September 27, 2007

OMG!!! bRAD!!1!


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Ave Vice, Take Two


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Votes for women! Hot, nude women!


This is the cover image for the DVD of Iron Jawed Angels, the beginning of which we watched in class. I originally saw it on display at Hollywood Video.

This image of an anonymous, white, apparently naked woman's back depicts women as interchangeable sex objects.

The woman's head is cropped off, and her identifying characteristics are invisible. Her back is brightly lit, standing out over a black background. An American flag is loosely draped over her lower back, and the slogan, "VOTES FOR WOMEN" is written in red letters, graffiti-style, over her back.

I think this image makes a statement that's pretty obviously contrary to the purported message of the film it advertises, as well as the spirit of the women's suffrage movement: With her body cropped in this way, the woman in the picture could be Hilary Swank, Frances O'Connor, or Julia Ormond (probably not Angelica Huston, though); she is, more likely, a model that was employed specifically for this photo. While the leaders of first wave feminism sought to give each woman a right to an individual, political voice, the woman shown here has no individuality--her (conventionally) attractive body is being used as an attention-getting sex object.

I Have an Exotic Secret...


Context: I found this image in the May 2007 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine (on page 216). This is an advertisement for Secret deodorant and therefore Secret is the creator of this image.

Content: This image is selling deodorant to women and it portrays a very specific type of woman. The specific deodorant advertised in this ad is called ‘jasmine orient.’ The woman or model in this image is classified as ‘oriental’ in a very stereotypical manner. Also, the images surrounding the woman imply certain characteristics of an ‘oriental’ culture. The woman is the only real subject in this image. She is surrounded by artwork and make-believe images of flowers, butterflies, incense, lanterns and other symbols of beauty and stereotypical oriental lifestyles. This implies that foreign women live in a beautified, sexual fantasy world. The woman appears to be skinny, dressed up, groomed and she has a pale, smooth complexion. She is also gazing at the viewer in a very mysterious, sexual manner. This implies that foreign women are exotic, sexual and a fantasy of desire.

Form: The woman in the image is positioned in the center of the page and is framed inside of an oriental-looking structure. She is also framed or surrounded by images of an ‘oriental’ nature. These images are defining the environment that encompasses her. She is literally framed inside of a foreign fantasy world.

The woman seems to have been photographed in a studio with soft lighting that compliments her skin and her structure. The rest of the image is artwork with the source of light coming from what looks to be a sunset in the background which gives the image a feel of dusk or evening. It looks almost hazy and mysterious.

The color that most sticks out is red. Her dress is red. The structure framing her and the lanterns are red and the label on the deodorant is red. Red is often associated with love, lust, sexual desire and sexual drive. The spots of red bring your eye from the girl to her surroundings and then down to the deodorant.

This woman is positioned in a manner that resembles a dance pose. She is positioned as a performer or entertainer. Her head is positioned slightly to the left which accents the gaze of her eyes which is aimed at the viewer rather than in the direction that her head is pointing. It seems like her entire body, down to her fingertips, is focused on a specific pose. Every part is positioned.

This woman is obviously in a costume. It almost resembles that of a geisha. The red silk and bare arms, implies that this is a sexy woman. Also her waist is bound with rope and a black sash. Not only is she wearing a costume, but it has been altered with artwork or special effects. The dress is split into two areas of fabric around the level of her knees that are floating on either side of her. These sections form a sort of V-shape which may imply a phallic symbol of her vagina. Along the lines of phallic symbols, I noticed that the deodorant stick, which resembles a penis, is positioned so very nicely between that V-shaped fabric.

My Take on the Secret: First of all, the reading at the top of the image that states, “When you’re strong, you sparkle.? implies so much about the strength of women. I see strength as a word that defines power or will. This message implies that women can’t be strong without being pretty too. It also implies that women’s strength lies in beauty. Women are the strongest or hold more power when they are pretty. Women only have power over pretty things. Women gain strength through their looks.

The image itself implies a lot about women, especially foreign women. The choice of the word ‘orient’ or ‘oriental’ is a conscious move to attach exotic meaning to the product. Would it be viewed differently had they used the word ‘Asian?’ This image therefore makes a statement for all ‘oriental’ women. All ‘oriental’ women are skinny, pale entertainers. ‘Oriental’ women surround themselves with flowers, butterflies incense and other pretty things. There is a secret desire behind the eyes of ‘oriental’ women. Foreign women have a mysterious, exotic sexual power. Finally, Jasmine orient deodorant by Secret will give you this mysterious, exotic sexual power.

September 26, 2007



Context: I found this image on google. and i picked this one because to me it show cased what Iman means to many people, beautiful, strong, and quite natural.

Content:Many people know who Iman know her as a Super model, business woman, David Bowie's wife. But within my community people know her through her family, her mother, aunts, and cousins. I've always been proud to tell people that she was from Somalia. Then watch their reaction as they go through images of her in their head. I always wanted them to know that beauty was not just in blond hair and blue eyes. That beauty is not only in North America but can also be discovered in small villages in Somalia. I choose this image because her skin shines, and her head is held high. All the things that really show how beautiful black women are.

Form: We can't really see her entire face but parts of it. Also there is lightening on certain parts of her body more then others. for example, her breast and face. Some parts are shown while others almost seem like a shadow. her position looks strong, like someone knocked her down and she's ready to get back up. her clothing is bright, and very colorful, which represents her rich culture and background, and although her right breast seems as if its about to fall out, i think she carries it with a lot of class.


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not quite a fashion model, but a gendered image nonetheless...


This image was taken at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2004. It can be found across the Internet and in various news sources, particularly at the time it was taken, although it is still used by people speaking out about the issues surrounding it. The picture is blurry, taken inside the prison. It was taken by another soldier and presumably not meant to be shared the way it was. When they were exposed, the pictures taken shocked the world, because of the (literally) naked cruelty and violence involved and in part because the fact that women were centrally involved contradicted popular ideas about women as delicate, non-violent creatures.

The context, content, form, and narratives of this picture are shaped by war, unequal power structures, and the cultures of the people involved. The image is very much gendered and sexualized, but not along traditional lines; it is about power and oppression. The female soldier, clothed in her uniform and standing, is framed by the prison walls as the subject of the picture. She is in the center of the picture in the position of power, looking without expression or emotion at the naked male prisoner, who is lying prone and obviously in pain at the side of the picture. His body is cut off from the picture; he is the object of her gaze. She is holding a leash, “walking? the naked man like a dog in order to dehumanize and humiliate him. This tactic is particularly humiliating for the prisoner because of Muslim cultural and religious beliefs about nudity, bodies, and gender. The image is also (more traditionally) shaped along racial lines, with the white woman in control over the brown man. The way that the soldiers treat the prisoners as less than human recalls slavery, colonialism, and genocide, and reminds us that these are not easily dismissed as relics of the past.

The picture tells a story of white American soldiers dehumanizing and torturing Iraqi prisoners, showing us some of the horrors of war and proving that racism, power and oppression can and do cross gender lines.

Swimming Pool


I was sifting through my collection of films bought from Hollywood Video for $5, and I found one that I hadn't seen before, let alone bought. It is called Swimming Pool, there is a thin, tan, blonde woman in a bikini on the cover, I assume my dad purchased this one. The woman's hair is long, her breasts are highlighted, and her skin is flawless. She is laying next to shockingly blue water which makes the black and white stripes on her skimpy bikini pop. This image strongly suggests that this woman is a sex symbol. Her back is arched in a provocative manner and a shadow of a man falls across her midsection. She is placed at the bottom of the cover, her arms and legs are cut out of the frame so the image simply captures from her crotch to her head of golden locks.

Though I haven't seen this film I know that this character is a sex symbol based on the way she is represented on the cover. Sex sells, why else would my dad have bought this film he hasn't ever seen?



Category 3 Gendered Images

1. CONTEXT: This advertisement was found in the Cosmopolitan magazine. The product that is being sold is a weight loss formula called Hydroxycut.

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Why don't we do it in the road?

Back in my hometown of Fargo, I was minding my own business. Casual. Driving to get some groceries. I turned on the radio (which I never do) and on the random station I turned to I heard an interesting discussion going on inbetween songs. People were calling in to discuss a billboard they had seen advertising this station. I had not seen this billboard. All of the callers were men and they all said the same thing, "I don;t know what the big deal is" "Its just a womans body" "Don;t you love your body? People need to stop being such prudes" "The female body is a beautiful thing"......blah blah blah.

This seemed like a lot of odd rationalization to me...I became intensely interested in what this billboard could possibly be...

Then, as if the feminist theorists of my past had heard my request, I saw it in the distance, looming like a giant phallic warning, telling me that i really really shouldn't have turned on the radio today...


Just in case you care to look at some more billboards by this "clever" radio station

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Axe Body Spray (Oh, so very irresistible to women)

Context: I found this image on the internet, but there is hardly a place one can go without seeing an advertisement for Axe Body Spray. For those of you who don’t know what Axe is, it is a body spray (cologne) for men, that is suppose to drive women absolutely crazy, and have them chasing men all over the world.

Content: This image is very sexualized, even without actual individuals in the photograph. The use of clothing actually allows for the image to be more sexualized. By the use of the shirt arm in the open jeans, it allows for the viewer to assume if you wear this body spray a women will stick her hand down your jeans. The use of the clothing also implies what type of woman you will “get? if you wear the body spray. The type of woman it is implying is a very skinny woman, most definitely attractive, and will definitely be wearing a cute thong, but apparently no pants.

Form: The framing of the photograph is centralized, with the two main objects in the center of the photograph, the woman’s shirt and the man’s jeans. The lighting is very bright, and pleasant because if you wear the spray a woman will throw herself at you and you will most likely be pleased.

My analysis: I read this image as a horrible ploy to sell disgusting body spray to men. If anyone has ever smelt this spray, it is very disgusting. (Mainly due to the fact that the individuals who wear it, usually use a whole can in order to cover up their body odor) In no way is a body spray going to create this massive uproar in women, causing them to lose all self control and chase down a man they don’t even know. However, the use of the images does indeed help them sell their product. If they did not have adds featuring women chasing down men or a woman’s shirt with the arm in the crotch of a pair of man’s jeans, no one would buy it.

Axe Vice

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Selling a product? Hire a sexy blond for your advertising!


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Calvin Klein selling jeans? Or sex?

calvin klein.png

Context-This image is probably in magazines, but i found it online searching Calvin Klein on google. The image is advertising clothing/jeans, since Calvin Klein is a designer.
Content-The image is gendered in the way that the man is on top and the woman is helplessly laying under him. The story of sexuality that is being told is that heterosexual sex is good especially with the white man dominating. The narratives the image is relying on is that white heterosexual men are the desires of all women. White straight men know how to give it good.
Form-The wardrobe the two models are wearing is all black. The background is all black. The platform they are laying/kneeling on is black. This is in contrast to the light skin of the models, making their body (parts) stick out more against all the black. The lighting is hard I guess to show the "nastiness" of the image; sex is supposed to be rought and tough, not soft and sweet. The position of the male is in between the legs of the woman who is laying on the floor. He is dominating the woman and showing his power by being on top. The woman has one hand grabbing her hair and the other resting, almost grasping her breast to show that she is almost at the breaking point; barely able to handle the pleasure she is receiving. The lighting is set up so the part of the image that the eyes are drawn to the womans thighs and neck, two very sexualized parts of a womans body. There is no color or props, making this image very simple, meaning there is not much going on except two people about to get it on.
Reading-For me, this image is saying that womens desires, ecstacy, satisfaction are in the hands of straight white men. We NEED them in order to feel fulfilled sexually, there is NO other way. Women shoud like it when the men are dominating and in control, thats the way we like it, right? Buying some Calvin Klein jeans equals having some really good sex. Maybe if you buy the jeans, you will find someone to have sex with...there are many things this ad is saying to me, but the main idea is that women can't be satisfied unless a straight white male is involved, even when it is something as simple as picking out a pair of jeans.

Exploitive Advertisement


I chose to analyze a Skyy vodka advertisement that I had previously seen in Details Magazine. The ads purpose is to sell the company’s alcoholic beverage using the help of a woman in the image. The advertisement shows the woman in a negative connotation. There is a man in a suit standing directly over a woman in a swimsuit that appears to be tanning. It can be assumed that the woman is unbothered by the presence of the domineering man. This shows how it’s supposed to be ok for a woman to be the subordinate to the man. The man is holding a bottle of Skyy in one hand and two glasses in the other. It looks as though he is clenching the objects in his hand and it can be inferred that the woman below him has no choice but to have drinks with him. This shows dominance as being sexy, and that women have no authority over the men. In terms of the woman she is thin with full breasts, and presents the idea that women should live up to this standard to be attractive to men.
The lighting in the picture is very exploitive and further demoralizes the woman. The framing of the picture shows the crotch area as being directly over the face of the woman and it is highlighted to accentuate that area. The woman’s breasts are also lighted in the way to draw the reader’s eye to that area. The product in this ad becomes secondary because the reader will be attracted to the breasts and crotch, and then realize that is an ad for Skyy. The clothing in the ad shows the man as having economic status with further pushes the idea that the more money the man has the more inferior the woman has to be. Her lack of clothing shows her as an object to the man and that is why he has chosen her to have drinks with him.

Oh yeah, and they serve food there, too...


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The French Can Be Cool Sometimes


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September 25, 2007

In refrence to Laura Mulvey, "The castration of the female and the beginning of the object?


This fragrance advertisement by Tom Ford is part of the collection we witnessed in class last Wednesday. If you can remember the previous one, the fragrance bottle was placed between the females legs.

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Drink Bacardi...Get Lucky? (In More Than One Way..)


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Stereotypically Blonde


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the axe effect(s us all)


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Tires and Gender


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Do you know what time it is?


The ad was featured in a recent issue of Marie Claire, which is published by Heart Magazines. The product being sold is a Bertolucci watch.

This image is saying that males are superior to females. For the one portion of a women there are thirty-two men gazing at her. We do not see the complete female body. The portion from her hips to her breasts are being shown. The men are gazing at her as if she was an object. If the watch was on the other wrist they could be gazing at the watch, but unfortunately the watch is not on the other wrist. I am going to assume from this that the men are viewing this woman as an object. If women fit the description of the "perfect" object then they will also have thirty-two men in line for them. I also believe there is a connection between the male's gaze upon the woman and the viewer's gaze on the watch. The way the males view the female is how the viewers are possibly supposed to view the watch.

The woman is being set up as the center of attention. The men are sitting in an arena type seating style, where they can all see her clearly. Her breasts and hips frame the arm laying on her stomach. The sun has set in the background of the image, and the street lights are on casting shadows on the men. There is a light shining down directly from above her breats which enhances them. The watch is being illuminated by a light The camera has a high angle which causes the viewer to feel as if they are looking down upon the crowd of men and the woman. However, it is not too high or else the watch would be out of view. The men's clothes are all black. This makes them all blend together. However, the woman's dress is red. This color is very vibrant which makes it stand out. The combination of her red dress and that she is laying down makes her seem vulnerable.

The meaning behind the image is that if you fit the male idea of female perfection then you can get any guy you want. The female will just be looked at as a prize (object), just like if you purchased this watch and displayed it proudly on your wrist.

Be Clean

1950s lysol.jpg

I found this ad by googling 1950s ad for woman. it is an advertisement for using Lysol for douching. the ad basically proclaims that women must douche using Lysol or her marriage could be ruined by her stinky vajayjay. the image shows the beautiful "clean" woman being intimate with her handsome husband, while the "dirty" undouched woman watches unsure of her "daintiness". the photo is in black and white as all (i believe) ads were back then. the happy couple are both attractive and totally into each other, proving that Lysol really works! my reading of this ad is that woman must douche, especially with Lysol, or they will lose their feminine daintiness and their husband. i think it shows how back then there were many expectations of women and wives, in particular, to remain clean and subservient to our men.

Marc Jacobs ad- I am woman, hear me meow quietly while I seduce you with my clunky shoe, oops, I mean my intellect.


Context: I knew I wanted to write about the Marc by Marc Jacobs ads as photographed by Juergen Teller so I googled "Marc Jacobs Juergen Teller" and this was one of the most current ones. I got the picture from a blog, presumably about fashion and pop culture, called "I Am Fashion" and this post was from early Feb 2007. The product sold is a lower (ahem, still very expensive) priced high-fashion line from Jacobs, called Marc by Marc Jacobs. What I think is really being attempted here is a marketing campaign designed to further the geek-chic coolness thing that Marc Jacobs is selling.

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Mark McGrath...a real cool guy.


I just got this ad off of the internet, but I remember seeing it in the past in several magazines marketed towards men and women, such as Cosmo, Maxim, Elle, and others. It is an advertisement for Candies perfume for men and women. Candies also makes shoes, but this ad is for the scents.
The ad shows a man (Mark McGrath) sitting at a desk with a computer. An attractive scantily dressed woman is sitting on top of the computer with her legs spread. The man has his hands to the keyboard like he is about to press a key. On the computer screen, there is an image of a rocket ship blasting off into the air. This rocket ship is "coincidentally" lined up with the woman's vagina, so it looks like a penis about to enter her. All of the elements create a very sexualized image and message, but it seems to be more from a man's perspective because the man is in control as he looks at the viewer while pressing the keys on the keyboard.
The woman is dressed to emphasize her body, which is very thin. Her shirt is low cut to show her cleavage, and also shows her belly. She wears short shorts and leather boots that emphasize her spread legs. She also has a lot of "sexy" make-up on. The man wears a tank which shows his strong arms and also leather pants..which I guess are supposed to be sexy.
The woman has her hand in front of her crotch, which seems to be forcing the phallic rocket ship down, and her other hand holds the perfume bottle close to her face so it appears to be that she is having trouble resisting. The man however looks very confident in his decision and has a smirk on his face like he is doing something deviant, but fun. There is a spotlight that highlights the whole picture. Blues and black make up most of the picture except for the woman's shirt which is bright pink and calls attention to her and her body...perhaps this color also emphasizes her softness as a woman. The pitcure is framed so that her crotch and the phallic rocket ship are in the center of the frame.
My reading:
I think this is definitely aimed more towards shows the man in control as he is the one seated at the desk with his hand ready to push the keys, while the woman is shown in a very provocative and vulnerable position with her leags spread. The fact that she has her hand pushed down on the rocket suggests that a part of her is resisting, which lends to why the man has a smirk on his face...he is being "naughty"...This is all supposed to be sexy, but also could send the message that it is sexy and no big deal for a man to ignore when a woman resists sexual advances.

Venus of Urbino

venus of urbino.jpg

The Venus of Urbino is a very popular art image. It was painted in 1538 by the Italian artist Titian. We may be talking about todays media respresentations of women, but I wanted to demonstrate that the male gaze is not new. This painting was commissioned (i.e the artist was paid to paint an image to the purchaser's specifications) by the Duke of Urbino of his mistress and it would have hung in his back parlor to be shown to his male friends.

This is an obviously sexualized figure. She is laying on the bed, propped up to be seen in full view, holding the gaze of the viewer, and covering, yet at the same time drawing attention to her pubis. She is laying ready and waiting for the viewer or commissioner of the piece to come to her. The woman is from the upper class which is shown by her maidservants in the background. They are getting her clothes out of the trunk and will eventually dress her. This sends the message that only the higher class female body is worth the time to paint, much less view. Thus women must be wealthy in order to be attractive.

She is separated from her maidservants in the space by a dark curtain on the left. This separates them in class importance as the nude model is at the foreground and obviously not one of the maids. The dark curtain also serves to give her a dramatic backdrop so that her white skin stands out. The edge of the curtain creates a vertical line that leads the eye straight the woman's pubis. The line of the bed creates an additional horizontal line drawing the eye to the same area. Thus we have a visual "bullseye" on the woman's pubic area. She is holding flowers in her hand, one petal has already fallen to the bed; an obvious allusion to the fact that she has been "deflowered." The bed itself beneath the sheet and the flowers are red, a color symbolizing love and passion. A dog sits on the end of the bed which is a symbol of fidelity. (The dog popular dog's name Fido is derived from the word fidelity). These little details insure that the painting cannot be read any other way than being about sex.

I read this painting as a status symbol. You have to be high class in order to afford to commission a painting of your mistress. You also must be high class in order to have your nude portrait painted. Thus in order to be attractive enough to be worth seen naked, you have to have money.

"Feast Your Eyes"


Context: I found this ad in Elle magazine and then found it on the internet. The ad is selling MAX FACTOR cosmetics, specifically eye makeup (eye shadow, mascara, liners, etc.) Since the ad is selling cosmetics, the ad is targeting women, adolescent age and up. I chose this ad because in every women magazine some sort of cosmetic is being sold using a beautiful celebrity or model to sell their product.

Content: The MAX FACTOR ad displays Carmen Electra as the model. The consumer is told to “feast your eyes on the new MAXeye collection.? This phrase is directed towards women, along with the small display of the product on the right side of the ad, but Carmen Electra pose is not to attract women viewers. Carmen Electra is in a sexualized position, with her hand pulling back her wavy blown back hair. Her mouth is open draws attention to her face, which is selling the product, but not by looking extremely sexualized. Carmen Electra is wearing a halter top, revealing her skinny body and glowing skin. The fabricated image of Carmen Electra is telling viewers how they should look and act, being sexy.

Form: The frame is cut around the face and upper body of the model. This gives focus to the face and thin body Carmen Electra has. Lighting adds to the “glow? of the skin and highlights certain features of Carmen Electra. Pinks and purple accentuate the models eyes. This however is actually what the ad is selling, eye makeup. By wearing only a little halter top, Carmen Electra is given an added sex appeal to the male viewers. Her body position also appeals to the male viewers. Carmen Electra is in a sexual position, with one hand holding back her lush voluminous hair, and having her mouth open.

Reading Analysis: The MAX FACTOR ad is influencing women how to look. They are led to believe that by wearing this brand of cosmetics you will look like the model Carmen Electra, which will doubtfully happen. Through telling the viewer to “feast your eyes? portrays women less as a person and more as an object for men.



This advertisement was torn from an issue of Maxim. It is advertising a body spray for men and there is a website containing other images from this campaign here. This site includes a rather annoying parrot and images of this woman and three others -- you can even send an 'Ahoy-Gram' to one of your friends or download a wallpaper.

This is an image of a woman who is "hot" in a normative sense that is being used to sell a men's product in the pages of a men's magazine. This promotes the idea that women are objects to be used in a capitalist society.

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Damsel in Distress


Context: I found this image on under the ‘male gaze’ section and I am not sure of its original source. The website was started by Dr. Scott A. Lukas and focuses on analyzing the roles of gender and sexuality in advertising. This image appears to be advertising some sort of customer service provided for people who own this brand of vacuum.

Content: The content of this image is pretty complex so I am going to break it down into categories.

1) Women as stupid, incompetent, dependant
The success of this advertisement relies on the understanding that women are unable to accomplish anything on their own. From this image, it appears women can’t even manage to operate a simple vacuum cleaner without having to ask for help. The caption reaffirms this idea of someone coming to the rescue. The innocent, naïve look on the woman’s face constructs her as a ‘typical, stupid woman’ who can’t figure out what is going on.

2) Women as objects, dolls
The woman in this image is a white, presumably middle to upper class woman from the 1950s. She is so ‘made-up’ from her hair down to her heels that it is hard to believe she is a just an average woman doing housework. This links to the idea of representing women as sexual objects. Would she really be doing housework in a fitted dress that accentuates her breasts and wearing stockings and high heels? I doubt it.

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This is an advertisement for VIctoria's Secret new bra. When I think of women image 'in constructive way', the first image i could think of was Victoria's secret model.

This image is one of the stereotypes of women portrayed on ad to sell product: half naked, skinny, glamorous, bright long hair, and confident with that situation. This ad tells us that “if you wear this new bra, then you can also attract man as I do.? Advertisement initially setting constructive image within its own purpose which are selling the products as well as this is what women should look like. There were little subtitle that said, “New SEXY wireless push-up.? The ad is describing sexy as a half-naked and glamorous woman who is standing toward the spectators. Her body lines and bones and her breast are highlighted to emphasize those parts. Tone of image in brown soften and is subtle that it makes spectator to relax

My observation is that this kind of ad keeps the social construction which tells what woman suppose to be or act or man suppose to be or act, and we all should ask ourselves before looking at the ad and purchasing the product; Is women’ body should be used as an object to sell product or attract man’s eye? Are we buying this product for man or our own confidents?

The Poor IT Boys


This is an advertisement for Server Appliances and was printed in Linux Journal, a magazine geared towards operating systems, technology, etc. The primary audience would likely be those interested in computers, software, and so on – which has typically been a male-dominated category.

We have a typically beautiful woman who is meant to catch the eye of the tech-boy flipping through the pages of the magazine. He sees her, desires her, and wonders, “Hey, what’s this ad about?? He’s just getting excited when he reads, “Don’t feel bad. Our servers won’t go down on you either.? He sighs and thinks of Natasha, the hottie down the hall who won’t give him the time of day.

In this ad, the woman is being portrayed solely as a temptress, an object, a sex machine – a machine that you, the geek boy, can’t seem to make function because you prefer Dungeons and Dragons over the party life and football games.

In addition to demeaning women, it exploits the “nerdy boy? stereotype. That smart, geeky, tech-savvy guy who just can’t seem to get any chicks into his bed. The IT school at the U deals with a similar stereotype here on campus.
It plays off the concept that school-loving, genius boys are unattractive, awkward, non-muscular, and desperate for female attention. By immediately stating, “Don’t feel bad,? the ad creator is assuming that the reader is a socially-inept nerd-bomb. The ad is also saying that if you were a sexy beast, then the woman would definitely “go down on you? because apparently women will give oral sex to any man if he’s drop-dead gorgeous.

A woman’s face emerges from the darkness. All light is focused on her – an extreme close-up shot of her expression. Her eyes are meant to convey a seductive gaze, but she looks almost melancholy, as if she wishes you were hotter so that she could pleasure you. The dramatic darkness portrays a mysterious air about her, and the viewer wonders what lies in the shadows, creating sexual excitement.

She has perfect porcelain skin and is completely pore-less. The edges of her face and hair fade into the darkness, attempting to push the viewer’s imagination.

Her large lips take center stage, painted a vibrant red – the color of seduction and passion. They are directly in line with the dominant text of the ad. Considering that the words “go down on you? are parallel to her pouting, plump lips, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that the creator wishes to evoke an image of oral sex.

My Reading

Beautiful women (big lips, smooth skin, piercing blue eyes) will not give sexual satisfaction to tech nerds (awkward, geeky, unattractive). But beautiful women will give oral sex to handsome, non-nerdy men. To soothe the woes of tech boys, they should buy a QSOL server because it won’t disappoint them like all those female sex machines will. Also, since the server is so reliable, the reader can resort to virtual pleasure until one day he becomes that jock-y hunk that he’s supposed to be.



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Clean and Dirty

I found this image on a Google search by typing in "women ads." It is an ad for Candies Fragrances for Men and Women. This particular ad can be found in Maxxum Magazine, targeted at adult men and women. I also found a "cleaned-up" version if this add, which can be found in a magazine for pre-teen and young teen girls. The "cleaned-up" version if this add has removed Mark Mcgrath's plumber crack and covered it with the towel, and the condoms are no longer on the counter.

Candies Fragrances sells perfume and cologne for men and women, Candies also sells shoes. From this ad, the fragrances are directly correlated with sex.

The image portrays a dominant male because you can see his face in the picture through the mirror as well as his "I can have anything I want" attitude. He looks very frisky, dominant, and ready for whatever happens next. The female looks like an object for the male, maybe even part of the sink. You can not see her face or what she looks like, so the message is saying that it doesn't even matter what she looks like. The position of her legs is highly sexual and the position of her arm is highly suggestive. She is there for his pleasure and he is there to receive pleasure.

The obvious color is blue here. I think blue symbolizes a very cool tone. The fact that you can see the males face in the mirror says it all, his face and attitude sets the tone for the entire ad. The wardrobe is very little, he has only a towel on and it looks as though it is about to fall off. From what we can see of her, she has a little blue tank top on, maybe even a dress, and some blue Candies high heels. There are a few bottles of perfume on the counter along with some condoms. Both of their body positions tell us what is about to happen next.

My Reading:

I can tell that this is a very sexual and gendered image. They are supposedly selling fragrances, and shoes, but they are selling sex. I think it is very apolling about the "cleaned-up" image that is being portrayed to young girls. It is telling them that casual sex is alright between young people.

September 24, 2007

This Film Is Not Yet Rated

This film is not yet rated.jpg

I found this image by doing a google search under “sexy woman billboard,? and it is originally a poster for the movie “This Film Is Not Yet Rated? by Kirby Dick.

The poster reveals a skinny, naked, white woman, and the way her body is portrayed makes her an object of sex for any heterosexual man to be tempted with. Her figure is relatively perfect to where she’s not too skinny, but she still has some curvature, which is what many men are really attracted to. Being that she is naked and has a tattoo of the MPAA logo on her lower back, or in other words the famous “tramp stamp,? implies to the reader that she is obviously not a virgin, but happens to be experienced with sex.

The lighting in the poster really focuses on the curves of her body making her seem soft and sensual. She has her back to the viewers and her head is also not in the picture, which increases the viewer’s curiosity and interest. The background of the poster is red, which gives a fiery, sharp, negative feel to the scene. Often times in movies after a man and a woman have sex the woman tends to light a cigarette, and the smoke in the poster sets the right mood to get the viewer thinking of sex. This poster was censored, and the smoke also implies to the viewer this story is a hot, rebellious topic that is up for debate.

Her beautiful body and the intention of sex over the striking red background filled with smoke really tell the reader that something bad or rebellious is happening. Her skinny, naked body screams seduction and that women are objects of affection. It is also saying that women are not strong independent people, but are there to please and cater to men through the use of their body.

Vegetarianism will make you sexy like Alicia Silverstone

Or so PETA would like you to believe...

PETA ad.jpg

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nike shoulders.jpg

I know this ad is very similar to the one about big butts posted a few entries below. However, I had planned using this image all along. I don't know how big the words will show up once I post this. This is what it says, "My shoulders aren't dainty or proportional to my hips, some say they are like a man's. I say, leave men out of it. They are mine. I made them in a swimming pool. Then I went to Yoga and made my arms. Just do it."
Context: I first saw this image on the wall of the bathroom in a women's dorm section at the school I just transferred from. I really liked it because at that time I was playing hockey in college. It really made me feel proud when I thought of all the time my team spends in the weight room. When I saw this ad it had been torn from a magazine. I imagine it could be found in any type of magazine targeting younger women. The ad was done by Nike. Here Nike was not exactly selling any particular product. However, they were clearly targeting women with the hopes of getting them more excited about being athletes... and eventually buy their products. It also gives Nike a good image in women's minds.
Content: The story being told here is that women should not be afraid of looking, feelilng, or acting strongly. In fact they should be proud of it. But I think there is more to it than that. Women should not be afraid to look any way or act in any way (within reason) as long as they enjoy what they are doing and feel proud of themself for doing it. It tells us that our physical image is, in part, sculpted by our choices in life. And, of course, our choices in life are based on what makes us happy. Are choices are what make us all unique.
Even though this ad did, I believe, have good intentions, it still markets a body type that is difficult to achieve. That seems to be the pattern-- we always want (and assume is better) what is difficult to achieve. However, in this case it is not really such a bad thing because it does encourage a more healthy lifestyle.
Form: The image is framed so you do not see the face of the woman. In fact, we basically only see the part of her body that is important to the story-- her shoulders. We, of course, do see that she is wearing a Nike work out shirt as well. What we do not see are the typical female body parts that men are most interested in. This is partly due to the fact that the ad is not targeting men, but also because they want to show women that there are other parts of the body that can be beautiful. The lighting is well done. The shadows fall nicely to show the definition in the woman's back, shoulders, and arms. She is also shown in black and white against a contrast of colorful abstract art. This makes her really stand out. The words are all in black except the "My shoulders aren't dainty" and the "Just do it" parts. The "Just do it" is obviously in color to reinforce the company. The model's body position was a good choice for the ad as well. It has her in a stretching position which again shows her muscle definition and, at the same time, is a very likely thing for an athlete to be doing. I like the way the words are written in an unconventional way. I don't know if this is what they were going for, but it could be that they were trying to show that it is ok to act in a way that is not expected of you or your gender. I overall like the artistic make up of the ad. I personally find it appealing to look at. And, if I were reading a magazine I would stop to look at this.
My reading/analysis of the image: I feel like I have basically already said my reading of the image. But to sum it up: the meaning/story of the image is that it is ok, or actually a great thing, to be a strong woman. (Especially if you are one who uses Nike products). :)

Being Rich is Hot. So Hot We Don't Bother Putting on Clothes.


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Gender Ad


Context: I found this ad in my June/July 2007 issue of Jane Magazine. This is a Nike ad featuring Maria Sharapova selling a Nike Sports Tee. The full caption says in bold white “Just a T-Shirt?, then in smaller letter “The way Maria is just a tennis player?.

Content: This ad shows a female athlete in all her athleticism. Her hair is pulled back; she is looking over her shoulder with a look of determination. This is giving a positive view of women. While it may not be entirely positive (she has the western standards of beauty), it is very different then the women in ads for Gucci for example. Her body is not over exposed or over sexualized. She looks sweaty and tough, and her shirt is dry. This ad is aimed at women who can relate to this “female? dilemma, of not wanting sweaty underarms. This is one way where is ad is sexist, and it took me 15 minutes to see that. Why should a female athlete care whether or not her shirt is sweaty? Oh that’s right, girls don’t sweat. And if they do, that’s gross.

Form: The way the lighting is, it gives the appearance that she is at one end of narrow hallway. The light is very white and bright around Maria and then is dark at the opposite end with a single light that allows Maria to have a dark shadow in front of her. Her shirt is white, all you see is her from the waist up holding a green, and black ball with the Nike swoosh on it. The looking over the shoulder with both arms up gives Maria a strong looking stance (and shows her dry underarms). Because she is a tennis player, I would guess that the ball is just a reason to have the Nike symbol present in the ad, without having it all over the clothes and distracting from the advertisements main point: a dry shirt.

Reading: While women can still be athletes, they are still women and their womanly “concerns? follow them onto the tennis court or the gym. However, is still an ad that is a foot forward in the right direction.

The Balancing Act

Context: I found this picture on after I put "holding hands" in the search entries spot. This picture can be found on the second page about the 5th picture in. The person's name who snapped the photo is not listed. There is no further description or details about where or when this photo was taken. I can gather by looking at the picture that it was probably just a couple out having fun, not posed or designed to sell anything.
Content: When I look at this picture I think about relationships. Not only relationships like couples, but relationships like brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, etc. I think about the struggles we face in all types of relationships and I think this photo does a good job representing the balance of life. Since this photo is taken on a train track, which is thought to be symbolic of a journey, it further conviences me that these two people are balancing their lives together. It is not clear in this photo if the two people that are holding hands are in a intimate relationship, however that they have some sort of bond that goes deeper and can almost be thought to express support for one another. In the photo the two individuals are both looking to the future and walking with their heads up high, possibly laughing, but clearly enjoying one another's company. They are both taking one step at a time and holding eachother for support as they go. Both are like a balancing act that they appear to do very well, however may struggle on their own. Their opposing weighs balance other another out on the thin piece of railroad track that they are walking on. By looking at the picture you can tell that this is a man and a woman, both dressed in fall type appearal and pretty much of the same class. Their race/ethnicity is not known, however they are white. This photo appeals to both men and women the same, has more of a romantic feel to it. Not trashy or provactative in any form. The picture strongly represents journey to me and shows that relationships are 50/50.
Form: The camera is placed behind the two individuals in the center of the track, and faces toward the future. The lighting is typical of a day that is still and the sky is clear (calm). The photo is posted in black and white, which almost makes it more dramatic. The wardobes are of modern time, classy and typical for cool weather. The setting is on a train track, in the middle of no where. The white in the rocks really stands out against the dark tracks and could represent the obsticles the couple has overcome in the past. Both individuals appear to be average, happy, and the camera is placed lower then them, giving a vibe that they are in control or their surroundings and lives.
My thoughts: When I look at this photo is makes me happy. It makes me think about my boyfriend and how he supports me when i'm having a rough day. I think this photo is almost romantic and inspiring in different ways and people with all different types of relationships can really relate to it. This photo to me represents journey and experiences with the ones that your love most.

Anti-women, pro-rape/murder horror ad

View image

This particular billboard, an advertisement for the horror film Captivity that came out this summer, is interesting for a few reasons. First of all, the billboard was essentially “banned? (which is not to imply that this was a government imposed ban, but rather to say that it was removed in accordance to commercial reasons in relation to the ratings board.) After Dark Films, a subdivision of Lion’s Gate Entertainment, posted the billboard which caused an amount of controversy (it is unclear just how much controversy the billboard caused, as the notoriety of the billboard came more so after its removal.) The MPAA claimed that After Dark Films never received approval from them for the billboard, something which is required for all public advertisements if a film is seeking a ratings classification, which resulted in the removal of the billboard. Because of the removal of the billboard, it is not necessarily the best example of the sexist kinds of advertisements that are present in the mainstream, but the ad (as well as the film itself) signifies the culmination of distastefulness that has arose from films of the “torture porn? variety (Saw, Hostel, etc.)
This billboard is offensive, not because it is “too scary? as some critics have claimed, but because of its misogyny. The fragmentation of the female subject functions is such a way as to make her seem inhuman, as well as to fetishize the various stages of abuse which are inflicted upon her. The fragmentation of the female image provides a sense of distance from the observer and the subject, which at best allows for an impartial subjectivity, or at worst encourages the observer’s subjective identification to be with that of the abuser. In the first panel, we see close-up of part of her face which is being covered by a glove. This panel does not merely signify “abduction? as the caption claims, but it also signifies the act of rape. Particularly the way in which her mouth is being covered, and the way in which her abuser is in back of her, as well as the usage of dark gloves all are visual codes of rape and function in such a way as to sexualize her abduction. The second panel has the caption “confinement?, showing part of the female subject’s face behind a fence. It is clear, both from the caption and from the picture itself, that the woman is imprisoned within a cell following her abduction. The “torture? panel is presumably a picture of the same woman (at least in how it is presented within the ad, though the picture is taken of somebody else within the movie) turned to her side, with a plaster mask covering her face making her unidentifiable and an IV with some kind of red fluid inserted into her nose. And finally, for the last panel there is caption “termination? in which the woman is lying down, presumably dead.
The message that she is dead is communicated very clearly through the caption, but it is also communicated visually in contrast to the other panels. In each panel, the woman’s eyes are placed in the top center, the location of which focuses the viewers attention. For the first panel, they appear to be photo-shopped in such a way that they appear to be unnaturally blue, creating a sharp contrast with the artificially constructed dark and muddy look that makes up the remainder of the image. The look in her eyes is dimmer in the second panel, but still noticeably bright. For the third panel, her eyes are still placed in a similar position, but the brightness is now gone and her eyes are somewhat obscured by the plaster mask on her face. Her eyes still standout in this panel however, as other than her mouth, it is the only part of her body that is not covered in plaster. For the final caption, “termination?, her body leans upside down and the frame is cut-off right before her eyes, making them invisible. By having her eyes no longer be visible, when in the previous panels they are placed in such a way that makes them the focus of the images, it is a visual cue that the life that was once present is now gone, and that the female subject has now been completely dehumanized and degraded. The way in which each panel decreases the level of clarity within her eyes is representative of each level of degradation that she is being subjected to, and the relative level of dehumanization.
The final image of the advertisement is interesting not just because of the way it visually signifies death, but how it is also a highly sexualized image. The second and third panels of the ad are by themselves, more excusable than the first and final images, as these images are less sexualized and are more understandable within the context of horror film promotion. But within the context of the highly sexualized beginning and ending images, the middle two images gain a greater sexualized meaning by association. This is not to say that the second and third images are asexual per se, as the fragmentation of the female subject and the way in which the images are constructed as to seem “cool? does give them a sexualized meaning independent of the other images, it is just that it is less sexually explicit than the beginning and ending images. The final image has the presumably dead woman’s breast placed in the center of the frame, sticking out and partially visible due to a tear in the woman’s shirt. The way in which her breast is sticking out, partially bear infuse the image with a high level of sexual meaning, which is surprising since the image is that of a dead body. The way in which her shirt is torn in this picture so that it reveals her bust line is very unnatural looking, infusing the image with sexual meaning in a way that is forced as well as cheap in appearance.
The captions within the images are interesting for the way in which they provide a narrative structure, but also for the language that is used to suggest this narrative structure. Specifically what is interesting is the way in which for the final panel, the usage of the word “termination? is used to suggest the female subject’s murder. It is an interesting choice of words, especially when there are several other words that could have been used to suggest the same outcome. The choice of the word termination is, in my opinion, more problematic than anything else in the billboard. The word termination, in its clinical and objectivist connotations, suggests that the female subject is less than human. The word suggests that the woman, with implications leadings towards all women, is a disposable object, as well as providing a justification to the act of murder. Because of its connotations with legal language, and a general sense of objectivity and authority, the message is that the murder of women is the rational action to take.
In general, I am not offended by violent or disturbing imagery that is used for the purposes of promotion for violent or disturbing media. Nor do I object to the level in which violence in horror films has been raised within the last five years. In the case of the billboard ads for Captivity, it is not the violence in itself that I find reprehensible. I find it understandable for there to be disturbing ads for what is supposed to be a disturbing film. Rather, it is the way in which the violence is sexualized, and the general anti-woman, pro-torture sentiment that the advertisement upholds. Thankfully, nothing has gone well for Captivity. The unapproved billboards, which quite possibly were deliberately put forth in order to generate controversy, did very little to help the film, which cost a rumored 30 million dollars to make, yet has received 8 million dollars worldwide. The film itself received some of the worst reviews in years, with certain critics providing vicious and humorous attacks on it. Some highlights comes from critic Kevin Carr saying “I never thought I’d say this, but this movie gives torture porn a bad name,? and critic Brian Tallerico saying “Only about twelve people you know are likely to ever see the film. Eleven will hate it. Avoid hanging out with the twelfth.? So far, Captivity has been a complete and total failure, both commercially and critically. It does, however, have one more shot at commercial success: the Unrated DVD that will be released right around Halloween, which promises to have even more explicit scenes of torture than the theatrical version.



obsession pic.jpg

This perfume advertisement for Obsession by Calvin Klein is one that I have encountered in magazines, but found online at Google images.

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September 23, 2007

Never Saw this One Before


Context: Three of my friends and I took a road trip down to Texas to drop my best friend off at school in August. On our way we saw this billboard with a sign underneath advertising free lunch, which we found hilarious, hence the reason I took a photo. This is an advertisment for a strip club. This billboard is selling a "good time" for men by giving them free lunch and half naked women.
Content: The image created here is a terrible projection of women as strippers. Often the job of stripping or pourn stars is given to women not men. Not only is it usually women, but skinny, big-boobed women at that. Notice men don't come running for a regular sized woman. I can also assume by this ad that they are trying to reach lower to middle class working men, because they advertise free lunch. If it were a high class strip club they would be selling $20 appetizers.
Form: This billboard portrays a woman laying down conviently with her boobs up in the air and no shirt. Her outfit is important the bra shows the viewers that women working there wear hardly nothing and the color of black gives off that sexy look. The model used here presents that perfect blue-eyed, blonde hair, big boobs look. Her make-up and hair were obviously done to give off a sexy, femine appeal. The frame cuts off right below her boobs, because thats all men want anyways!(just kidding) The lighting used gives the model that glowing, beautiful skin just like Rose in Titanic. The major color scheme is GOLD to represent the "high status" of this gold club.
Reading: Here I saw a stereotypical ad for a strip club. Conveying women as a source of entertainment for men. Like many other ads here they use sex appeal. They reiterate the stereotype that strippers have to be beautiful, support big boobs, and be skinny.

sexy doesnt always mean good advertising

hard rock ad.jpg

This is an ad for Hard Rock, and I found it on a google search for female ads. It was listed on a website about controversial advertising, and whether the photo was appropriate for billboards and magazines, or if it is closer to pornography. The photo depicts a heterosexual image, a slender, muscular man and a slim yet busty woman, both who appear to be wet from a dip in the pool behind them. The tagline, 'there's always a temptation to cheat' makes this a very sinful photo. This man will either cheat in cards or cheat in a relationship with this sexy temptress before him. Having the woman be the object of his temptation is very important. She tells women that if they want to be successful in getting a man, any man, that she must be gorgeous and skinny and half naked with lots of eye makeup. Also that it doesnt hurt to be biting something. And be wet.
Everything in the photo is blues or greens, which makes the naked skin of the two models really pop. The use of props is important both for setting the gambling scene, but also to create an oral fixation by placing one of the cards in the model's mouth. Also, she is positioned to show just enough of her breast and butt to be preovacative without being completely nude. It is also a position in which she could be easily penetrated if he chooses to give in to the temptation. As far as fallic objects go, does the stack of chips count? I've never been great at picking them out, but one could argue its importance, as it is in the front and center of the photo, and it is stacked up straight and tall. The faces of both models are half hidden, the woman by her hair, the man in shadow. This is suggestive of the secrecy of what is taking place in the photo.
What this photo tells me is that if you are a beautiful, seductive, thin, and slightly oiled up woman, you can steal any man. What it doesn't tell me is what it is trying to sell. I'm not a big fan of the 'cheating is sexy' message, but I dont mind the photo. I feel like this is more of an advertisment for cheating than anything else. It's an intriguing photo, but I'm not buying.

gendered images


This ad for Dolce & Gabbana is supposed to be selling fashion, I am guessing clothes and shoes. It involves one woman being held down by a man, while other men watch around her. This ad seems very offensive to women. The woman is made to look helpless, her wrists are actually being restrained by the man that is above her. Even her posistioning says something, she is laying down while all the male figures are above her looking down at her. This is making it look as if she belongs below them. She looks extreamly vulnerable with her arms above her head and her legs up. All the men stare at her as if that is the only reason she is there, like that is her purpose, to be an object for them to stare at. The clothes she is wearing are very tight and leave most of her uncovered. Her heals are high and there is a highlight that leads you right down her legs and then leads you up her body. I can't help but notice that this girls face is not the brightest point on her body and when first looking at her, her face is the last thing you notice. This does not only occur on the woman but also on the men in the photo. Every muscle and buldge is highlighted making them look big and powerful, while the woman only has her soft and smooth skin highighted making her look small and delicate. This ad sends across many messages. The first that comes to mind is that rape is sexy. While the woman doesn't look overly happy to be restrained she doesn't seem panicked or scared in any way but instead relaxed while being held down by the sweaty muscular man. Another message I found in this is that woman are supposed to be small and helpless while men are supposed to be tough and strong. Men should deffinetly be the powerful ones and women should just lay down and accept it. This ad is very offensive and it is kind of scary the way a major company would use a photo like this to sell thier product.

Woman Praying


Context: This image was found in Google images. It comes from the Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church's website: ministry.asp. The image is used to demonstrate an example of a female deacon, next to a “Deaconess? description.

Content: This image is full of race and gender stereotypes and ideals. The woman is depicted in a serious light, with a melancholic facial expression and is positioned with her hands folded in prayer and her head tilted slightly down, seeming to symbolize her subservient position to God . The scene around her is highly domestic, she sits at a table on which there is bread, fruit and flowers, symbolizing wholesomeness, domesticity and femininity. There is a shadow looming over her of a male figure who is presumably God. The looming shadow makes it clear that she is not the master of her own house, but rather, that role is fulfilled by the ultimate male authority: the male Christian God. The shadow's presence also symbolizes surveillance, in that, she is being watched to make sure she abides by God or the Church's moral standards. The woman in the image is an older African American woman, in modest dress. There is a written description next to the image, that states “Deaconesses are women who are sincere, tolerant, kind and understanding. They conduct themselves in their home in such a manner that they command respect of their own family and others.? Although, in some ways this statement coupled with this image seems like a positive representation of black female strength or power, on the other hand, it oversimplifies and stereotypes black women's roles. Confining her to the domestic sphere and endorsing her as an example of the stereotypical notion of the black matriarch: which is the concept that overgeneralizes black women as being excessively controlling in their own homes and with their own families.

Form: This is a painted image. Soft, warm golden hues are used around the woman to prompt the viewer to make wholesome home oriented associations. In contrast the woman herself is wearing black and white, her hair is tightly braided, and the only skin exposed is her wrists, she is very put together. Her facial expression is very serious, almost angry and gives the impression that she is a serious servant to God. She is an older woman, and it looks as if the artists tried to make her as non-sexual as possible. The light is the softest directly around the woman, it seems to almost frame her image while the ceiling above her becomes slightly more shadowy where the prayer is written. The combination of the prayer above her, the shadows around her and the looming God-like figure above her makes her appear very trapped in the image, trapped in the domestic sphere, perhaps even trapped by her religion's rigid gender-role expectations.

My Reading: This image seems to be communicating that black female deacons of the Baptist church must be sexless, matriarchal, hyper-feminized while simultaneously incredibly strong, servants to a patriarchal overpowering male God.

September 22, 2007

Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

I chose to analyze an advertisement for the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty because I feel like these ads are a step in the right direction to improving women’s self-esteem, and men’s expectancies of REAL women.
The Context: of this advertisement is that it is selling the Dove brand of all types of beauty products. It is not selling a particular bar of soap or body wash but is looking for followers to buy all of their products based on a particular idea portrayed through the ad. Also, this ad was found online at the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty website, but can also be seen in women’s magazines.
The Content: These ads are trying to tell a story that all women, of all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages are beautiful.
The Form: The women are located on the Left side of the frame, all together in a small space. This could be used as a way of unifying the women and creating a spatial closeness to make you feel an emotional closeness to the women. The Lighting is very bright and makes you feel good. The use of color is for emphasis on the skin tone. Every woman is wearing white as a means of unity as well as contrast to the different skin tones and hair colors. The models are posed in ways that make them seem comfortable with their almost naked bodies, and show confidence and sexuality.
My Reading: I take this ad to promote the message that ‘this is what real women look like, and real women are beautiful and happy the way they are’. I also think that Dove is using this backwards technique (endorsing their product with non-beautiful women –according to the media) on advertising to create a following of women who are upset about the misrepresentation of women. This extends to the Dove product, if these real women are happy, and I’m a real woman, I should use Dove products as a reminder that I am beautiful the way I am.

September 19, 2007

Feel Good Feminism

pic for Fem.jpg

-Context: The location of this image can by found by entering "famous women media" into and, if nothing changes, going to the second page. The site that this originated from was a Global Ministries organization called UMW (United Methodist Women). Their mission is to "be a community of women whose purpose is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative supportive fellowship; and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church" (
umw/about/umw-101/united-methodist-women-in-mission/). They also aim to help improve the lives of those women, children and communities that are in need.

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Assignment: CATEGORY 3 Gendered Images

For this assignment, select an image to analyze. Good places to look would be DVD covers, film posters, album covers (that are photographed not illustrated), advertisement or other photograph you would like to analyze.

+ Your post must include analysis of the CONTEXT, CONTENT, FORM, and YOUR READING of the image.

+ You must post the image (use a "borrowed" copy from the Internet, scan your image in the FMC lab, or take a photo yourself, if it's billboard or large image). INSTRUCTIONS on HOW TO POST IMAGES are after the jump ( the "continue reading..." link at the end of this post)

1. For context consider:
- where you saw (or can see) the image (the magazine, whose the publisher/brand/creator of the image, or website)
- what product, if any, is being sold (advertising a film, selling a DVD, selling album, perfume, etc)

2. For content consider:
- ways that the image is gendered (and raced, classed, sexualized) is being produced (meaning: what story of gender/race/class/sexuality is being told)
- the narratives that the image relies on, for your understanding of the image (i.e. women must be skinny, rounded, hairless skin, heterosexual, to be beautiful and successful in society)

3. For form consider the stylistic and technical aspects of the image, such as:
- framing
- composition
- cinematography
- lighting
- use of color
- costumes/wardrobe
- model's body position
- props (guns and phallic symbols are always fun!)

4. Your "reading"/analysis of the image (what is the meaning/story being told)
examples could be:
- mothers are strong, beautiful and domestic
- rape is sexy
- men must be strong, manly men to be successful
- technology is sexy (and you need to buy this X to be sexy!)

Post by NOON on Wednesday, 9/26!

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