Beauty • What is YOUR definition of beauty? • Is our collective definition of beauty the same? • Is our collective definition of beauty purely cultural? • Is our collective definition of beauty purely personal? • Are they separate? • Can you have a personal concept of beauty that is not influence by external factors?
Show me beauty! • Media products communicate the dominant culture’s idea of beauty…
Comparison Ads • Both the Vuitton and Milk campaigns use a man and a woman to sell the same product, but note how the images of women are more sexualized than those of the men
It is human nature to be curious about sex. You know this and so do advertisers. • Sex communicates at various levels: biological, physical/emotional and spiritual • From a biological standpoint, sex is a reproductive mechanism • Emotionally, sex is a profound expression of feeling • Spiritually, it cements an unearthly connection between two individuals • When sexuality is used in advertising, certain values and attitudes towards sex are being “sold” to consumers along with the products. • The serious question that must be asked when deconstructing any advertisement is, “what underlying message is being sold by this ad?”
In some advertisements, women are dehumanized and have no meaning other than a sexual one. • Linz, a leading media critic, argues that media depicting women in degrading and subordinate situations, even if not explicitly sexual or violent in nature, will lead to increased violent behavior of men against women in society. • “Males exposed to ads where females are portrayed as sex objects are more accepting of rape-supportive attitudes and predictive of subjective levels of exploitation” • -GenderAd.com
Would anyone want his or her daughter represented like the woman in that ad?
What are the implications for a democratic society when we are telling our citizens that it’s alright to sexually touch and assault women?
Images of highly sexualized youth are not just a marketing tool. • They also deliver powerful messages about sexual behaviour to young people. • This series of ads for Buffalo jeans appeared in the adolescent-oriented magazine, CosmoGirl.
GUCCI and sexual violence • Ads containing sexualized images also deliver strong messages about gender relations. • This Gucci ad campaign uses young females to promote its clothing, but with overtones of violence and domination. • The positioning of the young woman’s hands (one protecting her genitals and the other possibly lifting herself up from a prone position) • The expression on her face and the pronounced genital “bulge” of the headless and assertive male conjure up images of rape.
PERRY ELLIS • Depict men in dominant poses over seemingly lifeless women. • Ellis is capitalizing on objectified images of women, blended with violent and fetishist overtones. • Dismemberment is also a prominent feature of this campaign.
Competition for “eyeballs” • Advertising often pushes the boundaries of good taste because of competition for “eyeballs.” • Any image that entices a reader to linger over an ad – whether tasteful or not – causes that person to remember the particular brand advertised. Even controversy can be effective in getting a brand or name into the public eye (as SISLEY has proved)
“SEX SELLS” • There can be no denying that “sex sells.” • Abercrombie & Fitch, one of the most successful and trendy US clothing manufacturers, puts catalogues in plastic bags (what other magazines come in plastic bags?) • Abercrombie has even moved into more homo-erotic advertising in order to try to gain sales from the largely untapped gay male buyers
Effects of Sexualized Images? • Child development experts have long raised concerns about children's exposure to sexualized images. There is speculation that, physiologically, early exposure to these images (combined with other factors) may trigger the onset of puberty.
More consequences… • Continual exposure to sexualized images may lead young people to believe that more teens are sexually active than is actually the case and that “fringe” or exploitative sexual behaviour is normal. • As we know, increased exposure to unrealistic, sexualized role models – for both boys and girls – can also affect self-esteem, body image and expectations regarding the behaviour of the opposite sex.
Blog Entry #1 for Nov • Go to www.genderads.com • Choose a category • Select an image number from the long list and post this image number and section in your blog. • Then write a response that deconstructs that advertisement. • Answer these questions:
November Blog Entry #1 • What is the product being sold? • What advertisement technique is being used? • What is the explicit message? • What is the implied message? • How is this ad dangerous or counter-intuitive to a positive, healthy representation of women in Western society? • What does it say about a woman’s role in relation to men?
Sex in Advertising ASSIGNMENT
It is human nature to be curious about sex. You know this and so do advertisers
When we define sexuality, we can look at it from a biological, emotional/physical or spiritual point of view • Who can think of a biological definition of sexuality?
is a reflection of a biological (innate) need to reproducethe species, shared byall animals • it is hormonally controlled