Domestic Violence Is Not Okay, No Matter What You See

by montrealactivist18 on September 26, 2016 - 4:44pm

Often times ad campaigns will promote on the aspect of a woman being subordinate to men, which is definitely not the case but regardless fashion companies almost always they emphasize this in  their ads. Companies specifically in the fashion industry are accustomed to believe that people will buy their product based on how it makes them feel. Consumers are more likely to purchase a product if it will make them feel powerful and important. As demonstrated in Miss Representation, ad campaigns contain violent and demeaning images. The film also emphasizes the paradigm of advertisers that the woman body is more important then her brain. 

Cesare Paciotti, an Italian shoe designer, as well as the name of his show brand has been seen before creating highly offensive ads demonstrating a woman being subordinate to a man. In the 1999 issue of Esquire magazine, a woman is presented laying on her stair way. By looking closer at the photo, the shoes of what is perceived to be a man are apparent. The way the woman is placed emphasizes that she was pushed and the man is on a higher step over looking her. This is a depiction of domestic violence, and it is trying to make it look sexy. This is a shoe brand but the woman body is given more focus then the actual shoes are. This ad is one of the many to depict a man being more important then a woman, not only is the woman lying on the floor upside down but the man is even on a higher step then the woman. So if it was any confusion in the viewers mind that the man was more important than the women, the man being on a higher step than the women gives it away. 

One of the many reasons why we should be concerned about what this advertisement paints is that it makes domestic violence look okay and in some cases glorifies the issue. The women does not even look like she is in pain or is trying to fight back but rather she makes getting pushed look sexy. It is important to realize that young women also view magazine articles.  Their young minds are not as developed to understand how bad what the ad is demonstrating. With an innocent mind, a young man or woman will see domestic violence as not only okay but even as a goal to obtain. This fashion company is trying to sell men and women a pair of shoes by using domestic violence as the focal point of there advertisement. In using domestic violence to sell a product, the Cesare Paciotti brand is almost saying, buy these shoes, they will make you superior, in a mans case, and sexy, in a woman case. What is exceptionally crazy about this ad is that the creators are making such an awful act look okay. Which is definitely not the case, in no way is domestic violence okay. A man has no excuse to ever touch a woman, and vice verse, no matter what has been done to spark this action. 


Some changes can be made to make this advertisement less offensive to women. By removing the domestic violence and subordinate aspect, the ad can still sell and also remain non offensive. I would display the man and woman on the same step of the stair case, I would leave the woman in the clothing that she is wearing and let the man be shirt less. It would be ridiculous to think that being sexy does not sell. By creating an ad with a good looking male and female, the ad will still give off the belief that if you buy the shoes in the ad you will be as sexy as the models. In putting the male and female model on the same step of the stair case it removes the possibility of the viewer to think that the male is superior to the female. This demonstrates that an ad can be sexy and still not incorporate awful characteristics such as domestic violence.

It is important while looking at an ad to ask our selves “Would I want my mother, sister, aunt, grandmother or daughter to be treated like the woman in the ad.” Sadly most of the time the answer to that question is no. 


Work Cited: 

Miss Representation. Dir. Jennifer Siebel Newsom. Perf. Margaret Cho, Geena Davis, Rosario Dawson, Jane Fonda, Katie Couric, Lisa Ling. Virgil Films and Entertainment, 2011. DVD.