Low pants or prices?

by chicagomix312 on September 27, 2016 - 5:35pm

As the world is dominated by the hegemonic male ideology, the media and advertisements are often targeted towards men. Products geared towards the consumption of the stereotypical heterosexual male are conditioned to view women as objects by the media. 

This advertisement in particular is advertising car insurance. At first glance, one would never guess that this is advertising the low prices of Estrella Insurance. This company is using an image of a woman’s legs, wearing heels with jean shorts hanging around her ankles and comparing it to the extremely low prices of their insurance using the tagline “No one goes lower than us…”. What stands out in the image is the only part of the woman’s body that is presented is her legs with her knees together. This presents the concept of the woman as the young, beautiful, “Perfect” seductress (Cortese 59). The slender legs of the model exhibits the unrealistic beauty standards that are instilled into our cultural ideology which lead the public to believe that the only way for women to be desirable is to be physically perfect. Advertisements such as these use women’s bodies as tools for selling they products. In this image, this woman is nearly dehumanized by the absence of her face causing her to become an object to attract buyers as opposed to a real person. 

This advertisement, which is obviously directed towards heterosexual men, excludes many groups of potential customers. This advertisement insinuates that the only people who should be interested in purchasing car insurance which ultimately means the only people who should be driving cars, are heterosexual males. The primary excluded  group that I would like to discuss are the heterosexual women. This company is feeding off the stereotype of what constitutes femininity which includes a fear of technology (57). The message being conveyed is that women are not meant to own cars and therefore this service need not apply to them.

This advertisement is concerning due to the discriminatory and sexist portrayal of women. It gives the male public the conception  that using female sexuality and objectifying the female body is acceptable when selling products to men most importantly something that is viewed as a “male” product such as a car. The low shorts of the woman and her knees pushed together portray the idea that the woman is embarrassed in this situation. The slogan is insinuating that women is not only selling the lowest prices in car insurance, but also that nobody wears their pants as low as she does which advertises in itself the idea that the job for a woman is to be the source of male pleasure. This image gives off the impression that this company is selling female bodies more than it is selling car insurance. 

The fundamental issue with this advertisement is the picture. The slogan would be acceptable if it were a picture of a downward facing arrow, but the mostly naked woman is offensive and disrespectful towards women. However, a more acceptable slogan should consist of mentioning the word “price” as opposed to “No one goes lower than us…” which does not mention the fact that they are advertising for having the lowest price in car insurance. This advertisement does not give the public any indication that they are selling car insurance through this image. This product could be sold by simply including a car in the advertisement as well. This advertisement is completely sexist and demeaning for no reason as the public can hardly tell what they are selling because of the offensive image which is grabbing the viewers’ attention. 

 

Cortese, Anthony. "Contructed Bodies, Deconstructing Ads: Sexism in Advertising." Provacateur: Images of Women and Minorities in Advertising. New York: Rowman&Littlefield, 2008. 57-89. Print

 

Comments

Profound publicity
The image that you post with your article really caught our attention. Because we are really affected by media and publicities in our everyday life, it is always interesting to analyse how some ads can send negative messages. Obviously, the insurance company you mentioned in your article does not give an exact hint about the real intent of what they are trying to sell. Also, as you said, in this publicity, the women is represented as someone who can only achieve acceptance and seduce by having a perfect body image. This is really frustrating to face prejudice as women and the fact that we always need to keep in mind that our body is what define us according to society’s thoughts. Also, the fact that company use this to sell goods and services is really insulting for women.
This publicity portray women as being inferior to men. This made us think about the concept of white privilege we learned in our Myth of Race and Racism class. The fact that women are represented as being inferior as men in this publicity can be compared at how colored people are seen as being inferior to white people. This is very important so underline the fact that a white person has privileges that people of color do not have access to.
Finally, your post really made us reflect not only on the concept of white privilege but also on the fact that business often use publicity that degrade one specific gender. You really succeed to made us understand that by analyzing more deeply certain advertisements, we can come to realize that some of them are discriminating specific group of people. Once again, people are categorized according to their physical traits.

What drew us to this post was the intriguing title the author used to introduce their article. It really wasn’t direct to any certain topic or ideology discussed so far in our class so we it was a great way to pull the reader in and get full attention for your article. We liked the point you made on female objectivity and how this ad implies that women are used for men’s pleasure. The ad does target heterosexual men which is an issue if you’re trying to target a bigger portion of the population. We also agree that the slogan is fine and that the main issue lies within the picture used to promote their product. It wasn’t necessary to use a picture of a females legs (which you also brought up that it brings out impossible beauty standards that women have to deal with in society) and the company should’ve came with a more liberal and acceptable approach. When you said that “stereotypical heterosexual male are conditioned to view women as objects” it made me think of the TED talks done by Tony Porter where he speaks on this issue. He speaks about how males are taught from a young age to act like the more dominant gender and be assertive with women from a young age. We are conditioned to objectify women from when we are just kids and this issue is apparent in society today.

https://www.ted.com/talks/tony_porter_a_call_to_men?language=en

I could say that what drew me to this post was the odd title that sort of reminded me of some gender issues I have heard of and a subject involving the man box that I have watched in a Ted Talk. I immediately made links to it. These ads perpetuates the heterosexual men ideal-or men box box(expected standards and behaviors men should have about women and themselves). Not only are these ways reinforced by society, society itself is influenced by these types of ads. It also, imposes it, as it assumes that are men should and do in fact think like this. The devaluement of women is shown through their willingness to accept their domination. The problem is that such ideas continue to be spread in our society. We know that this box is not acquired innately, but rather men learn it from their environment.... the commandments of the men box that an invisible force forces us to follow. Stating the problem will not settle it though, one needs to take affirmative actions and make the men learn the opposite of what they have been taught, and the ensuing problems that comes with it.
Source: https://www.ted.com/talks/tony_porter_a_call_to_men?language=en