Sunday, March 23, 2008

Aaron Ashba - Blog #3

As for the attached picture of what is labeled a female "career climber" or in Latin, "promotamee legsspredius", doesn't necessarily promote or advertise a specific, identified product, but immediately jumped out at me when search through the attached link for the assignment. This woman is dressed in a business suit, but exposing her bra and undergarments to promote being promiscuous within the workplace. There are arrows pointing at each of the items she is wearing that would be categorized as "sexy" in society. The entire ad plays on the "affair" with the hot personal secretary" theme, and basically labels this woman as someone that will use her sexuality to her advantage. Any woman that has any self-respect would be disgusted at the exploitation of this ad and the how it depicts this woman using sex to advance her career. In some respects, the ad not only sends an anti-feminist message to the audience, but belittles men in the same regard to say we fall prey to women and their sexual advances to give them special treatment or reward them in other ways just for the sake of sex. Not only does is this woman not considered average in terms of her appearance and build, but her body is being exploited based on its theme. It provides a distorted image of dressing in traditional business attire and what is acceptable against what is desired to men. Again, this is another way to say to our young women that not only does "sex sell", but that sex is more powerful than qualifications and good, old fashioned hard work. Since a specific product is not identified in the ad, it makes it difficult to pinpoint this back to a company or organization to boycott against, but is another example of how women are labeled as sexual toys in advertisement to gain visual attention to read the verbiage of the ad itself. It fascinates me to see the use of half nude women in advertisements for products in a woman's magazine. Does the female body itself entice all sexes to tempt the look to see what all of the fuss is about? To stop the exploitation of women in advertising, these products would have to adhere to the same principles as well to not point fingers anymore. Some sort of united front to say, "we know sex sells, but not our products!"

Aaron Ashba
WS 200

Advertising – Positive or Negative?

Marketing and advertising’s goal is too grab you attention as quickly as possible to sell their product or service. The tactics use to accomplish this task have changed over the years but one thing that hasn’t changed is the use of the female body. If you look at the history of ads you would find that the use of “sex” has been in the forefront although becoming much more sophisticated. From magazines, to billboards, bumper stickers, TV, and now the internet the human body is used to send the message. Depending on the product or service being advertised, the use of the female body can certainly be justified. For example, undergarments, lingerie, and clothing, by Victoria Secret ( you would expect to see women modeling those products. Some individuals would argue that it is to “sexy” and portrays women as sex symbols. Although I would not disagree with the fact some of their images are a little provocative, I would suggest that there is another site that truly portrays women as sex symbols.

That site is Sports Illustrated, ( Between the extra mustard link and the swimsuit link, I am not sure which is worse. What does the “hottest NBA dance team” have to do with basketball? What does “Swimsuit 2008” have to do with football? Apparently, “sex sells”, according to the sports world. The tall, lean, size 2 blonde, with a D cup, is the messages we are send to the sports enthusiast. I find these images to be an unfortunate really to our culture. The boys (men) play the sport and the girls (women) cheer them on in the less than nothing garments. These images do not empower women but only continue to degrade them. Do we see men in Speedos parading themselves across the floor at women’s games? (Not that the women athletes get much press) Don’t get me wrong, I am certainly NOT advocating that we should! The point is this, as long as women continue to participate in presenting their bodies in a provocative way; advertising will continue to use this patriarchal version of sex.

Annette Parson

Stevie R. Bowling - WS 200 Blog #3

Stevie Bowling
WS 200
Blog #3
Sex really does sell these days in advertisements we see not only all over the United States on billboards, magazines, TV commercials, etc. but everywhere around the world. It seems like everywhere we look we see sexy women baring it all, or sexy men hardly wearing anything with sweat dripping off their bodies. To me, it is not catchy or a good comparison to what the product really is but, more disgusting and disrespectful to men and women out there who come across these advertisements everyday.
This magazine article that I found for Dewar’s Whiskey is a perfect example. If you take a look at it closely and tie in the caption (“there should be nothing artificial about what you drink, or who you marry”) with the picture, you obviously notice a woman with very large breasts, in a skimpy swimsuit on the beach that they are using to “sell” their product. What Dewar’s is trying to sell in this particular advertisement is that their whiskey does not contain any artificial ingredients which makes such a coincidence to the attractive women’s so called fake breasts that Dewar’s is trying to show.
In my opinion, I take offense to this advertisement and believe a lot of other women would also if they saw it. First off, it makes the impression that the only body to have and be loved by men for is a skinny, very small frame. Also, they are laying it on the line that people like big breasts and if that means go get implants, then go get implants because they make it seem like that is what people want. I feel that a lot of women would take offense to this advertisement because they could have decent sized breasts themselves and a healthy body that they are comfortable with, but when they see this, I believe that it would make them feel that what they have is not good enough and that men believe that bigger is better. I think that there are a lot of ideas out there that men have when it comes to the size of a woman’s breasts and their body type. I truly believe that men admire large breasts and that women should increase the size of them if they are not “up to par”. I believe that there is a major difference between sexy and sexism and this article displays a lot of sexism because it places pressure on the women who view this ad to increase the size of their breasts because that is what men want.
When it comes to the choice one has to make on whether or not this ad is feminist or anti-feminist, I would argue that the ad is very anti-feminist. Feminism is a belief in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes. With this ad, we see a degradation of the social status of women. When women look at this ad, they feel that is what they need to look like. It does not support what feminism defines because it uses women as a way to sell their whiskey and we do not see any portrayal of men at all in this advertisement, and even if there were a man present in the ad, I believe that his role would also be degrading towards women because he would be admiring/supporting the fact that she has large artificial breasts, just what every man wants, right? Not a feminist ad what-so-ever.
The advertising world is one of America’s biggest stereotypes I believe. I feel that when they use women like they have in this Dewar’s ad, they do not portray them as a normal woman, but one who is either going under the knife to make herself and men love her more, or women who are so terribly skinny and in shape that it makes the world feel like that is the only acceptable way to be. I believe that advertising companies should take a look around and realize that not everyone is alike and they should incorporate those diverse women into their advertising instead of one “perfect” type of woman with a small frame and large breasts. Everyone deserves the right to be represented and I feel that if women would see more of the majority up on those billboards that they would find more self love and respect and learn to love themselves for who they are.
In conclusion, I feel that that women should continue to fight for who they are and how they are displayed by creating a lot of controversy over advertisements that are degrading to them. I think marketing teams everywhere should take a closer look at their finished product and have the courage to say to their co-workers that their advertisement is hurtful to some and sexist. I think that there should be regulations out there when it comes to using “sex to sell” their products, because when people look at these advertisements they question their self worth and when they see the perfect person up there, they do not feel that they are loved by all and believe that they must be skinny or have large breasts in order for people to like them and that is really sad. We need to keep fighting for what we believe is right and fight for what feminism really is, EQUALITY!


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Blog #3

Willie Gibson

WS 200

LOWRIDER magazine has been in circulation since 1977 and is now one of the most popular car show magazines in existence. While the main focus of the magazine content is to display classic car restoration in the LOWRIDER style, it also represents a culture of prominent patriarchy.
The magazine shows many cars on display and with each car there is a young woman draped over it or next to it, wearing a bikini and projecting a seductive image. The women are very fit but an attempt to show off and accentuate their curves seems to be the goal of the photographer. Usually the women are placed in some type of submissive position creating the image that she is prepared for sex and giving herself to the reader.
While portraying the women as potential sex objects, a glamorous undertone shows as well. I could see how a certain group of women would enjoy the attention or possibilities of using these photos as a stepping stone to a modeling career but in my opinion, the images of the women coupled with the cars exude a certain sense of ownership, with the cars edging out the importance of these women. For that reason, I would say that the image is offensive to women because it says that women and cars are equally beautiful but maybe the car is more important or valued more than a woman.
The sexuality of women in our patriarchal system is given a sense of power due to the vulnerability of men’s presumed uncontrollable sex drive. This is clearly exhibited in the Ad as it attempts to seduce the eye of the reader who is primarily going to be male. Within this display of sexual enticement we find a fine line between the image being perceived as sexy or sexist. Although the fine line could be left up to interpretation, the blatant display of patriarchal masculinity through the portrayal of a woman as a submissive sex object, in my opinion, has to be seen as a show of anti-feminism.
The Ad also depicts the woman as being very fit with large breasts and a petite figure. To me, that seems a little unrealistic considering the large majority of women in our society don’t look that way and tends to set an expectation in our society as to what a young women is suppose to look like. I think it potentially can damage the self image of many women if they don’t look like this. The ironic thing is that while these are the images that Ads utilize to sell their products, many males find themselves more attracted to women that aren’t built that way. I think advertising companies should make more of an attempt to depict what the images of the large majority of our society actually look like. I think it would help our society and young women who have bad self images and eventually develop eating disorders because of it.

To protest imagery that is offensive to women and girls, anyone can contact the activist groups below or contact the offender directly through letters and/or calls.

Media Action Alliance-Circle Pines, MN (612) 434-4343
Media Watch-Santa Cruz, CA (408) 423-6355

Women and their role in advertising: Victoria’s Secret.

Victoria’s Secret is known as a company that wishes to define sexy through fashion, mainly under garments. They sell quality clothing, beauty, bras, and underwear for moderate prices. So promote their product they use a small select group of models known as the Victoria’s Secret Angels. These women are thought to idolize what is sexy.
In most Victoria Secret advertisements the women are shown wear nothing but a sexy matching bra and underwear set. The idea that their clothing can make your body look as good and the models is what makes their line of under garments so appealing. Victoria Secret somehow I think ‘gets away’ to making their ads offensive because of the type of merchandise they are known for. It is almost expected to see a barely dressed woman as the primary object of their ad.
They portray what media’s version of the perfect women, tall, thin, bubbly, and glamorous. However, they do not cross the sexist line because the idea of women being sexy in their clothing is more appealing and empowering than sexist. Victoria’s Secret is more of a feminist company ran by women, for women. Yes their seasonal magazine may serve and bathroom reading for men but for women it defines sexy and says I am women and look what these clothes can do for me.
As many good characteristics that this company has, there is still a major problem. None of the ‘angels’ are moderately attractive or have normal body weights. The almost unattainable bodies of Victoria Secret models, paired with the ideal of being sexy, leads to distorted body imaging for many women. It subliminal sends the message that if you want to be sexy, and Victoria Secret is sexy, then you must be thin. To better serve the community they should look into have a couple plus sized models, because women with curves can be sexy too. It is the responsibility of the media to set social norms and advertisement is one of the most widely viewed forms of media. Making ads that portray sexy and thin can be detrimental to a society and female body acceptance.
I believe the Victoria Secret Company does have the best interests of women in mind. If brought to their attention by their customers through letters and e mails, I believe that they would change their advertisements to display women with multiple body types. Until then though we women and men of America will associate being thin with being sexy.

Blog #3 - Seemingly Cute, Shy & Innocent Ad

By Kim Seder

Look at how cute and innocent this young lady looks in this ad! Her head is tilted indicating a shy, insecure and a bit flirty aura about herself. Her body image also shows inferiority by somewhat displaying a weak, "Oh go ahead..." attitude..., "do what you want with me," look. The text on the page next to her states: The pair you wear to cooking class will also look fabulous at your weight loss seminar." The adverstisement is selling a pair of shoes and I believe that it's general overall look is NOT offensive, however one could analyse it more deeply and of course, slant it to become more offensive. First of all, I believe it is not offensive because it is done in good taste. There is no blatant in-your -face sex shots (tight dress showing the definition of her breasts,) and her legs are closed and there are no spike heels in the add! The girl looks sweet, innnocent, healthy and wholesome. I also think that this ad shows a good balance of sexuality. She is pretty, no doubt and she has a slight 'flirty' cocked head which also shows her femininity. The line of sexy/sexist would be evident if she had her legs open showing or almost showing her pubic area. Also, if her dress around her breasts was lower and tighter, than that would be sexist to me.
I believe the ad falls between feminism and anti-feminism simply because the photo shows a woman who is neither sinfully seductive (anti-feminist) or a woman dressed in the more traditional and popular, but often misleading style of dress of a tailored suit, business stance with glasses on (feminist.) By wearing a skimpy tight dress, the typical men of our patriarchal society would think, "Whoa, look at that...she's hot!" Sex sells, right? But, she is NOT dressed that way so sex is not really selling here in the prototypical manner in which we are used to. HOWEVER, if you read the text and find out she can wear the shoes from the 'cooking class' - women's traditional role, to the 'weight loss seminar' - women have to fit that desired weight class, then that positively reveals a sexist attitude... IF one is to believe that all women like to cook and want to lose weight! So again, this ad has only insinuations of sexist patriarchal connotations. In reality, women do take cooking classes and they do go to weight loss seminars. They also flirt, dress appropriately and look wholesome as the lady in the ad does. To me, this advertisement is done in good taste and should not offend anyone. I could see this add being displayed in religious magazines or a young women's.
The above add is a positive advertisement for young girls to see and it shows an okay body image. Being a bit shy or insecure is okay when you're young and even okay when you're older. Who's to say all women should be brave and secure all the time in their lives? Advertising executives DO have a responsiblity to all people whether they are young or old to promote decent, non-offending (but that is very objective to figure out,) pictures and text. Should they remember who their audience/readers are? Of course, but with mass production and mass displaying of magazines in grocery stores and book stores, girls and boys of all ages have easy access to these items. But, that is another topic! I also think that advertisers should have more diverse advertising subjects and models. How about overweight women!? Minority cultured women!? Diverse ethnic women!? Midget women!? Etc!? By doing so, people who read and look at those ads will become more accepting and tolerant of the 'not so normal and beautiful women' they usually see plastered all over magazine covers. Our men will also become (I hope) more tolerant and just okay and happy with us simply by being just us with all of our non-model faces and bodies.
To help the problem of sexist advertising, we should become more involved by writing letters to the magazine editors, newspaper editors and the executives of the products being advertised and suggest to them that using more diverse non-traditional models in their ads would be a welcoming addition to the field of elite advertising. Moderation and having a balance of both worlds would be realistic and reasonble to attain and be more accepting by us women who have suffered a little and a lot by the white patrirarchal society of men who continue to dominate most of the fields of media, and more specifically print and television advertising.
Cites: http//

Gender Landscape-Ads in everyday traffic

One thing I have noticed about our culture is that ads are constantly flashed at you. In the everyday hustle and bustleds can be found everywhere. The ad I have displayed is shown mounted on the back of a taxi cab. This is just one example of how you are exposed to advertising without even thinking about it. There are ads on cars, billboards, buildings, the Internet, tel-lie-vision, radio, are constantly swarmed with ads.even if you don't what to be you are still shown them.
Looking through ad after ad a women with even a little bit of feminist education starts to notice this idealized women used in a certain manner to try to sell you something. In this advertisement that I have chosen you will see six back sides of Caucasian, Blondie women and one African American women. This ad maybe a little over the top,sex sells but it is a good example of how ads can be generalizing and offensive to women and how these are the images of women we see in our everyday lives.
Sure this ad is for a topless bar but for me to have to be shown this without a choose is offensive to me. This is not what I want to see or I want my son to see. This ad is showing women in only a body way, as if was are only a thing to look at. The women's faces aren't even showing, and there butts are starring you down. They are mostly white women with one African American for spice. They are all extremely thin, oiled and airbrushed to "perfection". This images is so stereotypical in a sexist way. No wonder women in our society have self-esteem issues, eating disorders, have plastic surgery. The women on this ad are so barbie doll image that it is sickening, but to be shown this all the time as a women I can see how it may get to ones self esteem. its not healthy for women to think they have to look like this.
I would like to see this ad with Native Americans, Mexicans, Africa Americans, Asians, Caucasians...women with hair on there legs, a red head, brown hair, short, tall, heights, and some faces. So we recognize them as people .

Taking action!
Educate the youth about not generalizing women, that diversity is good and that there are smart accomplished women out there making a difference.
Be selective of what you are exposed to. Avoid tel-lie-vision ads and radios ads. Some ads you can't escape like in traffic but you can probable decrease your exposure to them significantly.
There is also guerrilla performances done in protest of ads that are offense and stereotyping women.

Kelly Lever


CEO Says Victoria's Secret Is Too Sexy

Victoria's Secret, the lingerie company that introduced the Very Sexy bra, the Fantasy Bra, and the Internet server-crashing fashion show, has become "too sexy" for its own good, its top executive said.
"We've so much gotten off our heritage ... too sexy, and we use the word sexy a lot and really have forgotten the ultra feminine," said Sharen Turney, Victoria's Secret's chief executive, in a call with industry analysts.
Victoria's Secret was launched with the idea that Victoria was manor-born and lived in London, Turney said. "I feel so strongly about us getting back to our heritage and really thinking in terms of ultra feminine and not just the word sexy and becoming much more relevant to our customer," Turney
Turney said Victoria's Secret wants to increase its level of sophistication.
"We will also reinvent the sleepwear business and focus on product quality," she said. "Our assortment will return to an ultra feminine lingerie brand to meet her needs and expectation.” Sales at Victoria's Secret, like many clothing retailers, have been slipping.
I believe that Victoria’s Secret only portray a clothes line for women who are slim with big breast. This makes women and young girls with larger size bodies and even smaller bodies think they should look like these women in order to wear the clothes. This is when women may start to abuse themselves with eating disorders. Some women may think that this is how men want them to look like the model in the pictures.
Yes, when advertising they should keep in mind that not ever one is the same and never will be. I think that sexy clothes should fit all body types. So that no one is left out. This will help to make women have more self esteem for themselves.
I know that people like these clothes but if we stop buying the product then Victoria’s Secret may take a look at all body types. Maybe the CEO should talk to all women.
Melinda Scott /March 22, 2008 Women’s Studies200

Friday, March 21, 2008

Blog 3: Normalization and the Bali Lycra Bras Ad

A. Kelley

One of the greatest tragedies of our heavily-capitalized society is that advertising has become a prime venue for corporate patriarchal forces to brainwash women into accepting the need to conform their bodies to male standards. By first establishing immutable, inescapable absolutes regarding the varying levels of human worth of females with supposedly greater or lesser physical attributes and then offering women an escape from the supposedly inescapable prison of their own inferior bodies, they not only profit but enslave women to a twisted ideology that forces self-objectification. According to, there is specifically a process referred to as “normalization”, that being the creation of a dichotomy between “normal” and “abnormal” individuals, that patriarchal advertisers use to force inferiority on women and snare them in their profit-driven lies. [1] Women are made to believe that their body is diseased or are otherwise made to fear their own bodies and actively fight against them. The result of this disease or otherwise malevolent body is the status of abnormality, which is the state of having any number of physical features that are considered inferior and socially unacceptable. This is in contrast to “normal” bodies, whose bodies match up perfectly to the arbitrary, patriarchal standard and is the standard which “inferior” women are required to strive toward. A natural state of inequality between women is established, however, corporate patriarchy conveniently leaves an escape in the form of products that can be used to fix these “inequalities” and thus normalize the abnormal woman’s body. Below is an example of an advertisement to be immediately hereafter analyzed that encourages the normalization line of thinking:


HAS IT. [referring to woman in picture]

When Bali bras have LYCRA, you get beauty and comfort, too. (If it doesn’t say “has it,” it doesn’t have it.)

You either have it or you don’t.

The woman in this ad is quite bluntly indicated to be the image of patriarchal normality, having been declared to have “it”, with the implication that the reader will know what is being referred to by “it”, given the focus of the ad on female herself. This female is, of course, a blank object, with some emphasis given to her face, which has been carefully crafted to appear in the usual supermodel style of pouting lips, high, angular cheekbones, sharp eyebrows, and slick hair, so to immediately establish her place in the “acceptable” or “normal” female column, with the greater and primary emphasis placed upon her unrealistically large breasts, obviously sporting the product being advertised. All other things that could potentially draw the viewer’s eye away from these important establishers of normality are carefully omitted through intentional clothing choice and photography tricks–her black, feathery outfit is tailored in such a way that it obscures everything between her head and breasts, anything under her breasts has been cropped out of the image, and the image itself is taken in black and white to create a greater light-shadow contrast, with the two brightest areas in the image being her breasts and face. This makes the way her body and sexuality are used to sell the product rather straightforward, given the combination of her immediate establishment of that which “abnormal” women are to work toward and the singular focus on those body parts which make her the female standard. The impact is clear–as she stares at you, confidently and arrogantly, aware of her own superiority, her breasts vividly and brazenly on display, you are not only made to feel immediately inferior but are motivated to purchase Bali bras with Lycra because of the fact that she is actively looking down on you. The patriarchal machine has not even spared you with the mere threat of embarrassment for a normal body–it has already assumed that you are abnormal and you are being shamed for it before you even have the chance to redeem yourself by purchasing the product.

This ad is, therefore, absolutely offensive to women. Any ad that is driven by the concept of the normal and abnormal female is offensive by virtue of its being a destructive propaganda tool of capitalist sexist patriarchy. Contained in this ad is that most horrific gender ideology, that being biological determinism, due to the implication that women, based on their physical features, can potentially inherently lack something that gives other women their human worth. The dichotomy of “having it” and “not having it” indicates belief in one standard for each gender, although, of course, only the female gender is addressed here–any deviation, ever so slight, from what is considered natural indicates that a woman is unnatural–that, although their “not having it” is out of their control, it is still somehow their fault and their shame to bear. It establishes a pecking order of women determined by chance, and reinforces chance as a justification for domination and exclusion. Furthermore, it blazes past the dividing line between “sexy” and sexist. If I were to personally define what this dividing line is, sexism exists in an ad whenever an individual’s physical attributes are used to sell a given product, no matter the way in which the body is used. It does not necessarily have to be straightforward in its definition of some groups of people wholly inferior because they are physically inferior–it can promise or threaten to deny an individual something depending on how they look, it can perpetuate a gender stereotype, or be shoehorned into an otherwise acceptable ad for purposes of sexual arousal. Sexy is highly subjective and can only exist in an ad by pure coincidence–if an individual is in an ad for nonsexist reasons (if this is even possible) and the reader of the advertisement finds themselves attracted to this individual, that can be called “sexy”. In short, it can only exist when it is not intended to in an advertisement.

This advertisement seems to be blatantly anti-feminist. Because feminism’s goal is to overturn patriarchy and all the myths that result in the domination of women with it, this advertisement appears to be a concentration of all things anti-feminist. Produced by a capitalist organization whose profits come at the expense of female workers denied fair wages and generally burdened with stereotypical household responsibilities on top of work and sporting a stereotypical white, young supermodel with a patriarchal message that makes females susceptible to male domination through being indoctrinated into self-hatred, the message that success or true personal realization comes through beauty and not character or achievement, and inescapable feelings of inferiority, this ad undoes everything that feminism seeks to do. Every message about racial equality, physical equality, financial equality, and even human equality are opposed by little more than a sentence and a pair of breasts.

In general, advertising affects body image issues for girls and women by exploiting pre-existing feelings of insecurity caused by the emphasis on physical beauty that women are taught from the time they are born. They know that they are supposed to look good, and advertisements help to define what would otherwise be the ambiguous standard that women are taught to meet. Self-worth is exceptionally easy to destroy considering the extremely small percentage of individuals who fit the “normal” mold–young, white, blonde, with an extremely specific set of facial features, unrealistically well-endowed while anorexically thin, robed in the most expensive clothing and jewelry possible. When small, impressionable children are being threatened with social ostracism from the time they are first able to read, it is no wonder that they are forced into striving for the established mold out of this irresponsible fearmongering and encouragement of women to actively judge and persecute each other. When the concept of normalization finally becomes a fact of life for women, they suffer immensely and generally for their entire life, as finances are drained in the name of beauty, they seek men who will appreciate their bodies and thus lead themselves into unfulfilling or otherwise destructive relationships, suffer physical repercussions such as eating disorders, and lose any personal potential they would have once had as they are taught that success, intelligence, and other positive attributes are exclusively masculine and therefore “abnormal” for a woman. It is also of note that it is the advertising industry’s responsibility to promote more diverse images of women–as long as racism, sexism, and physicality still exist, they can be almost directly attributable to the lies found in advertising. Every woman who sacrifices something important to her in the name of the upkeep of her body has suffered in some way at the hands of the advertising industry. They are responsible for countless broken and discarded dreams, lifelong suffering and sickness both mental and physical, and even death in extreme cases. What these companies personally believe about women is up to them–women merely need to learn to reject these messages–however, when they use these images to encourage destructive behavior in women they are trampling on another individual’s human rights and have a moral obligation to stop regardless of how fiscally disadvantageous this would be to them. Would advertising companies ever admit to this moral obligation or responsibility? Of course not, but such a responsibility nonetheless obviously exists.

Unfortunately, it tends to be extremely difficult to successfully protest or oppose any policy that has always been and will likely continue to always be extremely profitable for the power elite. Because they will always hide behind the false reasoning that, because sales are always exceptional, they are merely “giving the people what they want”, it is virtually impossible to convince corporate leaders (or, more likely given that this has always been a carefully-crafted message, convince to admit) to change policy and enforce both physical and racial diversity in their advertisements. Therefore, the best that a concerned individual can do is personally boycott companies that perpetuate these myths and stereotypes, actively work to open the eyes of friends caught in the web of “normalization”, and attempt to convince friends and other women close to one’s self to also refuse to purchase from companies who are supporting patriarchy. One could also, for instance, seek legislation that demands race and body shape quotas for advertisers–if they refuse to change their ways, go over their heads and hope that legislators are not so deeply attached to these companies that they are sympathetic to the feminist cause in this instance. Either way, let us continue this fight–the worthiest causes are those in which the enemy seems strongest.


[1] Lukas, Scott A. "Normalization." The Gender Ads Project. March 2006. 21 March 2008. <>.

A. Kelley

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Blog #3 - Candies Ad

The ad referenced in this article is the Hayden Panatierre ad for Candies shoes that recently came out. It is possible to view this ad at, however, a flash ad in will have to be downloaded, and there is no cost for that. In this series of ads Hayden is portrayed fairly covered up, but in very sexy positions and with suggestive props such as cherries for one of the pictures. In another picture, she is bent over leaning onto a chair with one foot up behind her, which is supposed to show the shoes. That picture however, gives an entirely different and sexual message to girls of how the shoes make a person sexy and seductive and even pretty. In most of these pictures, she is smiling as if to say wow these shoes are so fabulous they would make anyone happy.
I do not think this ad is necessarily offensive to women because Hayden is completely covered up and there is no part of her body showing. I do think that this ad portrays women using their sexuality to sell things which I do not agree with. The ideology of gender in this ad is the ideal that girls are supposed to look a certain way, be done up with makeup, and wear a certain type of clothing or dress. There is only one picture in which the model in wearing pants, and I think that goes along with the male ideology of women wearing dresses and skirts all the time. I don’t see this ad as sexist, but it is definitely sexy.
This ad is anti-feminist in my opinion. This girl is basically just an object for men to look at, this ad is really not about selling shoes to females other than how happy the expression on her face is. It is all about sexuality. I realize that feminists have sexuality also, but they would not agree with a woman being portrayed as a sex object for men.
The other issue of this ad is the image it portrays for young girls and women as what is sexy and in style. This girl has her hair done, makeup done, is thin and curvy and flawless. Young girls don’t realize that this girl has been airbrushed, is posing a certain way to hide certain things about her body, and is not the normal look for girls. Advertising in general affects the way girls see themselves. They look at pictures such as these and think that they want to look like this girl because this must be what normal looks like. The advertising industry has a responsibility to girls and women in this country to show images of women the way they are really built, and not just show all images of super thin gorgeous women who are fake and blond. Young girls need to be shown all different types of women and that they are all beautiful and worthy of love, not just the tiny blond Barbie looking girls.
People who don’t agree with the way advertising agencies are portraying women should protest and make changes. People could start a magazine that just promotes different shapes and sizes and colors of women and shows that they are all beautiful in their own unique way. Magazines could also write articles about all different types of women and explain their differences. There are various approaches to making changes in advertising and they are all correct.

By: Erin Harris
Womens Studies 200

Blog Entry # 3

Michele Schwamberger
March 20, 2008
Womens Studies 200

To me, the woman in this ad is represented as a stripper clearly because of her risky stance and how she is portraying herself. She is a young, beautiful, very thin female trying to sell herself to men and women in general.

Her sexuality is being used to sell herself and to possibly get people interested in Las Vegas, i.e. Sin City. The company could also be trying to sell the lingerie that she is wearing. I think this advertisement is trying to reach the male dominance and it probably does a very good job reaching them. She looks very feminine and very seductive which is what the ad is supposed to represent.

To me, this ad isn’t offensive, but I can see it being offensive to other women. Some women wouldn’t want their husband or significant other or even their children seeing or viewing this advertisement and I wouldn’t want my daughter to view it. Some women and young ladies who aren’t comfortable in their own skin could look at this and think this is what they should look like. Not everyone has this body frame or can even be this thin. This ad portrays that being thin makes you beautiful and all the self-esteem issues follow. To me, this ad represents entertainment in Las Vegas.

This ad could be both feminist and anti-feminist. I think it is feminist because not only do you see women half-naked in advertisements trying to sell underwear and entertainment (stripping), you also see men advertised in underwear and also selling entertainment (stripping). It is feminist to me because both men and women are being treated equally in that both men and women advertise stripping. I think this ad could be viewed as anti-feminist because I think that consumers see more women portrayed like this than men. I tend to think that men would want to see this kind of entertainment more than women.

Yes, I believe advertising does affect body image issues for girls and women. When girls and women see this beautiful, very thin woman dressed in lingerie, they start thinking that is the “normal” body shape to have. They think “thin is in” and start to diet, etc. Some girls don’t realize that some of the bodies in these advertisements aren’t really the model’s body – it was “adjusted” to look like that. I think this plays a big role in our younger generation’s self-esteem issues. Girls should be taught that they are beautiful and to love themselves at a very young age. I think the advertising industry has been better than in the past, as now at least there are fuller figure advertisements and magazines. Not everyone can be stick skinny and bodies are supposed to be different – we are all unique.

I think that if the consumers find the ads offensive, they shouldn’t buy the item that the advertisement is selling and they should write to the companies to protest this. Unfortunately, I don’t think this would really put an end to it. It may be offensive to some, but to others it is entertainment and not offensive at all and it achieves its purpose…to market something and capture the public’s attention.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Blog #3 Healthy Advertising

By Michelle Rush

I think this advertisement is a great one! The woman is very healthy looking. She is not too thin or overly sexy. She is not wearing an excessive amount of makeup or seen wearing trashy lingerie. I see her as a woman in her natural state in very basic under garments. This ad should not be offensive to woman in any way. I believe Dove chose this woman for this ad because she is rather normal, ordinary even, and could be our friend or a neighbor. She also has great looking skin which is what their campaign is all about. The advertisement industry should continue to look for women like her to be seen in the ads. Seeing this woman makes me more comfortable with my own body image because this woman is not that super skinny, tight stomached, as those seen in Victoria Secret's advertisements (which happen to be very sexy and unrealistic to most of us).

Cosmopolitan Magazine, April 2008.

-Michelle Rush

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Blog Entry #3

-Mandie Kohlenberg
This ad represents sexism and is very offensive to women. This ad shows a woman looking sexy in a bra. The idea is to show how good of a push up bra this particular one is and why you should buy it. But to state that if you wear this it will show your cleavage and then a police officer will not give you a ticket is giving the wrong idea to women and men. If you receive a ticket it is because you were doing something against the law. Wearing a sexy bra should have nothing to do with it. This ad shows that if you act and dress basically like a whore, you will get what you want. Like I said, this ad is very offensive. To show a woman looking sexy in a bra is one thing, but when you contain statements that show if you are sexy you can have a good outcome out of a bad situation is another. This is sexism.
This is ad is definitely anti-feminist. Just by this picture and statement it shows that if a woman who is not skinny and pretty and does not have bigger breasts can receive a ticket, but if you are all these things, you do not have to worry about it. Your body will get you out of trouble. It also shows a woman is about only her body. Women are the same as men and should be treated that way. They are about their brains, their beliefs, their personalities. They are much more than just sexy bodies to be used.
Advertisements like this negatively affect body image issues for girls and women. These ads condone girls to have wrong self images of themselves. They start believing they must be skinny, pretty, and sexy to be anyone in this world. This why many girls start at a young age of low self esteem, which can lead to anorexia and bulimia. For many women, these ads can affect them the same as young girls. They also affect how a woman feels in deserving a man. Many women believe if they do not have perfect bodies that they will not be able to be with a man and loved by a man. The people who make advertisements like this should think of the outcome of how it affects women before posting it. I believe they have a responsibility to promote images of women that are not sexist. For example, this advertisement would not have been offensive if it was not for the sexist statement they added to it.
I believe people should continuously write to these companies and state their opinions and tell them how they are affecting women’s self images. Giving them examples of what they can post in their ad that would not be offensive would also help these situations.

-Mandie Kohlenberg

Monday, March 3, 2008

Castle Blog 2

Simone de Beauvoir was born January 9, 1908 in Paris France and died April 14, 1986. She was a philosopher, writer and feminist. Her best known work is le Deuxieme Sex (The Second Sex) published in 1949 which has been described in the Encyclopedia Britannica as a “scholarly and passionate plea for the abolition of what she called the myth of the “eternal feminine”” The Second Sex quickly became a feminist classic inspiring women of the 50’s and 60’s to look at their role in culture. Beauvoir was not discussing women finding their place in society as it is but really discussing women transforming society. Beauvoir writes about demanding improvement in women’s conditions and the end of the unjust and unequal system that oppresses women. Many women after reading her writings started to question family, motherhood and marriage. Beauvoir also discusses women’s sex lives and lack of freedoms in The Second Sex. Beauvoir never married and was very critical of the rigid attitudes towards women regarding marriage. Simone de Beauvoir did not set out to be a feminist figure and did not even identify herself as a feminist until the 70’s. By the 1970’s she was participating in demonstrations, writing and lecturing about women’s rights. She also campaigned for abortion legalization in the 1970’s. She also publically stated she had had and illegal abortion and helped other women come forward to legalize abortion. She was part of organizations that fought discrimination against women and violence in the workplace. She also worked to help rape and domestic violence survivors. Beauvoir work was placed upon the Vatican’s list of prohibited books due to its controversial nature. Beauvoir wrote about how marriage is harmful to both partners but most especially to the female.
Beauvoir was a role model for women that also wanted to reject the notion of marriage and motherhood. She had a long and open relationship with the philosopher Jean Paul Sartre. She was also a role model in her commitment to intellectual pursuits and helping the feminist agenda.
I had heard of Simone de Beauvoir due to a philosophy class. I had no idea she was a feminist and was interested to read more about her and her life. I wish I had more time as The Second Sex seems like a book that would be fascinating to read.
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Simone de Beauvoir by Shannon Mussett. Includes a bibliography of her work in English translation.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Simone de Beauvoir by Debra Bergoffen. Extensive bibliography.
Website de Claudine Monteil, writer and women’s rights specialist who built a long friendship with Simone de Beauvoir.
Guardian Books "Author Page", with profile and links to further articles.
An article by Finnish local libary of Kuusankoski.
Stand By Your Man: The strange liaison of Sartre and Beauvoir, by Louis Menand. The New Yorker.
The Second Sex: Significant Other.
The Journal of French Philosophy - the online home of the Bulletin de la Société Américaine de Philosophie de Langue Française
Beauvoir before Beauvoir - An article by Philippe Sollers (fr.)
English Translation online- The Ethics of Ambiguity.
Murray, Jenni (22 January 2008). Simone de Beauvoir. Woman's Hour. BBC Radio 4.