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ESCAPE by Calvin Klein

The ad that I selected was found when searching through a Cosmopolitan magazine, a magazine that advertises to mostly women through clothing and perfume ads (both are supposedly classified as “being feminine things?) of top fashion designers and perfumes in the industry. This ad that advertises Calvin Klein’s Escape perfume caught my attention immediately. By simply looking at the way the models in the advertisement are positioned, we can already see that women are lesser to the men because her whole body and face are looking up at him and are beneath him. His position symbolizes the power and control men have in society and how they are always at the top; everyone else must please, obey, and even bring him his pleasure. The fact that it is also coincidentally a white man is not surprising either for that very much reflects our inherent racist society.

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The beauty standard that society has set hasn’t changed at all over the years – they’ve always been white men and women. But I think now it’s just been more subtle and less obvious to the public eye – almost like subliminal messaging. The emotions that are being elicited in this ad are:

The desire of sexual pleasure - both are naked
Lust - the woman seems like she is reaching up to kiss the man as if she really wants it whereas the man is simply looking down and expecting her to do so
Dependency - this does not show two women or two men doing the same thing because that would be considered blasphemy by society; women must have an other to be with, a partner that will hold her and take care of her

The ad seems to target both men and women. For men, it’s saying that if you buy this perfume, you too will have women at your feet that will fulfill your sexual desires. For women, it’s saying that beautiful men are wearing this perfume and if you should be so lucky as to come across a man who wears it, it will make you feel like a true woman who’s beautiful like the woman in the ad.

This ad is probably an influence and contributing factor to the problem of sexual victimization in society today and needs to be re-examined.