Dolce & Gabbana

As a consumer, the first problem that I have with this advertisement is that I cannot figure out what exactly Dolce & Gabbana is trying to sell. Since the female appears to be the focus of this advertisement, I am assuming that the ad is selling shoes or clothing. If that is the case, it is no surprise that the model has a slender figure. According to Bordo, the firm bodies constantly displayed in advertisements normalize constant self-containment and self-mastery and allows the body to be “evaluated for its success or failure at getting itself in order”. Therefore, the ad has clearly been retouched to make the model’s skin appear as smooth and flab-free as possible. This promotes the undesirability of loose skin, which is why many advertisements for beauty products, clothing, and weight management products feature females with pore-less, flawless, and taut skin.

Another alarming characteristic of this advertisement is the female’s body language. Not only is she lying in a mildly provocative position, it is clear that the man holding her arms down is in a position of power, which makes the woman appear completely vulnerable. Also, there are multiple men surrounding her, which adds to her vulnerability. In Jean Killborne’s movie, Killing us Softly 4, she discusses how countless advertisements portray women as docile, sexual objects. This advertisement reinforces stereotypical gender roles that place males as the dominating gender and females as the submissive gender. The message that this entire advertisement sends is that, as a female, if you have a tight body and are submissive, men will find you attractive.

Sources:

Bordo, Susan. Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body. Berkeley: University of California, 1993. Print.

Killing Us Softly 4. Dir. Jean Killborne. Cambridge Documentary Films, 2010. DVD.

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