I know, guys. I see it, too. But that’s because we’re seeing with 2016 eyes that can’t escape the homoerotic undertones. But on January 3, 1944, when it appeared in LIFE magazine, I doubt the viewers saw it that way. The U.S. was two years into WWII, and the boys fighting overseas were always on the mind of the American public.
It’s difficult to imagine asking the public to stop buying new towels so that the boys overseas could enjoy them. Society is so self-centered now, so absorbed with our own personal liberties, that I can’t imagine the country getting on board with sacrificing soft towels for the greater good.
This is yet another of my Life magazines that has begun to crumble like an autumn leaf into little beige bits. It won’t last long enough to pass down to posterity, but hopefully, I can scan some more images before it takes its last breath.