"back in the day, it was unthinkable that the marketplace had anything to offer women (because Marxism had feminist theory by the throat). And the very idea that women might be empowered through work in the cosmetics industry was blasphemy. Indeed, feminist critics (and the popular press) just assumed that men made beauty advertising, as a thinly veiled attempt to keep women down.
Imagine my surprise when I learned that Cover Girl makeup had been started by a woman named Mary Ayres, who had worked her way up from being a secretary at a major ad agency just after World War II. As the story unfolded in the tapes I listened to while sitting in that venerable museum, I was dumbfounded to learn that teams of women had been involved in this campaign from that day forward. I found that the men had taken (or been given) most of the credit. But the women had struggled with them to try and make the commercials more inclusive (less blonde-with-blue-eyes, more people of color), as well as more realistic. And these struggles occurred alongside the push for workplace equality in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Cover Girl’s heyday (and mine). So, these women worked for their own equality, while they produced this campaign. All along, however, the campaign was intended to appeal to the ordinary American girl and, as such, had an ethos that was quite different from other cosmetics advertisers...'