Saturday, July 21, 2007

Herbal Essences - By: Brian Miller

1. How is the girl/woman represented in the ad? How is her body and/or sexuality used (or not) to sell a particular product?

The woman in this ad is shown in the shower using Herbal Essences body wash. Her sexuality is used in a way that shows if you use this body wash, the experience is orgasmic. This is done through the “Turn H20 into H2OHHHH” typing on the side of the advertisement. Her body language could be telling the reader that it is fun using this body wash. It is defiantly using sex to sell this product. I think that it is very interesting that they used the slogan, “A totally organic experience.” The word organic is very similar in spelling to orgasmic.

2. Do you think this ad is offensive to women? Why or why not? What kind of ideologies of gender and sexuality do you think are contained in this ad? What is the dividing line between “sexy” and sexist?

This ad could be offensive to some women. For example, some women may find this ad offensive because of the lack of clothing this woman is wearing. Another example would be that some women may find this advertisement offensive due to the hyper sexuality displayed.

3. Is this ad feminist or anti-feminist? Justify your beliefs.

I believe that this ad is anti-feminist because it shows that you have to be skinny in order to be sexy. Feminism is about the equality of all women. It is also anti-feminist because it depicts women as nymphomaniacs. Herbal Essences is notorious for this form of objectification and dehumanization of women.

4. How does advertising affect body image issues for girls and women? Do you believe that the advertising industry has a responsibility to promote more diverse images of women? Why or why not?

Advertising plays a big role in body image issues for both young girls and women. It does this through the image of the woman being naked in order to be sexy. It also shows women that in order to be sexy you must be skinny. Women will then develop an eating disorder to choose extreme dieting and exercise in order to achieve this body image. I believe that the advertising industry has a responsibility to promote more diverse images of women because women can be sexy in all shapes and sizes. They do not have to conform to this image that skinny equals sexy.

5. What kind of activism can people take part in to protest and/or oppose advertising imagery that they find offensive or harmful to women and girls?

People can refuse to buy products that they find the advertising imagery to be offensive to women. People can also write letters to the company saying that they found that advertisement extremely offensive to women everywhere. Another possibility to protest against these advertisements is to sign petitions saying that the following people will not buy your product until the company stops offending women in their advertisements.


Women's Studies 200 Class said...


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