Features Of Postfeminism In Advertising

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Advertising today plays a massive role in the modern economy and social life. It is a powerful tool for drawing audience's attention and persuading them to buy certain products. Therefore it is essential for advertisers to respond to public opinion and relate their advertisements to socio-cultural changes. Thus, the increasing feminist critique resulted in an emergence of new kinds of advertising, which could relate to the era of 'postfeminism'. The notion itself, it should be noted, has various interpretations. However, Rosalind Gill claims that postfeminism should be understood as a distinctive sensibility which comprises a number of contradicting features, both feminist and anti-feminist (“Postfeminist Media Culture” 148). Arguably, the…show more content…
The model is shot from a low angle that is applied to show dominant or strong characters. Her pose, however, cannot be entirely perceived as displaying domination. Even though she is standing firmly with her legs and arms wide open, the model is shown leaning on a stool behind her, which is usually treated as a sign of submission. Nevertheless, overall impression produced by her posture, together with the camera angle and a saturated red background, conveys the meaning of confidence and empowerment. The model seems determined and certain, looking up, above the viewer’s head, with an expression of assurance on her face. From this perspective the fact that she has a bright, almost gaudy makeup and is wearing nothing, but her underwear, stockings and high-heeled shoes can be understood as a means of expressing sexual determination. Following Goldman, one can say that it is her personal choice and desire “to be seen as a sexual object because it suits her ‘liberated’ interests” (133). The copy of the advert, containing a play of words, can also be interpreted in accordance with this idea. The phrase ‘pleather yourself’ obviously comprises two meanings, one of which is ‘pleasure yourself’. Same aspect of meaning can be found in the second copy, ‘pleasure with pleather’. These interpretations of the copies fit into the whole composition of…show more content…
Thus, the bright red color of the background and of the model's lipstick can symbolize not only power and strength, but also lust and sexual desire. Whose desire? One can argue that this only concerns the desires of the woman portrayed, as there is no man gazing at her in the advert. However, there is also a gaze of the viewer of the advert, under which the sexualized model can be seen and treated as an object, despite the fact that her pose and look express certitude in her own strength and independence, thus positioning her as an active subject. Her outfit can also be interpreted as means of sexualization, since the model is shown barely dressed, with her body mostly exposed to the view of the audience, even though this choice of wardrobe can at the same time serve to satisfy her own needs. Still, the ambiguity of such portrayal of a woman is rather obvious. Another component of the advert that may be interpreted in two ways is the choice of the model. The advertisers from PETA invited Jenna Jameson, who on the one hand, is a successful and powerful star, described in the comments to the advert on an official PETA website as ‘a strong, sexually aware woman’, but on the other hand, has originally made her career in the adult film

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