“Doing Gender:” Bodies in the Media
Western Michigan University The social media, print media and people all have their own conceptions of beauty, masculinity, and sexuality. The media is big part of most people’s lives, so it is no surprise that it has a huge influence on our own beliefs of what these should mean to us, and what they really mean. Media gives masculinity/femininity, beauty images to stand up to, and sexualizes images, along with objectifying women and men. As a result, I picked five pictures to discuss and analyze from the print media.
The first image I want to discuss is about the Victoria’s Secret model that is helping advertise a new bra in their lingerie collection. In the image the model is laying against a wall, with her side to the camera, in a pair of pump heels, with glistening, bright skin. The target audience of this advertisement is women, but the perspective that woman are looking at in this advertisement is young “sexy” women. It does not appear that she is advertising this new bra, but rather her body. The model poses rather oddly, with a posture that blocks a large portion of the bra (which she is supposed to be advertising) from being seen. The image proposes their conception of a sexy woman is one who is skinny with flawless, shiny skin, blonde hair, long legs, and looks good in lingerie. In other seen advertisements of the Victoria’s Secret line, there are only female models. This exemplifies “doing gender”, in the sense that only women are supposed to wear lingerie, not men.
I have an image of an African-American sitting on a couch, and women dancing behind him, this is an advertisement for the alcoholic beverage Ciroc. The man on the couch looks like a successful man, as he is in a good looking suit along with multiple women by his sides and behind him also dressed rather nicely, and it looks as though he is personally being served alcohol. The target audience appears to be African-American, middle aged men and the perspective the audience is looking at is also, exactly that. Race and ethnicity shape this advertisement because there are only African-Americans depicted in this advertisement. The image is making the statement that if you are a middle-aged man of African descendent, you too could have a party with any woman you desire, be served as you please, and have a good time. I feel that the women in this picture are being objectified as prizes of being successful because there are women all over the room, and no men, besides the man sitting on the couch. The third image I chose, I just happened to come across and decided to discuss. This is a Kraft advertisement for Italian dressing, but upon first glance it looks nothing of the sort. A man is stark naked with nothing but the corner of a picnic blanket covering his genitals, along with a picnic basket and dressing by his side. The target audience is most likely women, but I would like to say that it is also intended for people who like to cook, and even other men. I find all these audiences very likely, but sided with women because of the stereotype that woman “belong in the kitchen”. This image is very sexual, and I feel it may also be exotic, because there is a middle-aged man, naked on a picnic, with food and wine, in the grass. This man is certainly being objectified as he stares straight ahead of him, with little to no emotion. The advertisement is trying to get women to buy Kraft Italian dressing, in the thoughts that they could possibly have that man, or someone like him, in their house when they use the dressing. As for my fourth image I used a Dolce & Gabbana advertisement for men’s cologne. The image is of David Beckham in some rather short, shorts for men, with his arms above his head grabbing a part of a rock wall or cliff, and the bottle of cologne enlarged and photo shopped next to him. The intended audience is males, although the perspective the audience is looking at is