I noted and analyzed an interesting trend among photographers, ad producers, and editors of high fashion magazines. They featured, subconsciously it would seem, women with an Asian look. The models, in accordance with the times, were all Caucasians, but their eyes and their eye make-up caused them to have an Asian look.

The editors confined this look to highly fashionable women. The ordinary females who appeared in toothpaste ads continued to look like majority Americans. I found this provocative because during the war GIs created a clear contrast between the American-but-really-Japanese Tokyo Rose and the all-American girl back home. But lest I get ahead of myself, take a look at the following pictures, all from 1940-41, and decide whether you see what I see. For example, this ordinary shoe ad:
In theory, the ad shows two women who differ only in their taste in shoes. One likes simple shoes and the other, fashionable unusual shoes. So in theory any two models would do. In fact, to my eye the woman who "seeks simplicity" looks American and the woman who "demands drama" looks Asian. Obviously she's not, but her eyes especially make her look as though she could have come from Japan.

I have not developed this thesis based on one shoe ad. Below are 7
covers from Harper's Bazaar and Vogue in 1940-41. (Several exhibits on this page also appeared in TR/AP but the website allows a much larger, clearer image.) To me the cover models all look Asian except for the very first, the woman with the long blond hair. But she's pulling her eyes back as if she hopes to appear that way anyway.
The designers of these covers, in my opinion, were conscious of their intentions, whereas the pre-war photographers and editors were not. But I will let you decide.

Consider these photographs from inside the fashion magazines. "Vogue's eye view of Vogue 1941" set the standard. In other issues, Caucasian models stared into mirrors and pulled their eyes back to see how they'd look with less round eyes. Makeup artists and photographers conspired to disguise models' epicanthic fold (the fold that separates the eyelid into upper and lower), which gave the women the appearance of young Asians. Even mannequins looked Asian to me.
I do not mean to suggest these are the first "Asiany" models to appear on the covers of American fashion magazines. In the 1920s, under the influence of Art Deco and Japonisme we find these two Vogue covers:
One photo, a model choosing LP records in front of a map (of military maneuvers?), could be a pre-war portrait of the future Tokyo Rose. It's almost as though Americans had pictured her before she existed.
You may wonder, what does this trend mean? To find out, read my book! Ha!

Suffice it to say here, there is obviously no direct cause and effect between this subsconscious fascination with the "Asian Look" and the creation of Tokyo Rose. However, one aspect of this phenomenon I find important is that this look is associated with a certain kind of woman, namely the rarefied models comfortable in the world of beau monde. An Asian appearance does not manifest itself among models in ads for new cars, washing machines, or living room furniture.

So why fashion models? I will allow readers to search their own minds for their mental associations with such models. Speaking personally, I would not expect to meet a
Vogue model, fully dressed, coiffed, and made up, ordering fried chicken at Popeye's. I can't even imagine being married to such a creature.

Vogue models are exotics. They appear, to me at least, to be haughty, distant, and self-absorbed, which tends to make them seem untrustworthy, unforthcoming, secretive, even possibly pernicious. Why exactly Americans would associate such a type with women of the Far East and not with German, Italian or females of some other nationality is not obvious to me. But I believe I prove in TR/AP that American servicemen took from pre-war culture all of the ingredients their imaginations needed to create Tokyo Rose. This fashion trend is one of those ingredients.
Two images especially capture the distinction between two kinds of women that would dominate the case of Tokyo Rose. I reproduced both in 2014 Revised TR/AP, along with a full page analysis of each image (pp. 25-27). I will not repeat myself here, except to point out the obvious. The drawing on the left, the evil mermaid who lies in wait at the bottom of the sea and who is controlled by a dark power, is an archetype of the femme fatale, who in World War II was Tokyo Rose. The drawing on the right, the woman of propriety endangered by the storm raging beyond her control, represents the girl next door for whom the GIs will fight and die, and whom Tokyo Rose will demean as unfaithful. Both images appeared before war began for the United States. Together they represent the yin and yang of the Tokyo Rose mythology.
Tokyo Rose /
An American Patriot:
A Dual Biography