Image Analysis of Rosie the Riveter

During WWII,  “Rosie the Riveter” was an advertisement used to sway women to apply for jobs that men typically worked since they were off fighting in the war. This advertisement utilizes various techniques to give a clear message of action to women, the target audience. 

Rosie reflects who the target audience is and who the target audience wants to be. Her face does not have any blemishes, she appears to be physically fit, and she gives off the appeal of femininity through the use of makeup. Women during WWII most likely wanted to be seen for how strong they were, but they also wanted to retain their poise. With Rosie displaying this while being a part of the workforce, women will get the sense that they can have all these qualities by joining the workforce themselves.

The main color of the background is yellow. Yellow is known to evoke happiness and optimism. These feelings make the target audience, women, more open to the idea of joining the workforce. They may feel that if they take this path, they will be happy.The dark blue speech bubble with “We Can Do It!” written in white bolded letters in the background calls directly to the audience. By using “We can,” the target audience is given reassurance that they are indeed able to work in areas where they are not previously known for working. “We” also creates a sense of community. It signifies that there is already a welcoming, open place for the women who are reading this ad. This feeling of comfort will make the reader more likely to join.

The position in which Rosie is portrayed plays a role in delivering the message of this advertisement. Rosie makes direct eye contact with the reader, giving them the sense that they are in this direct conversation with Rosie. Additionally, this eye contact makes the ad catch the audience’s eye in the first place. Someone is more likely to look back at someone who is looking at them, so the audience is more likely to look at an ad that is looking back at you. Rosie’s body position also has meaning. Her flexed arm is an indicator of physical strength, something women may like to gain. Physical strength can also be seen as correlating with strength in oneself and position in society. This may appeal to women who view strength that way and would wish to obtain it to feel more seen and heard if they aren’t being so currently.

Rosie’s shirt color and style point to the specific area in the workforce where Rosie is working, and therefore where the audience should go work at. Her blue collared shirt correlates directly with the term “blue collar worker.” This term often refers to workers involved in some type of physical labor. This ad is recruiting women to work in places using physical labor.

“Rosie the Riveter” uses various tactics, including color, attention to detail, wording, to elicit the response from women of joining the manual labor workforce.


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