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Advertising and the Inversion of the Male Gaze

Categories: AdvertisingGender

The gaze’ is a phenomenon which is set to describe the way the power of man is the driving force that shapes many gender stereotypic behaviors. This power has come to be taken as a norm amongst people of society, as it has become very effective when it comes to the role of women in it. Advertisements had clearly taken advantage of it. With the chosen advertisement is from one of the most popular magazines in the world, Cosmopolitan. The essay is set to describe the success of the advertisement in implicating ‘The gaze’ and using a woman to sell a fragrance to them.

First thing the viewer notices is the rich golden warm vibrance in the advertisement which act as the signifier. The color signifies a perverse pleasure, as according to Rebbeca CITATION Mea l 1033 (Mead, n.d.). This intents to give perverse fascination of what the beholder is going to benefit from using the product. The dress of the woman is corresponding of shiny golden color as to match the packaging of the product, enhancing its value and sets off a powerful luxurious feeling.

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This shares a modern ideology that woman is worthy and the way that their worth should be appreciated by society. Especially those of opposite sex, man.

The slogan of the advertisement (Let the desire lead the way). In the advertisement we see the female model is leading the way meaning she is the desired. It comes to question that is the woman desired because of she applied the fragrance, or is it because she is woman? The purpose of the advertisement is to appear as if the fragrance made her to be this desirable.

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Advertisements make us believe that we are lacking something, whether it is clothing, a small enough waist, or happiness, and suggest that a product can fill the void (Teal, 2007:3). In this advertisement female model are made to believe they are lacking desire. Therefore suggesting the product is to fulfill that void.

The way they are both posing is very significant, they are not looking at each other. The woman is gazing at the beholder, she is demanding the eye contact assuming a beholder is a man. Unlike the mankind of looking away knowing that a if the beholder is a woman, she is to urge a feeling of attention, a way of attraction to them. Thus, the way they both revealing their main body attraction to the correlating sex of the beholder. Studies by Cornelissen, Hancock and others have shown that both male and female viewers demonstrated similar gaze distribution with more gaze allocated at the waist-hip and chest areas, as of referenced by Amelia and Kunn (2015:2). To explain it further by means of an example: If the beholder was a man, he would be looking at the woman and going thigh searching what’s hidden, her private part. Now if the beholder was a woman, he would be looking at the man and going for his chest analyzing his torso searching for that six-pack. This dynamically support that although this advertisement is advertising a woman’s fragrance. It is not only intended to attract a female audience only, the male is also involved. Since man are the main driving force to a woman pursuing beauty and sense of power.

They way the models are dressed is significant. The male model with the white shirt and a dark blue colored suit. Dark blue a color that resembles elegance and riches. The female model with the golden dress with curly wave-like patterns. Gold a color that resemble riches, wealth. Their curly hairstyles are symbolic, it is an irregular type of hairstyle. To describe it further no set of curls is the same (Sarah, 2015). Unlike straightened hair that all looks the same to everyone and the most preferred when it comes to professionalism. The idea of curls is to break the pattern, in this advertisement the women breaks the pattern by being the leading body. Taking the position which is normally associated with man. Then man on the side is considered secondary. The significance of this character exchange and curly hairstyles is the breaking of the norm. This links to what is happening in society currently that woman are fighting and breaking the norm that they suppose to be housewives and not being involved in the cooperate world and sports. Now they are involved in many roles that the society of the past never imagined they would be.

Looking at the male model pulling the boat and intentionally walking on water without being considerate of his attire, the expensive suit. This signifies that the male model will do anything in their power for such a desirous and scented female model. This is set to admit correlate to Berger’s statement that ‘Woman appear and man act’ (Berger, et al., 1972:47). Along with the splashing waves expressing a thrilling motion of the advertisement. This is to share a common ground as a way of interacting with the beholder, by sharing the same thrilling feeling. The advertisement is a successful, as mentioned that it does have the potential to sell and convince the viewers that it is the ideal product. The advertisers expanded their target audience to the likes of men, who may influence their partners to buy the product, or recommend it to a friend. The semiotic identifiers that the advertisers have used in this advertisement are done successfully. As means of color, layout, pose, clothing and more specifically gender roles.

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Advertising and the Inversion of the Male Gaze. (2020, May 22). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/advertising-and-the-inversion-of-the-male-gaze-essay

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