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.