Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Sexual Politics of Advertising

In my world, the marketing of women's clothing tends to emphasize assertiveness and aggressiveness, dominance and power. On the other hand, men's apparel is usually sold with imagery suggesting submissiveness and temptation, implying that the worth of a man is in the eyes of women. This is most readily apparent in underwear advertising for men, who are almost exclusively portrayed as sexual objects, dressing themselves for the gratification and approval of women. Usually in fashion advertising on my world, both women and men are pictured together in positions symbolizing domination and submission, instead of merely presenting just women or men posing in their respective clothes. Some say that advertising agencies know what works, that on a subliminal level, appealing to the natural tendencies of the respective genders; others say that advertising itself, and mass media at large, are responsible for perpetuating antiquated and chauvinistic stereotypes that represent the forced subjugation of men.

In my world, the latter group are a very small and often-ridiculed minority in popular discourse.


  1. I've had the original Elsa Benitez collage for nearly two years, and I have to say I like the energetic way in which she's holding the little guy... it could be threatening, or possessive, or just really REALLY interested. Her intent gaze is perfect for the collage as well.

    I prefer the version I have, but I also have to say the job you did in removing her top is spotless! Great shadowing too.

  2. Hi Undersquid, thanks! There are actually a few areas of the shadows that still bug me but this was one of my earlier collages which I collapsed all the layers on. So it's not so easy to make new changes to. Boo me.

    I'm not sure why I didn't leave it as a straight collage but turned it into an underwear billboard. Something about it made me change it though. I also had to remove her top (which was a bra, I think) as women in my world don't wear such things.