Sunday, October 28, 2007
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?
She is placed in the very center of the advertisement. Her left fingers are very softly touching her cheek. She is staring directly out at the viewer with eyes covered in deep red eye-shadow. She is dressed in only a bra top that matches the color of the makeup and lipstick. Her hair is slicked back, and she appears to be wet or sweaty. Directly across her chest is the word, “Fetish” in large, black letters. Underneath the brand name is their tagline which reads, “fetish #16: Apply generously to your neck so he can smell the scent as you shake your head ‘no.” She has the object being advertised directly placed between her breasts.
The way the model’s body is placed and the way she is dressed strongly suggest sex/sexuality. The advertised object looks very phallic and is placed directly between her breasts suggesting sex once again. The way she is staring at the viewer and nonchalantly touching her face is provoking. Her heavy makeup and sweaty body also add to the sex appeal provided within the advertisement.
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?
I believe this extremely offensive to women, especially to teenage girls that the advertisement is directed to. I think with the addition of their tagline, the advertisement suggests to men that they can rape or abuse women. The fact that she wears this product would make it acceptable. The company is blatantly using the sexual prowess of the model to sell their product and suggest that forceful sex is alright within society. I think it also tells the girls that they should almost give in to any forced sex they come to. They should just shake their head “no” instead of fighting back.
The line between sexy and sexist is that between nude and nudity in photography. The way in that the picture is used justifies whether it is art or pornography just as the composition of the ad tells whether it is being sexist. The act of appearing vulnerable is usually a key element in sexist works.
3. Is this ad feminist or anti-feminist? Justify your beliefs.
I would say it is anti-feminist because it suggests male dominance over women by the use of their tagline and the placement of their phallic product between her breasts.
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 shows girls what kind of women make it in the media, which selected breeds become famous and desired. In turn, they try almost anything to be like them. I think the industry has gotten away with portraying these ideals for so long that it would be hard to stop them at this point. However, I think we need to step up as people and suggest some sort of responsibility. These people are causing sever mental, emotional, and physical problems to our youth, and we shouldn’t stand for that.
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?
I think the companies need to be boycotted. We need advertising that points out these flaws – beat them at their own game. We also need to show a more diverse sort of people to the world instead of stick-thin, bleach-blonde, Barbies with curves, legs, and breasts.