"Charminism," as we understand the term today, was a movement that encouraged women to manipulate consumer goods in ways that were not sanctioned by society. A precursor to "liberation" movements, Charminism let women step outside of their narrow roles and treat objects with a careless sort of physical intimacy.
We believe this picture, used as a moral lesson for children, shows a watchful member of the state writing down her identity, so she may be apprehended and re-educated.
The term “charminism” comes from the French Charmin, a revolutionary term meaning “to elicit a confession by fondling,” and was later applied to a brand of toilet paper in one the most remarkable subversive ad campaigns ever. By naming the product Charmin and begging women not to squeeze it, the ad suggested subliminally that they would be liberated from bourgeoise constraints if they squeezed to their heart’s content. Some say the ad had a greater effect on women’s changing self-conception than the availability of oral contraceptives.