The truth is I never had a chance; the truth is most women never had a chance.
I was born into an ideology that was not mine to posses or so they thought. Since the inception of dominance over women control has always been an implicit agenda. Explicit only when as a woman, you learn to rearrange the way you where taught to see things. You see we are the desire and the fear in men. We are the fuel and the spark that will ignite their fire. But we must never be independent enough to be the calm waters that extinguish such inclinations as well.
The issues in question are advertisings ability to manipulate female images implicitly and sometimes explicitly. Print Ad’s offer an array and degrees of sexism, racism and power hierarchies found within so much of the American culture Advertizing. Bell Hooks has come to the understanding that, “Clearly we cannot dismantle a system as long as we engage in a collective denial about its impact on our lives.” (Hooks, 24).
How can we as a society can we reverse it? I was on the bus and took this snapshot of the new Rihanna Perfume, How do you see her naked or nude? Is she empowered or dominated?
We must understand the act of Dominance and submission is one of contempt. There is a psychological patriarchal dynamic between those qualities deemed Masculine and feminine. Men are prideful of their manly stature yet equate our femininity as a cowardly shadow.
It has come to be understood that Advertizing is a visual lure for the consumption of an endless array of products, as well as the female conditioning of her self-image and whom she is meant to be. “ This has been one of the media’s most important legacies for female consciousness; the erosion of anything resembling a unified self.” (Douglas, 13).
I was walking on the streets of New York and as a photographer something is always catching my lens. I came across this curious Ad.
So a Gentleman never tells, huh? What does this Ad convey to you? What exactly is the product being sold here? What is her position here? Does she have power be it sexual or intellectual? The dated allure of this image suggest a 60s vibe to it. It has a movie innuendo as in the movie The Graduate, where a young Dustin Hoffmann with his slick college boy persona is having an affair with an older woman. With images such as this one it is fair to say that the man is the one in control, as it suggests.
Where do we go as women but within our selves to seek out other young women and girls to educate the importance of their self worth? “ It is important to consider how media representation might impact not only on very vulnerable young women but all women.” ( Gunther, 220). We must balance out the bombardments false Ideologies of who "you" are perceived to be and who you really are. We must be held accountable as individuals to give the gift of true insight to find our true self worth in this society. If not not now, when? How long will we moan a bitch and pout about our representation?
To my delight I came across this subway Advertisement
And so this very small piece of imagery is just one step that is towards the right direction, after all.
Although I did not touch upon food and the self image below I have attached a website with interesting statistics on the direct correlation on the body image and how Media Advertisements are key factors in self image.
Where the Girls are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media
Book, by Susan J Douglas
The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
Book, by Bell Hooks
The Media and Body Image: If Looks Could Kill
Book, by Barrie Gunter