Woman of the Year
In the last two movies I watched starring Katharine Hepburn, she played a surprisingly strong female character. Surprising, because at the time these black and white flicks were filmed, women were more often shown in docile, stereotypical roles. So it’s with mixed feelings that I view this advertisement for "Woman of the Year."
Hepburn, chin in hand, cheeks flushed with blush, stares happily into the eyes of a suited man, who returns his gaze (although you can’t see his eyes). Hepburn’s eyes seem to twinkle playfully, as though she’s in control of the relationship with the man (who appears to be a love interest) or she knows something that he doesn’t. This attitude points toward Hepburn’s character possibly being the strong female character I expect to see.
But then there’s the film’s title, written in angled cursive below. Although it states "Woman of the Year," the focus of the poster is not on the woman shown. While my eyes are drawn to her more, being on the right side of the page, which is where are eyes ultimately rest when viewing images (usually), the angles in her posture and her gaze persuade you to look at the man she’s sitting with. This creates a power struggle that takes away from the title of "Woman of the Year," and also implies that to earn this moniker, a woman must still cater to, or be involved with, a man.