Friday, March 18, 2011

The representation of women that I rarely get to see: reality.

As women, we do not need to look far to see ourselves objectified and/or dehumanized. Advertisements and commercials surround us everywhere, just look at your nearest television, computer, mall, grocery store, subway, magazine, newspaper, movies, restaurant, and even your local laundromat. We cant escape these images, which try so hard to depict the "real", but fail miserably. Even though women realize the typical size zero, white, long-haired blond, blue eyed model whom we ogle over in cosmopolitan doesn't even look that way herself, we try to mold ourselves to that image. We are made to hate every inch of ourselves, hate food and hate anything that does not have to do with becoming beautiful, because surely no one is naturally beautiful. In a male dominated world, we are made to obsess over the frivolous...but why? Simple, in my opinion this ensures that men remain dominant. in the articles read for each week, all three authors mention something about male dominance, but specifically in "culture", wolf speaks about the economy and how basically our pain,, and insecurities keep huge industries alive. We are marketed in a way which is supposed to knock us down, and that is very upsetting.
Alternatives to Ads which focus on making us hate ourselves, or pleasing the male race are hard to come by, but not impossible. These Ads usually focus on empowering women, especially in the work place. These Ads would ultimately have to empower women in a true way, not merely by saying if you use this product you will be more beautiful. these new Ads would also have to target a larger Audience of women, thus speaking to women of all cultures, religions, and ages. As wonderful as this idea seems it would become extremely problematic for companies, especially the makeup and weightless industry.
In a vogue magazine of about 400 pages, I only found one Ad which targeted women which I approved. This Ad was for Jones New York. The Ad was portrayed a group of 20 women who were of all different nationalities, dressed in professional business attire. The women are standing in the middle of Grand Central station, while people are moving around them. these people are basically blurs, in order for the consumer to focus their attention on these women. there is some text on the Ad itself, it reads: WE'VE ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT DRESSING THE MODERN AMERICAN WOMAN. That is in a large font, below it reads: YOUR ASPIRATIONS AND YOUR STYLE OF LIFE ARE WHAT INSPIRE US. YOUR FIRST JOB INTERVIEW. YOUR FIRST JOB. FIRST PROMOTION. AND FIRST LOVE. YOU ALWAYS COME FIRST FOR US. FOR MORE THAN 35 YEARS, TO HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS IS OUR SINGULAR GOAL. On the bottom of that page it reads: JONES NEW YORK, and below that is smaller font it reads: EMPOWERING YOU CONFIDENCE.
Although I do really like this Advertisement, and as a woman I would shop at Jones New York if i had a need to, I do realize this Ad has flaws. this Ad is clearly pitched towards a younger group of women, which is understandable, but why not pitch it to an entire group of women? I also realized that all of these women are slender, and all sort of still look similar.

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