Cold War Consumerism After the war, veterans retained their medals and insignias as records of their service, but most American men quickly exchanged their khaki uniforms for either the white-collar suits of the middle class or the blue-collar uniforms of the working class. The Cold War against international communism only escalated the promotional efforts of the advertising industry , which trumpeted American prosperity and consumerism as a glorious counterpoint to the spartan existence of the Soviet economy. Housewives were pressured to appear like the perfect women who populated the advertisements; alluring for their husbands, always wearing makeup and pretty dresses, even wearing pearls while cleaning the house. Husbands were advised to "keep up with the Joneses" by conforming to the clean-cut, clean-shaven corporate ideal if they ever hoped to fit in and do well. The beatniks of the 1950s rebelled against this conformity and materialism by writing and reading poetry, seeking out an existence beyond the corporate cubicle, and dressing in black (or
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