Never Again Natan
by SoccerGal on September 25, 2016 - 9:14pm
This advertisement of Natan Diamonds is particularly disturbing. It is a jewelry advertisement showing a girl with her legs crossed in the picture and a man holding a closed jewelry box on the left. In the picture on the right, the jewelry box is open with the diamond ring showing. Surprisingly, in the second image, the legs of the woman are open. Gender is very important in this ad. The focus in the advertisement should be specifically on the diamond but the diamond is barely visible. The advertisement is instead focused on the women’s legs, which I will certainly address later in the article.
One of the many messages that are being conveyed is that women are only useful for sex and nothing else and that men hold dominance over women sexually. The fact that the women’s legs are closed and the man is not holding out the ring in the first half of the advertisement goes to show that women are less worthy when they don’t have their body to offer. Her face is not even shown in this advertisement. Due to the photo being taken in such a high angle, in the advertisement it appears almost as if the woman is being metaphorically suffocated. It looks like someone is on top of the woman and is unable to either breathe or speak since her face isn’t even shown. Implying the authority of the man. The chapter, Constructed Bodies, Deconstructing Ads: Sexism in Advertising mentions, “advertising and other mass media inculcate in consumers the cultural assumption that men are dominant and women are more passive and subordinate” (Cortese 58). This is clearly problematic and degrading towards women.
The second message seen is that this advertisement gives off the appearance that women will essentially throw themselves at men to get what they want, which in this case, is marriage. It can look like this woman is giving her body to this man in order to get the prize, the diamond ring. Ironically, this goes perfectly well with the popular stereotypical phrase, “diamonds are a girl’s best friend”. This enhances the advertisement to support the perception of all women being materialistic. This clearly does not give adolescents and young boys a good picture of women.
Lastly, the advertisement explicitly promotes the ideal beauty standards of women. In the advertisement, the woman’s legs are slim, pale, and unblemished looking, overtly giving an image of how women’s legs should look universally. This emphasizes advertisement industries obsession with body weight and image.
The messages portrayed are extremely concerning for both boys and girls. My reason for this is because these types of advertisements are what gives rise to several insecurities that teenage girls face everyday. It puts girls in a category in which they must follow. According to Caroline Heldman, an expert from the documentary Miss Representation, “the more women and girls self objectify, the more likely they are to be depressed, to have eating disorders, they have lower confidence, they have lower ambition, they have lower cognitive functioning, they have lower GPA’s”. This goes to show that these advertisements will not only affect the girls of our generations mentally, but also physically. Young boys will then get the image that appearances is much more valuable than intelligence. The advertisement undeniably reinforces this by only putting the legs of the woman in view. It is extremely harmful and damaging towards our society to make inappropriate advertisements such as these. To add to this, this advertisement delivers deliberate ideas that women do not have an equal status in close relationships.
I believe as a society we must take action and protect the children of today, but first we must make parents aware of what these mass media industries are promoting. I think Natan Jewelry will save money and also sell more quantities of their jewelry if they focus more on the product itself and not the people in it. Natan Jewelry for instance can show off the amount of diamonds the ring carries or the number of karats of gold the piece of jewelry holds. They could have also shown the wedding of the couple exchanging their rings and have it zoomed in on the rings, instead of zooming in on the women’s legs. This would promote the jewelry for both men and women, getting even more advertisement. There are so many ways to promote your product without bringing provocative pictures of women’s bodies into the advertisement.
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.
"Natan Jewelry's Ad." Gender in Sociology. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.
Newsom, Jennifer, director. Miss Representation. Girls’ Club Entertainment, 2001. DVD.