A woman resting her head submissively on a mans shoulder, her face looks relaxed, her eyes are closed, her facial features are soft, her skin is white and glowing. The mans gaze looks fierce and powerful as he looks deep in thought. This image is mostly black and white and reads "Fifty shades of grey Valentine's Day, surrender to Color". This is a advertisement for O.P.I's new colour line in the January issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.
It is commonly known that the purpose of any type of advertising image is to sell a certain product. It is meant to trick the viewer into desire the product by the use of advertising techniques. Some commonly used techniques are the use of sex and beautiful women. It is evident that in the O.P.I advertisement sex is one of the major selling points, but it is also giving a representation of what the ideal type of beauty looks like, women's gender roles and heteronormativity. In this paper I will be arguing Cosmopolitan magazines advertisement for O.P.I's new colour line "Fifty Shades of Grey" continue to construct men and women in stereotypical ways that limit our perceptions of human possibilities and systematically places heterosexuality, traditional gender roles and whiteness hierarchy above those of "the other"
In general the media continues to portray men as active, adventurous, powerful and sexually aggressive. Just as consistent with cultural views of gender our depictions of women are as sex objects who are usually young, thin, beautiful, passive and dependant. O.P.I's new "Fifty Shades of Grey" colour line is promoting E.L James first book in the trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey. These books are about a handsome white powerful billionaire, Christian Grey who is into BDSM ( bondage, discipline, and sadomasochism) in other words this books hero enjoys tying his partner up, dominating her and inflicting pain on her. The women in this novel Anastasia is represented as a introvert with low self esteem with little to no self sufficiency. Her sexual identity is almost non existent until she meets Grey who request that she becomes his submissive in a sexual relationship. In which she is to sign a contact in acceptance. This contact requires her to exercise four days a week with a trainer that he provides and eat only from a list of foods he supplies for her and requires her to have at least eight hours of sleep a night. The problems with this novels depiction of the stereotypical gender roles are outrageous. It is justifying and normalizing women to be sexual objects for a man. The requirements what Grey has in his contact give women the ideas that men only want young, thin, beautiful and passive women. In conjunction to its gender role stereotypes it is also normalizing heterosexuality.
Heterosexuality is predominant in O.P.I's advertisement by the attention it pays to Valentine's Day. This holiday is perhaps the most heteronormative of all, it directly caters to a traditional view of couples that promotes the idea of heteronormativity (Ingraham, 306). This exemplifies those who do not fit into this category to feel like "the other". In this advertisement we see both a man and a women which is congruent with most other images you see in main steam media. This sends the message that Valentine's Day is an occasion to celebrate monogamous, heterosexual relationships. When one thinks of this day they in vision a man coming home to his wife with long stem red roses and a heart shaped box of chocolate and a nice piece of jewellery then later conversing over a romantic dinner and declaring their love for one another. It is a day where everything is about the devotion a man and women give to one another, but this advertisement like many others fail to pay attention to a large group of people who also love and are loved that are being excluded.
Heteronormativity and gender roles are also displayed in this advertisement by the couple in image. When looking at the…