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 www.candies.com, 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