Kay necklaces

The ad chosen is the Kay Jewelers “Storm” television advertisement for a line of necklaces. Opening with an exceedingly attractive white couple alone in an affluent-looking cabin, the women jumps into her lover’s arms seeking protection from the “frightening” thunder. He presents her with the necklace, ostensibly as a physical manifestation of his commitment to be the protector.  She immediately shows her thanks by kissing him, implying that material gifts are the easiest way to sexual repayment from women. Even in the first ten seconds much is revealed about the audience and the gender roles. First, both are well-dressed and attractive, giving away their target audience. Given the expensive product, it follows that their portrayals would be idealistic depictions of the affluent couples they seek to attract. As evidenced by Kilbourne in Killing Us Softly 4, the woman (and man) are unrealistic portrayals of real humans. She is physically flawless; she’s tall, rail-thin, and has large breasts. Her skin appears to have no pores and her face has a perfect jawline.

In line with what Kilbourne described (in Buy This 24 Year-Old) , it would appear that the commercial is selling this idyllic life, as opposed to the mere necklace. It is as though they’re saying that if you buy your woman this necklace, you too can have her fall into your arms so you can protect her. This “protection” is a prime example of Lorber’s ideas of the social construction of gender. She has no real reason to be afraid of thunder, yet it’s totally acceptable for her to jump into the arms of her big, strong male companion to protect her from a basic meteorological phenomenon. I can only hope that I will one day be young and wealthy and have a perfect, albeit astraphobic, heterosexual lover whose sexual favors are redeemable through Kay necklaces.

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