We had to choose a topic having to do with the media and write a five page paper discussing it with findings from research done in books, journals, interviews and the like. I chose to write my paper on the effects of advertising on body image. Not terribly original, but it's something I'm interested in and I thought it would be fairly easy to come up with five pages. I now have a twelve page paper that covers body image issues as well as gender roles for both men and women. (sigh) I can never do anything the easy way.
While I was researching ad images I came across some very cool pieces. Rather than share with you the worst of the worst (and there are some doosies) I wanted to show you some ads that I thought were constructive.
The first one is an ad campaign that was run in Portugal. You have to look at it for a second, but the hands that are silencing the women belong to men. They also had one of a young boy with a man's hand over his mouth and one of an elderly man with a younger mans large hand. So they were targeting child abuse, elder abuse and violence against women. Nice.
This one is from India. It's an ad campaign created by a group called The Sisterhood Collective to address the problem of dowry in arranged marriages there. Apparently, women are often beaten, abused and murdered due to issues with the dowry. Yeah, "accidental kitchen deaths" my ass.
"What began as gifts of land to a woman as her inheritance in an essentially agricultural economy today has degenerated into gifts of gold, clothes, consumer dur-ables, and large sums of cash, which has sometimes entailed the impoverishment and heavy indebtedness of poor families. The dowry is often used by the receiving family for business purposes, family members' education, or the dowry to be given for the husband's sisters. The transaction of dowry often does not end with the actual wedding ceremony, as the family is expected to continue to give gifts. It was only in the middle of the 1970s that the women's movement and other human rights groups exposed the perniciousness of the system in India, when it was realized that there were an increased number of "accidental kitchen deaths" of young married women. The first reports to the police were often registered as suicides or accidents. The available statistics of dowry death are chilling and disturbing. "
This one reads; "Violence against women. Do nothing and you might as well lend a hand."
I thought the collage approach was very effective on this one. All the hands reaching out at the viewer make the image even more confrontational and intimidating. You get a real visceral reaction from this piece.
Here is yet another line of Dove ads. I've talked about my concerns with Dove and Unilever before but I do like these ads. I especially like the "Grey or Gorgeous?" one and the "wrinkled or Wonderful?" one. I think the older women look amazing.