Sunday, August 9, 2009

A mock of an everyday Axe commercial

Esquire a “Magazine for men’ was to a great extent about women” (Breazeale 231). Similarly, Unilever’s line of Axe grooming products for men is to some extent about women. Just as Esquire magazine, Axe objectifies and exploits women in order to create a niche for men in the beauty industry and show that their targeted consumers are unequivocally heterosexual . All of their commercials boast that any unattractive and undesirable man can use their products to instantly become sexually appealing. Our “Hatchet” commercial exposes this marketing strategy by portraying the product user as comparably unattractive to females and appealing to males.

Works Cited
Breazeale, Kenon. “In Spite of Women; Esquire Magazine and the Construction of the Male Consumer.” Gender, Race, and Class in Media 2003:230-242.

I screen wrote, organized the group, helped andy edit, directed, shot the video, ect....

the like to the video is connected to the title

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Everyday Pornography in Advertising

Our society encourages sexual connotations and utilizes sex as a selling point. Advertisers follow the guide lines "sex sells" and exploit women in the process. These advertisements bring sex to the public eye at all ages and promotes many different sexual meanings. Female exploiting advertisements play to the male population's masculinity. The constant ads of naked females, sexualy posed females, or references to females during sex, cater to masculine sexual fantasies. While the sexual points are either overt or subtle, the advertising industry is constantly using women and their bodies as a marketable commodity.

Sex selling was not simply created by the advertising industry; however, it is our society’s acceptance of sex appearing in the media that has made this idea such a popular phenomenon. In the age of consumerism advertisers look to make their ads stand out among the millions of ads bombarding audiences. In order to make their product imbedded in the consumer’s head, advertisers use sex. According to Sut Jhally in his essay Imaged Based Culture, “Sexuality provides a resource that can be used to get attention and communicate instantly.” (253) Jhally also further confirms that the popularity behind this advertising technique is based on our society. Jhally states, “The iconography of the culture, perhaps more than any previous society, seems to be obsessed with sexuality.” (253) This obsession with sex has enabled the advertising industry to flourish through broadcasting commodities in an erotic nature.

Advertisements like those shown above and to the left, play to a man’s arousal. Some ads portray women as overtly fulfilling sexual fantasies, while others are more subtle and have sex as an underlying message. The Armani, Gucci, and suit ads portray a woman dominating sexually over a man or in the Gucci case, a woman. While all three ads are supposed to be advertising clothing brands, in actuality, they are simply pseudo pornographic images which feed into the media frenzy surrounding male sexual fantasies.

The milk ads above and to the left are less obvious; however, still carry sexual overtones. The images of a woman covered in a white creamy substance subtly creates an image in the audience’s mind relating the milk to either a woman’s breast milk or a man’s semen after ejaculation. The ad goes from promoting milk consumption to giving the illusion that the woman is covered in semen after a man has ejaculated all over her. The images again play to the heterosexual masculine arousal.

Even less overt is the Burger King advertisement for their new sandwich. While the image shows a woman with her mouth open, ready to take a bite of this long sandwich, the caption “BK seven incher. Fill your desire for something big and juicy,” implies oral sex. The ad implies the sandwich is a man’s penis and the woman has her mouth open and ready to fulfill his masculine needs.
Over all in the ads, the theme is sex and advertisers use women and their body to grab a man’s attention and sell him their “product.” The Audi advertisement at the top uses a woman’s breast to grab the man’s attention and persuade him to buy the car. The motor scooter ad play’s to a man’s desire for a sexy woman and relates a woman’s perfection to the scooter. The fur ad is also used to attracts a man’s arousal and persuade him not to buy fur. Sex is used as a tool to sell a product. The advertisers exploit the audience’s sexual desires and use their arousal to urge them to buy the product. However, the way in which sex is portrayed also follows a society based norm concerning women in a man’s masculinity.
In sex and sexual based advertisements, women are simply a tool. Their bodies and sexual aura are used for the sole purpose of a man’s pleasure. Take for instance the suit ad previously mentioned. The ad conveys the story of a naked woman entering a man’s office for sex. The only reason the woman is pictured in the ad is to be a tool to enhance a man’s sex drive when wearing this particular suit. According to Jane Caputi in Everyday Pornography, “The females wear fetish garb and are positioned to suggest vulnerability, stasis, and service.” (437) Therefore, sexually driven advertisements imply a woman’s role is to “service” or satisfy the male. Caputi also concludes that, “Gender-porn images point to defining components of masculinity.” (437) Although an ad might picture a woman showing her strength, like Eva Mendez in the fur ad, her naked body suggests she is simply a tool directed towards masculine nature to prove a point. The advertising industry consistently exploits women sexually either overtly or subtly to feed to masculinity. A woman’s body and sexual persuasion has become a marketable commodity.

Works Cited:

Caputi, Jane. "Everyday Pornography." Gender, Race, and Class in Media: a Text Reader. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2003. 434-450.

Jhally, Sut. "Image Based Culture." Gender, Race, and Class in Media: a Text Reader. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2003. 249-257.

Works Referenced:

"Sex in Advertising." [Weblog Versa Creations Blog] 28 Aug 2007. Versa Creations Marketing and Advertising Blog. Web.26 Jul 2009.


Audi RS4 V8 420 HP quattro. Advertisement. . 19 Oct. 2008
Condomi Vienna ultra-thin condoms. Advertisement. . 19 Oct. 2008

Thursday, July 16, 2009

One Tree Hill Girls

One Tree Hill is a fictitious possible reality show similar to that of a soap opera. Majority of its writing conforms to the standards of specific TV characters. There is the Jock, the loner, the nerd, the dork, the villain, and the popular girls, along with other stereotypical characters. However, some characters follow the societal norms set forth while others rebel against the standards. Hegemony can be classified as the characters following the social norms and stereotypes while counter hegemony would be the deviation from the norm. The characters Hailey, Peyton, and Brooke from the TV show One Tree Hill, portray hegemonic and counter hegemonic representation.

Hailey is portrayed as a brilliant student, valedictorian of her class, manager of the tutor center, and smart girl. Common stereotypes would lead the audience to believe she is the “good girl” and more focused on academic achievements. However, Hailey represents counter hegemony in that she is the nerd gone rock star cheerleader. The cheerleader persona is the pretty, passive, and intellectually unthreatening; yet, Hailey is the quintessential “bikini brainiac,” which is counter hegemonic.

Hailey’s intelligence and position as a cheerleader is a contradiction because the perfect 10 cheerleader lacks intelligence. In an article written by Jennifer Pozner, The Unreal World, the perfect 10 does not have intelligence and that is the popular classification of a cheerleader type, but, Hailey is the main character in a cheerleader role with brains.(p. 97) While Pozner cites references to how intelligence is not popular for a beauty representation, Hailey is counter hegemonic to this because of her status, beauty, and brilliance.

Still, Hailey is not completely counter hegemonic. Her role as a wife and cheerleader coincide with the social construction of relationships in high school. Hailey’s husband, Nathan, is the co-captain of the state champion basketball team. While her love for Nathan is the overall reason, she represents hegemony in her conformity to the typical scenario of a cheerleader dating the popular jock. Her popularity stems from her marriage to the popular jock which is also hegemonic to the social norms of high school.

Hailey’s popular status is a result of her relationship with Nathan. According to Mary F. Rogers in her essay, Hetero Barbie, Hailey represents hegemony. She states, “young women find that their popularity at school hinge on their relationship with one particular boy.” (p. 94) This affirms Hailey’s hegemonic representation in her relationship with Nathan.
Hailey’s relationship with Nathan also paints her as another hegemonic representation. Their relationship constantly faces ups and downs, and is the center of drama. The writers of One Tree Hill portray “Nailey” based on the normative TV married couple. Their constantly struggling relationship follows the “guidelines to a TV show marriage”.

In the article Gendered Television, John Fiske describes the present day TV marriage as, “one of perpetual disturbance and threat.” (p.470) “Nailey’s” relationship is consistent with the typical married couple portrayed on TV and therefore hegemonic. Fiske also continues to say in his article that this portrait of a marriage is shown, “because a happy, unthreatened marriage is boring and incapable of producing good plotlines.” (p.470) Nathan and Hailey’s marriage follows this ideal constantly through episodes of infidelity, fighting, and immaturity. Their marriage is hegemonic in regards to the standard TV marriage.

While Peyton is not married to her male counterpart, their relationship is a hegemonic representation consistent with Nathan and Hailey’s. Peyton and Lucas face constant battles in staying together or getting together. Their story provides the basis for much of the plot and can be compared to the normative TV marriage. Their relationship exemplifies John Fiske’s description of the TV relationship and while a happy stable representation is there, their relationship never achieves equilibrium. Like a TV marriage, Peyton and Lucas’ relationship follow Fiske’s ideas that, “All [relationships] have within them the seeds of their own destruction.” (p.470) Peyton’s relationship is a hegemonic representation of this description as well.

Again, her relationship also conforms to the stereotype of a cheerleader dating the jock. Her status as a main character and a popular person in school is defined by her role as a cheerleader and her relationship with the co-captain of the basketball team. Peyton also represents hegemony in accordance to Mary Rogers in Hetero Barbie in that her relationship with Lucas is the cause of her popularity and femininity.

The writers of One Tree Hill make distinct strides in portraying Peyton as a counter hegemonic representation in her role as a cheerleader. The writers use the character Brooke to be the picturesque representation of cheerleader, with her unmistakable beauty, lack of threatening intelligence, and surrounded by adoring fans and friends. However, Peyton is counter hegemonic is comparison to Brooke. Peyton is a cheerleader who listens to metal and is considered a loner. She doesn’t quite fit in with everyone and is more engrossed in her music, writing, and art in comparison to Brooke who is more involved with socializing. Brooke constantly references Peyton’s differences and counter hegemony but reminds her that every game night Peyton steps out onto the floor, she is one of them; a cheerleader.
Brooke is the show’s constant stereotype. Her personality revolves around her looks, popularity, and most of all her sexuality. Her sexual nature is hegemonic in regards to a typical female character portrayed on TV. She falls into the category of the slut because her promiscuous tendencies are a means for her to get ahead. In Pozner’s article, The Unreal World, the slut is defined as a typical female TV character which takes every connection to the next sexual level.(p.98) Brooke again personifies hegemony in her constant sexual overtones and carefree sexual lifestyle, taking every connection with a male to the next level and making it sexual. The audience can see this in the scene when Brooke is naked in the back of Lucas’ car tempting him to have sex with her, or, in the scene where she exploits her friendship with Nathan and has sex with him, even though he is dating her best friend.

To keep up her mystique, Brooke uses sexuality to keep the attention centered around her. This is hegemonic based on the description by Sut Jhally in his writing, Image-Based Culture, “Sexuality provides a resource that can be used to get attention.” (p.253) Brooke is a hegemonic representation in her sexuality which plays a role in her classification as a slut.

Brooke also represents hegemony in her personality towards money. A feminine characteristic that defines Brooke is her obsession with clothing, make up, money, and status. Mary Rogers explains in her essay that, “femininity is a manufactured reality. It entails a lot of clothes, props, shopping bags,” (p.95) Brooke is a hegemonic representation of this because she constantly utilizes shopping and make up and clothes to define herself.

Through constant analysis of each character one can derive hegemonic and counter hegemonic representation; however, the dominant and bolded themes are evident in Hailey, Peyton, and Brooke’s actions. Each character can portray hegemony or counter hegemony which are within social constructs. Brooke is hegemonic in her personality that defines her femininity, her characteristics of the slut, and her use of sexuality to maintain focus on her. Peyton is hegemonic in her relationship with Lucas and its reflection of the stereotypical TV couple, and how her relationship defines her status. Hailey is hegemonic in her marriage to Nathan and her status as a popular cheerleader being defined by her marriage. However, Peyton is counter hegemonic in her loner cheerleader persona and Hailey is counter hegemonic and her bikini brilliance. The counter hegemonic representations show decent from the social norms that are portrayed in this prime time teenage soap opera.

Works Cited:

Fiske, John. “Television Culture.” Gender, Race, and Class in Media. Sage Publications Inc.
2003. p469-475.
Jhally, Sut. "Image-Based Culture." Gender Race and Class in Media: a Text Reader. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2003. 249-257.
Pozner, Jennifer. ”The Unreal World”.96-99
Rogers, Mary F. ”Hetero Barbie” Gender Race and Class in Media: a Text Reader. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2003. 94-97


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Music, Shopping, TV, Movies, and Reading

My listening to music seemed to spark me on a search of Blogs involving Janet Jackson and I came across this one. It reminds me of the constant guard Americans feel the need to put up, just in case, you are offending someone else. While the blog seems long you can simply see a case by case study. The main example I see is Janet Jackson and her infamous WARDROBE MALFUNCTION over five years ago. However, this was more offensive then Prince and his shadow of the guitar in between his legs a year earlier. It seems to me as though both instances could be classified as "accidents", Janet Jackson received more negative press. Is it sexist that a man can get away with a guitar in between his legs and a woman can't have a wardrobe malfunction?

Cheers, Jeers, Loves, and Hates
I Object to Everything!!!

One of my last encounters with shopping involved food shopping for an up and coming camping trip with my boyfriend, his family, and myself. I realized as I went sifting through the isles that majority of the population you see making their way through the supermarket is females. While there is the occasional male or the husband, son, brother, or boyfriend being dragged along, most women are the ones who do the food shopping for a household.

The Lady Finger

A Less Than Manicured Look at Gender and Society

Of Feminists and Food

So TV. I chose to look at Blogs on the Secret Life of the American teenager because I thought with all the sex on that show and crazy unrealistic, at times, events, there has to be someone out there with an opinion on its craziness. While I personally watched the show as recently as this morning on my DVR, I think its crazy. Its kind of like taking a story from FML and making it into a tv show only the story isn't completely true. How many people do you know where on the eve of losing their virginity there father dies in a plane crash at the exact moment and they had an arguement about it that morning.


Sex Gender Body

Sex Kills on ABC Family

Feminist TV Characters.


Unapologetically Female

Feminists on TV

As a flight officer in the Civil Air Patrol, I spend a lot of my time reading regulations and lots of other literature on CAP. So it is not surprising that one of the most recent things I read was a reg on something I was looking up for a presentation. I thought since the Civil Air Patrol is a military affiliated organization, it would be interesting to see the blogs in response to females and CAP/ the military. While the blog I found sparks some frustration, it is completely relevant.

Talcon 12


Civil Air Patrol

awesome link