Is it really just an advertisement or is there more behind it?
by goldengurl on September 26, 2016 - 11:45am
This advertisement of Calvin Klein, was posted in 2010 on a billboard, to promote their new clothing line of jeans. Although based on what we see, this brand was not only promoting their jeans but rather the objectification of women and a rape culture. We can see this based on specific characteristics seen in this advertisement, which increasingly promotes male dominance. The idea behind this pictures was to show that by "men" wearing these jeans, it would bring them confidence and dominance over any female just like the advertisement.
Based on the main dominance and sexual violence seen in this advertisement the woman is being dehumanized and stripped from her right of freedom, her right of speech, her right of consent, her right to be treated as a human and her right against sexual violence.
The man on the right is gripping onto the woman's hair, showing us his dominance over her and sexual violence. He is treating her as if she were an animal that needed to be tamed. The fact that he is grabbing her indicates that he is not respecting her rights as a human, by treating her like she is worthless and less than a human. The fact that he is also grabbing her hair towards his private area also shows us how sexual violence is seen in this advertisement.
The second man also objectifies the woman by forcing his body onto hers. This leaving the woman no space to move and no way to get out. While he does this we notice that his pants are already unbuttoned and look like they were pulled down a bit. This not only objectifies the woman's right as a human but also promoting once again sexual violence in which the woman is being stripped from her rights and forced to do something against her own will.
If we look at the woman in this advertisement, we can see how she is almost completely naked. Considering the fact that this is suppose to be an advertisement of Calvin Klein Jeans, we question why the woman herself does not have a pair of jeans on. By seeing this, we get the idea that Calvin Klein was not trying to promote women jeans but rather promoting a fantasy and unrealistic life to men who do buy these jeans, making them believe that they can get anything and anyone they want no matter what they did to get it. However, even though Calvin Klein is giving this horrific idea to men, he also makes women believe that these jeans are to only attract a male. "Young adolescents and girls are especially vulnerable since they are developing their sense of self" (Cortese 77). The fact that the woman does not have any pants on considering that the ad is about jeans, makes women believe that if they were to buy his brand jeans, they would be used only to attract males and are not to be worn otherwise. This giving both men and women the idea that women are objects are should be treated like one.
If you look closely to her facial expression we can see how she is not comfortable and looks like she is in pain. The fact that she is being pressed down and pulled by the hair shows us how violently she is being treated and most probably is not okay with what these two men are doing to her.
Lastly, we see the third man sitting in the front smoking a cigarette not paying attention to what is happening behind him. He does not seem to be interested in touching the woman or being part of what the other two men are doing. Although, even if he is not touching her he is still considered just as bad as the other two guys who are sexually touching the woman. The fact that the guy is just there sitting minding his own business makes men think that if they were to see something like this happening in real life, they should just mind their own business and not say anything. This also showing men that grabbing a girl by the hair and forcing her down, blocking her from moving is okay and is considered normal.
"Violence refers to immediate or chronic situations that result in injury to psychological, social, or physical well-being of individuals or groups" (Cortese 79). If we are constantly seeing violence through the advertisements of big companies like Calvin Klein how can we possibly educate people in trying to prevent them from violating a human's rights.
Based on what we see, we can say that Calvin Klein's advertisement was not only promoting jeans but also the objectification of women and the fantasy idea of male dominance. In my opinion in order to change this, I would try to make it look like their all a group a friends. I would not involve any touching or sexual violence to be shot in this ad. By making both the men and women equal in the ad, this would allow men and women in our society to start viewing women and men are equal human beings. I would also insure that both the men and women in this ad will be fully dressed to really emphasize what Calvin Klein is promoting which are the jeans.
Cortese, Anthony. "Constructed Bodies, Deconstructing Ads: Sexism in Advertising."Provocateur: Images of Women and Minorities in Advertising, Third Edition (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008):57-89. Rpt in 345-102-MQ: Gendered World Views. Montreal:Eastman,2016,3-19.Print.
"Rape Culture in Calvin Klein Ads." April 2016. Ed. MediaMensch. Web. 26 Sept. 2016. <http://newsactivist.com/en/articles/gendered-world-views-section-10-winter-2016/perfect-problem-womens-media-portrayal.