Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Another Women's Studies paper

My last post seemed to be so popular (5 comments is alot for me) I thought that I would post my last paper as well.

See Image Here ( I cannot get the link to work. It says the tag is wrong so I will have to work on that later)

This image brings to mind a song that was very popular during my high school years titled “Barbie Girl”, by a band called Aqua. Its lyrics included lines that said

I'm a barbie girl, in the barbie world
Life in plastic, it's fantastic!
you can brush my hair, undress me everywhere
Imagination, life is your creation

Almost every little girl grows up playing with Barbie’s. I read somewhere once that the percentage of girls ranging in age from 2-12 who played with Barbie’s was somewhere around 90%. Any young mind can spend hours imagining the different worlds of adventure that they can visit with their perfect, yet hardly realistic, plastic friend. By presenting this young model as a Barbie, the makers of Moschino Jeans have objectified a human being to the point that she actually becomes that unattainable shell of a toy that we all grow up playing with.

Objectification is to present or regard something as an object. This woman has lost everything that makes her a living breathing human being. Because of this we can almost allow ourselves to treat her as a “thing”, impersonally, without feeling. By turning her into an entity, the advertisers have made her into an unattainable shell that other woman idolize yet never become. Women will cut out this picture, hang it on their refrigerators, force themselves to compare their bodies to this woman’s as they forbid themselves that last bite of dinner for the night. This woman, like many other fashion models, does not represent 98% of the American female population. She represents what is the unhealthy, unrealistic goal of far too many women.

The woman in this picture is bound in an awkward position to the wall behind her. Her stance in wide with her feet and knees pointing inwards, making her look unbalanced and unsteady. If she is unable even to stand up straight and support her weight, how can she face the world around her? Her arms are bent at unnatural angles, not only making her look odd, but unwilling as well. As in many advertisements, there is an imbalance in the careful lighting of this photograph. Closer inspection reveals that the lightest part of her body is her pubic area and legs; her face is darkened and covered by shadows. Highlighting the sexual areas of her body, while hiding her face, gives us an excuse not to recognize her for the human being that she is. The advertisers hope that the viewers of this add will desire to buy their products in the same manner one might desire after the body of this young woman.

The position of this woman and the lighting of her body make her look powerless; anyone who wanted too could take control of not only her body, but her mind. Barbie’s can be molded to become anything that the imagination desires. Do the makers of this advertisement and this brand of clothing want to mold the women who buy their items into whatever they desire? If this ad had been truly been designed with a woman in mind, clothes would actually be sold, not sex. Avenues to accomplish this can involve stunning photography and amazing set design; there would never be any need to stoop to the degradation of the pornographic image above. It is the mind of a man that believes showing half-naked and submissive photos of women will sell clothing or products. Ads such as this one can considered the illustration of how men view and value women’s bodies. They would rather turn her into a defenseless doll, this woman is easy to manipulate and control, just as they would like to do with the women around them.

By using images of sexually stimulating young women in their ads, advertisers for major clothing brands across the world hope that they can convince women that buying their clothing will turn them into the young woman they see before them. Women are smart enough to realize that this woman has a physique that is very desirable, and may fall into the trap of thinking that if they do not look like this presently, buying this brand of clothing may help them become like this woman in the future. The marketers behind this ad for Moschino may also hope the women who do represent the ideal will identify with an ad featuring a girl who is bound and confined. Many beautiful women are just as unhappy as the other 99% of the female population who are not considered alluring by the world’s standards.

At first glance this ad may be considered slightly appealing. The color scheme is well thought out, and Barbie’s are thought of as the ideal toy as well as image. Just like a young girl molds her Barbie into what she wants it to be, so will the designers of this ad manipulate you into becoming what they want you to become. Just as they took advantage of this young woman, so will they take advantage of their consumers in an effort to make a little extra money.


dan said...

The image isn't showing up because the path is incorrect. It looks like it's the path on your hard drive rather than on the web server.

dan said...

You've tried using the img tag and the src attribute?

<img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v428/jnicholea/moschino.jpg">

Who links to me?