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Rosie was used as a propaganda tool for the Unites States during the Second World War.  As opposed to earlier wars, the heavily mechanized war required a large number of labourers on the home front, and with a fair majority of the male work force deployed as soldiers, it was decided that women be integrated into these jobs.  Rosie became a propaganda tool to show that it was an acceptable occupation and that it aided the war effort.   
 

The character is well known for her image in popular culture, though she does not often appear as a character.  The homage portrayals of the character generally include a pose in the traditional pose which was portrayed in the posters. though newer versions have changed based on other factors, such as increased sexualization of females in culture.  For instance, a racier version appeared in Grimm Fairy Tales as an homage to the character.

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