Head Over Heels

by Juicycouture on September 26, 2016 - 3:35pm

       This Gucci ad is the perfect way to demonstrate how society views women as inferior.  The dark colours in the room and on the man contrast with the woman’s bear body. The contrast in colours exposes the female’s body making the ad extremely provocative. We can also see that in this ad the man is seen as superior just like in a patriarchal society. The man’s full body including his head is exposed where as compared to the woman, the ad only exposes her naked body, making it obvious that the man is about to take advantage of her. What also shows that the man is dominant in this ad is the fact that he is holding her legs. This shows that he is taking control over the woman and she is about to follow his lead. The streak contrast between the way the man is portrayed compared to how the woman is reinforces the notion that “masculine images are dominant, intimidating […] while feminine images are subordinate, receptive and passive” (Cortese 84). The next aspect is related to pornography, where the woman has completely shaved and creamed her entire body which shows the objectifying of woman as well as making her body look like that of a child’s. Ads like these are problematic in todays society because we believe in equal rights between men and women. Men shouldn’t be dominating the women and even more so shouldn’t be taking advantage of them. This ad is promoting a patriarchal society which is what we have been trying to get rid of for years. The first, second and third wave of feminism has helped us diminish this way of thinking however, ads like these bring back this ideology. This ad ended up being banned because of the unwanted messages it was promoting. 


       The main gender message being conveyed is the fact that it’s normal for the man to have superiority over the woman. What also conveys this message is that the man in the ad is wearing a bulky jacket which emphasizes his masculinity and dominance where as the woman barely has any clothing on with high heeled shoes and is also very tiny making her look like the image we all have when we think of the word “woman”.  The woman is also seen as a sexual tool in this ad. This is shown by the letter “G” on the woman’s genital area which puts the consumer’s focus on that part of her body.  


       We should be concerned about the messages conveyed because today’s society has made it clear that men and women deserve equal rights even though men are at times still seen as physically more dominant. Women are also not made to be seen as objects but as human beings just like men. People forget that women also have inner beauty, ambitions and character just like men. However, all that is seen is the superficial exterior. Ads like these from Gucci, Georgio Armani and more only bring us backwards. We want our society’s mentality to move forward and constantly be improving. What we can do to help these gender problems is to stop using women’s body’s in advertisements. As soon as a women's body is portrayed in such a manner, this sexually grabs the attention of men. Consequently, it makes women feel like they have to achieve this unachievable standard of beauty, to feel accepted by their male counterparts. Therefore, we need to stop using women a women’s body as a tool to grab the consumer’s attention. If we want to use women in advertisements, we should at the least make them fully clothed and not seem like they are under the dominance of a man. We should be focusing on bringing out what’s on the inside to attract attention. Women will then be recognized for their qualities and inner beauty as opposed to a sexual tool. 


Works Cited

Cortese, Anthony. “Constructed Bodies, Deconstructing Ads: Sexism in Advertising” Provocateur: Images of Women and Minorities in Advertising, Third Edition. New York: Rowman Edition & Littlefield Publisher, 2008. 57-89



Hello Juicycouture,
thank you for the interesting article. In your argumentation on this Gucci ad, you could also add another perspective. For instance, the fact that the woman is standing above the man and the fact that she is the one who is pulling her pants down - not him - could be a sign of the dominance of the woman. It seems like she is the one who decides what the man is able to see and what not, kind of like she is playing with him. The man in his on his knees and indeed grabbing the woman's legs, which could also lead to the deduction that he is begging her to reveal her full body to him. He looks young, soft, and even has longer hair and wears make-up - quite different from the average display of masculinity in most commercials. There, men are often displayed as very muscular, tall, and often with beards. How could this be included in the discussion about gendered world views? Again, thank you for this article and I'm looking forward to your thoughts on these ideas.

I was drawn to this post because of the concept you described of women being inferior. Your first sentence really caught my attention because it was really straight forward and your post really seemed to have good information and support about the topic. It is in fact really shocking to see that world-wide known brands are projecting this biased image of women. In my class, we learned about the concept of “man-box” and your post is clearly linked to that concept because it is the principle that men have power over women. In the ad you showed, the woman is basically half naked and the man is fully dressed which can in fact represent dominance. In this ad, the woman is also shown as an object, which shows that she is inferior. I really liked the way you ended your post with your last sentence, by saying that “women should be recognized for their qualities and inner beauty as opposed to a sexual tool”, because our society often sees it the other way around.
For more information about the “man-box”, I suggest you this TED talk: “A Call to Men”.