Weird world of advertising

I’ve never read Vogue magazine before and am not much of a magazine reader in general so this was a rather interesting assignment for me. One of the first and most alarming things that jumped out while thumbing through was how very little content there actually is. The entire thing is like one big catalog of advertisements with a few articles sprinkled in between. I think it should be the other way around, but I guess if they are making a large profit on advertising and people are picking up copies then it is working for them.

The first advertisement that stands out to me is for Dillards and pictures a beautiful, slender, leggy woman in a turquoise top and bikini making a sexy pose. The advertisement is for the clothes. This would seem all too standard but it jumped out at me because the entire background is solid white and it makes the woman look so tall and skinny. The phrase on the ad is, “The Style of Your Life”, yet I can’t imagine this woman being a very accurate portrayal of many women’s’ lives. I think the problem with the ad is that it pictures the skinniest possible woman and you can tell how much it has been touched up. Wouldn’t women want to see more realistic representations, not necessarily the 1% of women who weigh 90 pounds? These kinds of ads seem to enforce the idea that women should look this way and I find that wrong.

The second advertisement I found is for Garnier Nutrisse hair color cream. I picked this one because I think it does a good job of showing an advertising phenomenon we discussed in class about black women being “whitened”. I can’t say for certain that this woman isn’t actually this color, but it really looks as if parts of her body have been given a whitened glow. Even if this was the woman’s natural color, I still have found looking through this magazine that a LARGE majority of the models are white. This I would guess is because the advertisers realize that white women are the majority buying the magazine. If I was in charge of making these ads, I would show woman more in their natural color and state rather than changing every quality about them to create some fake woman.

The third advertisement I found is for Ralph Lauren Polo clothing. I picked this one because it shows how advertisers like to frame men. It seems they like to show the good-looking, angry, badass type in their ads. . The man in the ad has a serious look on his face and is flexing his arm. I don’t think it as big as a problem for men as it is for women, but in general these advertisements give off the impression that this is what we are supposed to be. I am not really sure who this ad is targeted for because I don’t know how many men read this magazine. I get the feeling that this is geared more towards men but I could see how woman would be interested in it as well.

Here is an interesting link to an article about how the European Union has handled sexism and advertising stereotypes.

Here is the video we discussed in class during the World Cup that is completely in Spanish. It is for Bing.


About spencerpopp

Journalism senior at the University of Oklahoma. Originally from Omaha, Nebraska but consider Dallas, TX my most recent home.
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2 Responses to Weird world of advertising

  1. Hey Spencer it’s your classmate Bryan. I just wanted to comment on your blog because I think that we have the same perception of these risky advertisements. I completely agree that models in ads these days are too skinny and too photo shopped. My idea is that the FTC should have more regulations on the advertising companies, forcing them to not use photo shop at all on models or at least have to say something on the ad about how the figure has been photo shopped. I am an advertising major so I have spent some time on this issue and the only company I have seen trying to make a chance is “Dove”. The “Dove” campaign has been very successful in its portrayal of real women and I think it’s because people are tired of seeing advertisements objectifying women in a negative light. I think many people will agree with you when you say “If I was in charge of making these ads, I would show woman more in their natural color and state rather than changing every quality about them to create some fake woman”.

  2. nader824 says:


    Your ads today in class were really good and they all stood out in their own ways but the ad that really got my attention and bothered me was the Garnier Nutrisse one. I can’t believe, although I guess this states that I should try and start to believe, that black women are “whitened.” Why is it that there is a feeling of a necessity to be what you aren’t? I often wonder, why do advertisers think that white women look better after they’ve tanned and are darker, but black women look better and “appeal to a broader audience” by being “whitened” to fit the “norm?” Sorry, I know I just dominated the quotation marks. But the problem with our need for what we aren’t is a growing one and I think some light needs to be shined on this topic.

    In one of my ads I used a Beyonce ad for her new perfume called “Heat.” Something I didn’t notice was how her features didn’t necessarily meet the stereotypical black woman’s features and that she was “whitened,” not necessarily through color but through everything. Her hair is probably the one characteristic that stands out the most to people. For me, I didn’t notice any of those features. I never noticed how “whitened” Beyonce was until you brought your advertisement to class today and showed us how Garnier chose a very “white-looking” black woman.

    At what point will we as a society be able to just ACCEPT EACH OTHER FOR WHAT WE ARE? This is getting ridiculous.

    I really appreciate your input in class and I respect your views on a number of topics. It was great being in class with you and hopefully we’ll share another one in the future.

    See ya man,


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