This advertisement is a good example of how the sexualization of women body is used to sell everything. Here, the American Apparel advertisement for long socks, depict a naked girl lying in a bed in a very suggestive position.
Kilbourne argues in Killing Us Softly 4, thatwomen are deshumanized in ads because only part of their body is shown. Here, the advertisement represents only the legs of the model, as she was only an object. Berger in his article said “ Men look at women, women watch themselves being looked at.”, this advertisement represents perfectly his view as the viewer is placed above the woman. The woman is represented as passive, as her face doesn’t show any expression.
Furthermore, Berger argues that women have internalized the heterosexual male gaze as they only measure their self-worth by knowing if thy are appreciated by other people or not. The heterosexual male gaze is internalized by the viewer, indeed whether the person who see this add is a woman or man he or she will look at the ad in a male gaze way.
This ad has also a pornographic content, it depicts casual sex, as the scene take place in the bedroom and the woman is in a sexual position. As Kilbourne argues, this ad conveys the idea that sex is only made for young and beautiful person as the model in this ad meets those criteria.
The content of this ad is made for women but the advertisement in itself seems to be targeted to heterosexual men. I think it is alarming to see how even products made for women are advertized in a pornographic and sexist way, because I believe it has an impact on women as it tells them how they should look like and behave.
Jean Kilbourne Killing Us Softly 4
John Berger Ways of Seeing (1972)
Link to the ad: http://camillefortier.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/aa_pub.jpg