Blog Entry #3 – By Chris Martin
The advertisement that I have chosen to critique is an ad that comes from the well known store, Abercrombie and Fitch. They have always been known for their sexual advertisements in their catalogs and posters in their stores, feeling the sexier they depict themselves, the better their clothing will sell. The story is no different here when it comes to this particular advertisement. In this ad the woman is being shown with a man coming on top of her and making out with her. He is also letting his hand slide down in between her legs like he plans to take things much further. The woman in this ad is clearly being shown as sexual, and stereotypically most people would look at this ad and think that the woman is being shown as a slut or whore because she is in the front seat of a car looking like she is getting ready to have sex with some guy. But Abercrombie seems to be trying to show that if you wear their clothing that they sell, then you will be able to be like this couple, they are (barely) wearing Abercrombie clothes and it seems that because of this it means they are going to be attractive to others leading to sexual acts like this one.
Personally I do think that this ad is offensive to women because I know that women stereotypically get stamped as a whore on them if they are seen being sexual with a guy, even though it is just natural to be this way. Also, most of Abercrombie’s focus on where they sell their clothing to is the younger/teen generation. So having advertisements like these only seem to push even more that our teens and even pre teens should be starting to be sexual as early as they can, because if they see it in these advertisements by these good looking models, then clearly they should be cool like them and do the same things. I think the dividing line that is in this ad between sexy and sexist is when the guys hand is beginning to go down between the girls legs. The ad could be sexy if they were just kissing, because kissing is sexy and it is not seen as “dirty” like a mans hand between a woman’s legs would be. With the guy having his hand starting to go between the woman’s legs, that is when it crosses the long into sexist because now it seems to be showing the woman as being “slutty” because she is clearly ready to go along with the act.
I think that this ad is certainly anti-feminist because the ad is clearly not giving the woman any power that she rightfully deserves. It is depicting the woman as almost being helpless with the man coming over to be on top of her and control their actions. She is clearly willing in the advertisement but she does not seem to be controlling the situation much at all, it is the man who is being dominant and has the power in the particular scenario. If this advertisement were depicted through feminist’s eyes, I think that the woman would not be shown as being the “piece” that the man is about to indulge on. I think if they were not being shown in a “dirty” place like the front seat of a car, but rather maybe in a field where they could both be close and shown to be sharing a kiss and a hug, with neither being the dominant in the situation.
Advertisements like this, especially Abercrombie’s, affect body image issues greatly for men and women I feel. Because every single man or woman that is shown in one of their advertisements are shown as having the perfect bodies, bodies that not many men or women truly do have. But if they do not have these types of bodies that are being shown, then they are not as good as the others like those in these ad’s. I do think that the advertisement industries do have a responsibility to show a more diverse array of women, but at the same time I also think people need to understand that those who are shown in the advertisements are all models, who a lot of time don’t even have the actual bodies that are shown in the magazines, because computer imaging has advanced so much that they change how the bodies even look anyways. It is a rather deceiving tactic.
I personally think that people can take action against places like Abercrombie and how they attempt t sell their clothing is by simply not buying the clothes. If the companies see that people are disgusted with the way their company is advertising and that they are losing business because of this, then things will change. But until something like that happens, they will continue to keep “selling what works,” and that is sex, and sexy model bodies with their clothing on them.