Sunday, March 2, 2014

Act of Looking: Difference, Representation, and Male Gaze in Media

Gaze and it's effects on the viewer is the subject for this week's readings, with a link to the MissRepresentation film in regards to how women are treated. The reading explains gaze, stating it “helps to establish relationships of power...awarding more power to the person who is looking than the person who is the object of the look.” (111) Being the viewer of the image grants authority over that which they are looking at, but also gaze within an image creates situations of dominance

There is a long tradition in art of understanding the female nude as the project and possession of the male artist. In these paintings, the women are posed as objects of an active or ‘male’ gaze, and their returning looks are more often downcast, indirect, or otherwise coded as passive.” (123-124)

1) The following Calvin Klein ad, a classic representation of male gaze in media, features three men fondling a nearly nude woman. In this image, male fantasies of domination are projected on to a passive female, successfully asserting the prominence of male perspective in our culture.

Figure 1, Calvin Klein jeans advertisement
Retrieved from: https://mahagha.wordpress.com/tag/advertising/

Please respond to at least one of any of the following questions regarding Figure 1:

  • In systems of representation, meaning is established through difference” (111).
Only the men in the image are wearing the advertised jeans. What do you believe is the implication/purpose of this “difference?” What do you have to say about the ad’s disparities in representation--there being 3 men and only 1 woman? Does this say something about the ad’s intended audience?

  • The act of looking is commonly regarded as awarding more power to the person who is looking than to the person who is the object of the look” (111).
Who are we forced to focus on in this image--the three male figures, or the single female figure? Who is “looking” and who is the “object of the look?” What do you think this aesthetic choice says about gender roles, power and representation? Feel free to also draw on past readings such as Bordo’s "The Empire of Images", discussions we have had in class and on the blog, and the documentary we watched, Miss Representation.

2) “In systems of representation, meaning is established through difference.”(pg. 111) Essentially everything we understand about representation comes from knowledge of one side and basing the other side on it's opposite (in the sense that we know what culture is because it is the opposite of nature, or what Eastern countries are like because they are the opposite of our own Western ideologies).
I would like you, the viewer, to consider the following picture.

Figure 2, Opposite Sides (Illustration by Malcolm Evans from http://www.evanscartoons.com/index.php)

From understanding only one side of the picture, we start to make generalized assumptions of the other side. These assumptions translate into stereotypes, and eventually, these become common ways of viewing these opposite side (here, “white” or western culture versus eastern culture). Instead of ask your opinion on this, I implore you to look over your initial thoughts on images of other countries, cultures, and people different from you (that I ask you put here). What are these thoughts and where do you think they stem from? (I am asking you to open up a bit and be honest about your own possible bias toward other cultures, and explore possibilities as to why and how to correct them)

Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. “The Gaze and the Other.” Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford Univ., 2009. 111-120. Print.


Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. “Gender and the Gaze.” 123-136 Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford Univ., 2009. 123-129. Print.

30 comments:

  1. In terms of the photographic myth, the fallacy is that buying these jeans will result in a sense of power that holds weight; buying these jeans will not making you any more controlling over females and they will also not make you look like the upper bodies of the men in this ad.

    Denotative is that the two of the men are infatuated with the woman, her seemingly nonchalant or maybe worried (although not physically resisting them with her arms), and another male sitting down looking disassociated with the entirety of this.

    The connotative meaning is that sex sells and this is a cultural acception. Those who know Calvin Klein ads know that they base most of their images in black & white, and also that they are centered around hyper sexual images.

    I believe that the implication of the men wearing the jeans tries to show that they are asserting dominance and are empowered sexually by wearing these jeans. The fact that there are 3 men and only 1 woman pushes me to think that it plays with the "double standard" and that it may imply that this girl is a sexual partner of the three of these men. They may have been sexual partners in the past, or the four of them all at once in this moment. To equate it, jeans = sexual power and prowess. She looks akin to a docile doe about to be bitten on the neck from the mortal bite of a lion or tiger. The ad's intended audience is the sexually charged and testosterone filled youth that gallivant through malls, with pockets full of money or with their parent's credit cards (or easily influenced parents).

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  2. Looking at Option 1, the image is actually disturbing. For me, it evokes a sort of "rape scene" rather than an advertisement for jeans. In fact, the jeans are probably one of the last things I looked at when looking at this ad.

    I suppose the difference, where the men are wearing the jeans and the woman is not, is to #1 sell the jeans to men and #2 to show that there is a difference between the men and the woman, which may indicate that they are superior to her. This is especially convincing when looking at the way that they are touching her and otherwise looming over her, asserting their dominance over the barely-clothed woman. Another thing to note when looking at this is that the men are wearing the Calvin Klein jeans, which may be representing masculinity, but that the connotative message would say that in order to be a man, you must assert your power over women and dominate them sexually.

    To me, this ad, in a connotative manner, is actually promoting sexual, or otherwise, violence against women and telling men that in order to be "a real man" you need to act, dress, and look like the men in this ad.

    Looking at numbers, the woman is outnumbered three to one. This may show how dominate men are in our society, not just over this woman.

    For me, however, I again gravitate towards a sort of "rape scene" in which these men are taking advantage of this nearly naked woman, all in the name of masculinity and Calvin Klein jeans. This is disturbing to me and makes me wonder whether Calvin Klein has thought about the repercussions that may come with these ads.

    I also wanted to note that when I saw this ad my mind immediately went to another fashion ad that is strikingly similar to this one. This Dolce & Gabbana ad also depicts multiple men, showing their sexual dominance and interest in one woman.

    This strikes up a number of questions. What are the true intentions of these companies? Do you think they consider the consequences of their ads, which may advocate sexual violence?

    How do ads like these effect society? Men? Women?

    image from: http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/files/2011/01/213.jpg

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  3. What you bring up here is exactly the problem. I believe they (the companies) do not understand that they are presenting their product in such a way, or that if they do, they care little for it's overall repercussions.
    Our culture is dominated the way this woman is dominated; from all sides we are assaulted that sexuality is the main focus when buying things like clothes, cars, and perfumes (cologne). This is a problem for women because they are now objects of desire, losing their humanity when people buy these things. It is also negative towards men because living up to these expectations is not realistic, creating a world of overly self conscious men.
    Either way, these companies really should look at the results of their advertisements and reflect on how they could better sell something without immediately falling back to "sex sells". We as consumers also need to speak up and explain what is wrong, since it usually takes mass disapproval of something in order for changes to happen

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  4. Stephanie SantosMarch 3, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    Hi, Alexia. Great discussions you have created here. I too found this ad to be reminiscent of a rape scene (I actually almost chose this exact Dolce & Gabbana ad for the discussion -- they're both so similarly disturbing). I agree with you that the ad's most prominent underlying message is one about power--who has it, who doesn't, and what power must look like if you were to attain it (male dominance over women).

    I'd like to hone in on one of your quotes here that focuses on representation of gender:

    "Looking at numbers, the woman is outnumbered three to one. This may show how dominate men are in our society, not just over this woman."

    The following link is to an NPR discussion titled "Casting Call: Hollywood Needs More Women," It's an engaging talk that highlights just how under- and misrepresented women are in movies, and how this lack of female representation in media shapes the way we think about women and girls--http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=197390707.

    This is crucial to our discussion of the disparity in there being 3 men to 1 woman in the image. To cite from the talk, a study found that "if there's 17 percent women, the men in the group think it's 50-50. And if there's 33 percent women, the men perceive that as there being more women in the room than men."

    I wish I linked this to our talk a couple weeks ago on "Women in the Media and Society." I think it would have served our discussions there as well. With this new information in mind, how does this affect your idea of why women are under- and misrepresented in media? Specifically, in this ad?

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  5. (I tried to delete the post I put up as Guest 8 hours ago after the "Do not post during class time" comment but it did not delete the post, it just merely deleted the username attached to it)

    In terms of the photographic myth, the fallacy is that buying these jeans will result in a sense of power that holds weight; buying these jeans will not making you any more controlling over females and they will also not make you look like the upper bodies of the men in this ad.

    Denotative is that the two of the men are infatuated with the woman, her seemingly nonchalant or maybe worried (although not physically resisting them with her arms), and another male sitting down looking disassociated with the entirety of this.

    The connotative meaning is that sex sells and this is a cultural exception. Those who know Calvin Klein ads know that they base most of their images in black & white, and also that they are centered around hyper sexual images.

    I believe that the implication of the men wearing the jeans tries to show that they are asserting dominance and are empowered sexually by wearing these jeans. The fact that there are 3 men and only 1 woman pushes me to think that it plays with the "double standard" and that it may imply that this girl is a sexual partner of the three of these men. They may have been sexual partners in the past, or the four of them all at once in this moment. To equate it, jeans = sexual power and prowess. She looks akin to a docile doe about to be bitten on the neck from the mortal bite of a lion or tiger. The ad's intended audience is the sexually charged and testosterone filled youth that gallivant through malls, with pockets full of money or with their parent's credit cards (or easily influenced parents).

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  6. Stephanie SantosMarch 3, 2014 at 6:27 PM

    I'm not sure who the "Guest" is here but I'm going to respond to you anyway! I like your discussion of connotative and denotative meaning. I also enjoyed reading what you had to say about the implication of the men wearing the jeans in the ad, and our notion of the "double standard" when it comes to a male's sexual activity and a female's sexual activity.


    I'd like to give some attention to a line you wrote here, which is so often repeated in discussion of media and advertisements, and I think it's an ineffective and inadequate claim. You write, "The connotative meaning is that sex sells and this is a cultural acception."

    I want to point you to a quote, by Sadiqa Thornton, which clears up that idea and gives us a deeper reasoning for why women are so often objectified in media:

    "Sex doesn't sell. Erosion of female self esteem does. The feeling of superiority over women does. Turning women into 'things' to be studied, scrutinized and judged and then calling it 'sex' does.

    Sex doesn’t sell. Objectification does."

    This quote, for me, changed the way I thought about the original claim, and it helped me understand and interpret images in a different scope. Does this change the way you interpret the ad, or ads/images in general? Does it add another framework for critique of visual culture?

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  7. Stephanie SantosMarch 3, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    Hi, Justin. I responded to your comment below under "Guest" so I will copy & paste it here for your convenience. Thank you for your input!

    I like your discussion of connotative and denotative meaning. I also enjoyed reading what you had to say about the implication of the men wearing the jeans in the ad, and our notion of the "double standard" when it comes to a male's sexual activity and a female's sexual activity.

    I'd like to give some attention to a line you wrote here, which is so often repeated in discussion of media and advertisements, and I think it's an ineffective and inadequate claim. You write, "The connotative meaning is that sex sells and this is a cultural acception."

    I want to point you to a quote, by Sadiqa Thornton, which clears up that idea and gives us a deeper reasoning for why women are so often objectified in media:

    "Sex doesn't sell. Erosion of female self esteem does. The feeling of superiority over women does. Turning women into 'things' to be studied, scrutinized and judged and then calling it 'sex' does.

    Sex doesn’t sell. Objectification does."

    This quote, for me, changed the way I thought about the original claim, and it helped me understand and interpret images in a different scope. Does this change the way you interpret the ad, or ads/images in general? Does it add another framework for critique of visual culture?

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  8. FIG. 2


    Marita, Cartwright and Sturken mention the issue of Orientalism as an issue in westernized nations. Even within our own media we distort other cultures as part of our intense consumeristic culture. African women can be represented poorly by society through means of advertisements.


    The image posted below is an example of western cultures defiling the representation of African women. People associate Africa to the "wild" - jungles, animal print and uncivilized. The woman in the photo embodies a poor representation of African females. They are viewed as exotic and primitive. The model's body is covered with animal printed body paint to alter her appearance. Her hair is styled to be large, similar to a lion's mane. Also, her eyes are photoshopped to have a more animalistic gaze. She stares at the audience fiercely; however, she is the one on display for us. As one examines the advertisement he or she may observe the model to be less than human due to her exotic features.


    We accept this representation of African women in the media because it is given to us repeatedly. To move products, companies feed us narrow-minded perspectives of black women who are alluring because of their exotic beauty.

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  9. Great, this is exactly what I mean.
    What are they selling here? Are we buying an exotic experience? Will we become untamed with this product?
    All I get from this is that African people are animals; exotic, mysterious, and even magical, in the sense that they can assume the role of a beast, and because of these reasons, I can put myself on a level higher than her. I can say that I am a human, while being from a different place makes this woman somehow inhuman.
    Of course, these are all gross overreactions, as this woman is a model and got paid for her work, but the representation marks the subconscious to apply these barbaric, sub-human characteristics on this particular group of people. The unknown becomes magical, and with a misrepresentation, almost makes a norm out of "wild people are from Africa" or "African people are more animals than humans".
    Until advertising can be reformed and can look over its social impact, these images will continue to flood the media, and will unfortunately push this "type" of people.

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  10. Hi Stephanie,

    In response to this quote,
    "Looking at numbers, the woman is outnumbered three to one. This may show how dominate men are in our society, not just over this woman" one thing that may conflict with it is that the United States is composed of 51% women, yet as we learned in Miss Representation, not many people actually know this.

    Could people actually knowing this (designers, marketing designers, etc) be the reason why they try to show men in dominant positions in images? Is the media trying to support the numbers from the study and have men think that they do outnumber women in number and power?

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  11. Another thing that may be noted is the spelling of Animale. Is the e put on the end in order to give it a more foreign/exotic feel, the way it rolls off of the tongue? There are many parts of Africa that speak French, so could this also be written in this way to confuse people (as animal = animal en francais, n'avec pas une "e"). Most of what comes forth on searches is that "animale" is an Italian word.

    Did they add the e solely to avoid the ad being overtly racist if it had just said "Animal"?

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4f/Francophone_Africa.png

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  12. And here are the other Romance influenced areas of Africa:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/4/49/Afrique_latine10.png/250px-Afrique_latine10.png

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  13. I actually questioned the name of the perfume too. The branding is definitely trying to be peculiar and its humorous because marketers assumed people would not associate the "e" in animal with Italian unless they knew the language. We see cognates and relate them to something exotic. D you think as media consumers we are partially to blame for this?

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  14. Brittany CaldwellMarch 5, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    I didn't even pick up on the spelling of "Animale", I just read it that way, not thinking twice about the double meaning of it. I get that it's the name of the perfume, but I feel as though Macy's went a little bit overboard with this ad. I don't understand why people of color are still viewed as animalistic beings. This ad actually makes me mad. Why didn't a white model do this ad? I don't understand Macy's reasoning for representing a black woman this way. I feel that ads like this one are the exact reason why nothing has changed in society. This model doesn't even look real because of all the makeup and photoshop.

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  15. Brittany CaldwellMarch 5, 2014 at 8:40 AM

    Hi, Stephanie. I really like the Thornton quote you shared with Justin. I am guilty of using the words "sex sells" but after reading her (?) quote, I feel as though I will look at it differently from now on. In order for a product to sell, in this case it's jeans, a female subject is objectified. There is absolutely no need for this woman to be in this ad, other than the fact that if it were three men who were sexually objectified, the consumer, which would be a man, probably wouldn't look at the ad, so they had to throw in a half naked girl to conform to all viewers. If a guy wears these jeans, will half naked women come running for him? Chances are very slim, so why give a consumer false hopes? I just wish that ads would be more about a product and less about the objectification of (mostly) women.

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  16. Stephanie SantosMarch 5, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    Awesome points, Brittany. I wish that ads would be more about a product and less about the objectification of mostly women as well. I like how you pointed out the following: "There is absolutely no need for this woman to be in this ad, other than the fact that if it were three men who were sexually objectified, the consumer, which would be a man, probably wouldn't look at the ad, so they had to throw in a half naked girl to conform to all viewers."

    This reminds me of our reading, Mulvey's "A Visual Pleasure," in which Mulvey quotes Budd Boetticher who says, "In herself the woman has not the slightest importance" (837). The woman serves to be looked at, the "erotic object" for both the characters and the spectator (838).

    I'm curious, do you think there are any ads out there which do not use the male gaze? Any progressive ads, that don't objectify? I personally like this new one by Covergirl:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmmGClZb8Mg#t=29

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  17. Stephanie SantosMarch 5, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    Hi Justin, I think you make a great point. I've come to accept the fact that EVERYTHING in advertisement and media is purposeful--and its purpose is, for the most part, to bring in sales/views/money. Brittany, you've pointed out one of the biggest issues with our culture when it comes to interpreting images & other visuals, and that is ignorance. People are not looking closely or critically enough, which leads me to what one of the women in MissRepresentation pointed out, which is that our education system desperately needs to implement courses in media literacy. Do you agree? When it comes to product advertisements like these, do you guys think there is also a lack of representation of other races, sexualities, able-bodiness, etc? What do you think the reasoning is for this? And what do you believe these choices of representation lead viewers to think about who has power, and who doesn't?

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  18. Professor VinsonMarch 6, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Wow, this is a powerful example Erika. Susan Bordo actually incorporates this image in the book she was reflecting on in "The Empire of Images": Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body. In that book she points out that women have long been associated with animals and the body and she uses quotes from Western philosophers like Plato and Aristotle to prove her point. 

If man is to woman as man is to beast, then man is to tame/control woman? 





    To respond Justin's question below about whether this image would be controversial if it were a white woman, I think it may still be controversial, but the ideological message might shift. As many of you know, there is a documented history of treating
    women of color as animals--whether enslaving them (i.e., slave trade and slave market in United States), raping them (to reproduce more slaves), or in more recent history, sterilizing them without consent. Two excellent books that discuss these histories are Dorothy Roberts' Killing the Black Body and Rickie
    Solinger's Pregnancy and Power: A Short History of Reproductive Politics in the United States. Considering this very real, very horrible history, images featuring women of color as animals are particularly controversial because they reflect/produce/support racial ideologies that not so long ago justified unethical actions against people of color.



    This example reminds me of Sander Gilman’s essay “Black Bodies, White Bodies,” particularly his discussion of the treatment of Saartjie Baartman (the “Hottentot Venus”), an indentured servant who was paraded around London so that White people could observe her “abnormal” body (170). In order words, observers could gaze at Baartman’s body just as they might gaze at an animal in a zoo.



    

Dr. Lisa Wade (a sociologist of images) discusses the visual convention of depicting Black women as animals here:
    http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2009/08/19/another-photoshoot-places-a-black-woman-among-animals/

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  19. Thanks for sharing that commercial Stephanie. I am excited to see if students find other commercials that do not seem to perpetuate the "male gaze."




    This commercial has a very clear message of female empowerment, but can it challenge patriarchal ideology if it is a commercial for make-up? It reminds me of Bordo's point that " the rhetoric of feminism has been adopted to help advance and justify the industries in ant-aging and body-alteraction" (B7). It seemed ironic to me that Ellen ends with the "easy, breezy, beautiful, Cover Girl" line when she (and other others in the video) just claimed that women need to take action and fight back when being told that they "can't." The commercial drums up all this "let's fight back, let's take action" energy just to slam into the idea of being "easy, breezy, and beautiful" (all very passive terms right?).

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  20. How about this commercial?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNYdtnMNbI0

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  21. Referring back to numbers, where the men in this particular Calvin Klein ad outnumber women three to one, I thought about bringing power into the equation.
    Although women out number men in the United States, they do not hold more power.


    If you looked at it from this perspective, there could easily be three women and only one man in this ad. If we are correct about society viewing men as being more powerful and dominant over women, then a singular man should still exert the same amount of power over multiple women in an ad.


    For example, in this Axe Body Spray ad, there is only one man and three women; however, the male still dominates the ad AND the women.


    What does this say about power v. numbers and statistics in our society?

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  22. I found this ad by Pantene which I thought was extremely empowering to women and shows the different stereotypes of women and even compares them to their male counterparts.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kOjNcZvwjxI



    In this ad, the women are not being objectified, but rather, are being empowered to break free of those stereotypes, many of which we saw in Miss Representation. By comparing them to men in the same position, but giving them different labels, it is easy to see the way our society sees men as the charismatic protagonists and women as "bitchy" and "vain."

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  23. There is absolutely a lack of representation of other races and sexualities in particular. Although we have made great progresses regarding equal rights, there are still prejudices out there that may deter marketing teams from creating ads that are more diverse.

    For example, Cheerios had a commercial that depicted a biracial family. The ad became extremely controversial and attracted numerous racial comments. You would think in this day and age people would be more accepting of different family structures, but unfortunately there are still many prejudices that may prevent products from selling if they were to incorporate diversity in ads.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYofm5d5Xdw



    Unfortunately, these choices of representation (white, attractive, fit) lead viewers to believe that these are the people that have power and that everyone else is beneath them.

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  24. Brittany AndersenMarch 6, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    Hi Stephanie,


    Dr. Pepper's "One of a Kind" commercial series features numerous individuals to promote their product. Their advertisements do not utilize a male gaze or objectify women, as they focus solely on the subject's inimitable achievements. The commercial I selected revolves around Misty Copeland, a soloist for American Ballet Theatre. I think this advertisement empowers women by showcasing a woman's success, motivation, and drive. Dr. Pepper does not sexualize Copeland to sell their product, as they rely on her incredible accomplishments in ballet. The commercial conveys Copeland's strength, talent, athleticism, perseverance, and grace.


    Do you think Dr. Pepper's commercial does a good job showcasing a woman's strength and potential?


    -Brittany


    Video: http://ispot.tv/a/7IUf

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  25. Brittany AndersenMarch 6, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    Hi Stephanie,

    I agree! I think both promotions lack a diverse representation of races and sexualities. Calvin Klein Jeans and Dolce & Gabanna show no diversity in their advertisements, as they solely employ physically fit and pale skinned models. Additionally, the couples themselves are heterosexual, as the men focus their attention on one woman.

    When reflecting on our class discussions of Roland Barthes, I think these advertisements convey a distinct connotative message. The absence of diverse ethnicities, abundance of men, and positioning of women illustrate how our society views sexual power. The woman is not in control, as the male holds complete dominance over her. These images ultimately state that, if you want to have power in sexual relations, you must be a toned, white, and heterosexual male.

    If the ad featured a mixture of white and darker skinned individuals, how would its connotative message change? What if the advertisement portrayed homosexual or bisexual couples instead of heterosexual ones? How would that affect the overall statement of the promotions?

    -Brittany

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  26. With figure 1, I think it is certainly geared towards men. The fact that only the men in the image are wearing the brand of jeans advertised shows that they want customers to believe that having their product will make them powerful. It could also be a way of enticing men to believe these particular jeans will make them look irresistible and sexually attractive. Since there are more men in the advertisement, it sort of gives off even more of a dominance feel.

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  27. Hi Brittany,

    I like the commercial you used and I think that you are completely right. It showcases her ability, motivation, and determination. There is no sexualization at all. I am curious though what you, or anyone else, thinks about the commercial Dr. Pepper came out with for Dr. Pepper Ten. With your commercial, Dr. Pepper does a great job in representing a woman in a non-sexualized way to sell their product.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zza3GqEL5B0

    In this other commercial, Dr. Pepper caters to men. They say that it's not for women. Now, admittedly they joke about the clear stereotypes in action movies, but that doesn't steer away from the fact that they say it's not for women and play to hyper male stereotypes. What do you think the connotative meanings are to both your commercial and the commercial I am presenting? What do you think about the other commercial?

    Another argument that's been made is that companies will make commercials that target specific people and that it doesn't matter to them what the conflicting ethical views are. Do you think that Dr. Pepper is a good example of this?

    (Argument: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yowHM6nqu60)

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  28. Stephanie SantosMarch 7, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    I think that's a great example, Professor Vinson.

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  29. Stephanie SantosMarch 7, 2014 at 7:21 AM

    As always Hank Green says exactly what I'm trying to say, just way better and funnier. Thanks for sharing this, Kaylen. And thank you for your ad, too, Brittany. I definitely think when you juxtapose the two Dr. Pepper ads, Hank's message that corporations don't have a conscience, and greed is all they're after, really sets in. I think this was a cool discussion. Anyone else have a response to this?

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  30. I certainly agree with Greg. Power and dominance is certainly a major theme given off by the male gaze in the advertisement. I don't like the role of the woman in this picture though, get gaze is passive to the point of almost appearing lifeless. The female role clearly supports the notion of male domination, which I believe to be a world-wide problem in media, not just in American culture.

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