That Isn't Very Gucci Of You
by PancakeCustomerService on February 14, 2016 - 7:39pm
In terms of being eye catching, this ad succeeds; however, morally, it’s another story. Other than advertising Gucci’s “top of the tier” fashionable clothing-that is by no means overpriced- the image depicts and perpetuates sexist and gender stereotypical ideals. On one hand we have the gender stereotypes stemming from the male. Something about his “look” makes up most of the advertisement’s ability to be noticed. The stereotypical look of “dominance” and “confidence”- almost like an alpha wolf declaring his territory- becomes a controversial factor in this ad, which ultimately makes it more “infamous”- But hey, any publicity is good publicity, right? He is what a “real” man should be in the eyes of society: tough, rugged, showing no emotion, hard (Tough Guise 1999). Not only does the man assert dominance over whoever looks at this ad, he’s obviously also exerting dominance over the woman. In other words, both genders are being called out.
On the flipside, the ad depicts a woman who also poses as a stereotypical “woman”. First, she is put in a “vulnerable position” as if she is being looked down upon the male, which further perpetuates the gender stereotype that women should submit to men like it’s a normal every day thing. Also there is somewhat of hint of what beauty is or should be in this ad. Sure the man is looking “suave and handsome” and that can vary from person to person, but what about the female? Slender, slim and in a dress that arguably shows off parts of her body that are sexualized. It falls into the category of a perfect provocateur in which “attractiveness” is her only attribute (Cortese). She ticks all the boxes that are necessary to be considered attractive; she is long legged, youthful and slim. Ultimately, she is the embodiment of what the perfect woman SHOULD be and leads to women into being ashamed if they do not look this specific way. Surely, putting a woman of a specific body type was a coincidence, and putting a plus size model would surely be possible and wouldn’t be a problem since Gucci isn’t THAT ignorant, right? Wrong. In addition to perpetuating gender stereotypical roles, Gucci also doesn’t like fat people, which would explain their choice of models in their advertisements. Tom Ford, a former Gucci designer even stated, “Fat women almost always look better without the constraint and lumpy pinching of clothes, all the straps and elastic squeezing and sucking.”
Arguably, this ad becomes controversial as it subliminally and intrinsically perpetuates gender stereotypes and body shaming.
If Gucci were a little more sensible, they would probably receive less backlash from their controversial advertisements. At the end of the day, Gucci is trying to sell clothing so that should be the main focus of their ads. However, for a company that revolves around aesthetics and impossible ideals of beauty, it would be unthinkable for them to change things up just because they’ve upset “a hand full of people”.
Tough Guise. Dir. Sut Jhally, Jackson Katz. Media Education Foundation, 1999 . Film.
Anthony Cortese, “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.
SHOWBIZ, BANG. "Tom Ford Wants People To Embrace Nakedness." Editorial. Contactmusic. N.p., 7 Dec. 2010. Web. 12 Feb. 2016. <http://www.contactmusic.com/tom-ford/news/tom-ford-wants-people-to-embra....