Make Yourself: The Progression Of Women In Advertising

1136 words - 5 pages

“It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union”. These famous words were spoken by Susan B. Anthony, one of the strongest advocates of female equality in history. The quote is referring to the notion that male superiority is in fact a lie. She states that it was not just males who are responsible for every positive outcome that has happened in the world. Women are a vital part of the successes of the human race. In a world saturated by male dominance, Susan was a bold advocate of female equality and the world has grown from the seed she has helped nurture. Male supremacy has tainted the world throughout history, even in advertisements that promote products. However, times have changed since the days of Anthony. Modern advertisements display that women have progressed to much more independent, strong-willed roles in society as opposed to the incorrect portrayal of past eras. These ads look promising to women seeking to step into the spotlight.
One such advertisement that came from Lord and Taylor, shows a woman in a much more important and powerful status than men. The ad is promoting its new clothing item, the Tahari Cape, but it is also asserting the authority of women. In the ad appears a man in business attire with a trench coat and fedora strolling past a store’s display case. The man is carrying a bag of groceries, which in recent decades, society would associate with a woman’s duty. Also, the man is shadowy and his eyes are hidden by the rim of his fedora as he peers into the display case. Inside the display case, there is a male manikin lying on its back. The manikin resembles the business man, except that he is on the ground with his bag of groceries scattered around him as he looks up expressionless. Above the manikin is a well lit woman leaning against a lamppost. Her arms are crossed as she stands in a very powerful pose wearing the Tahari Cape. She wears dark lipstick and an expression smeared with prominence. The caption at the bottom reads “Oh My Lord & Taylor”. Because of the positioning of the woman above the men gazing up at her and the fact she is obviously the focal point of the advertisement, it is easy to understand that the intent is to show her power and independence. The sheer look of her will knock a man on his back.
In recent decades, men were thought to have exceeded women in almost every aspect of society. One such area that was dominated by the male species was sports and athletics. However, in a recent Nike advertisement promoting their new Legend pants collection, this large sports equipment label deliberately utilized females in their advertisement. In the ad appear four women of seemingly different cultural backgrounds standing side by side. These women are not models and do not appear in dresses and pounds of makeup. Instead, they appear dressed in athletic clothing such as sports bras and tank tops. They look as if they...

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