Don't Fall for This Zombie
by wobelina on February 27, 2017 - 4:44pm
Tons of images and advertisements are promoted in people’s daily lives. No one is immune to the magazines, the television, or the internet. However, most people do not take the time to actually go through the gender-coded messages projected through these types of advertisements that stay engraved in our minds. These adverts make us unconsciously accept the ideas of reinforced patriarchy suggested to us because we have lived in it our whole lives. So, how is it problematic? Gender-coded ads exhibit how they degrade women through the dismissal of body image issues and objectification that causes huge impacts on young girls’ lives.
In this particular picture, we can see a girl stripped down to her underwear looking at the targeted buyer, most likely the straight male demographic, in a sensual and almost inviting way with the sentence “She's got a body to die for” written in bold at the top. The picture implies that the woman will reveal more skin on the next page, welcoming people to turn the page only to find out that she is a zombie, thus promoting the game ZombiU which came out in 2012.
The game promo hints that girls will go to extreme lengths to the point of dying to achieve a body just like the one their model has and using a play on words to make this serious issue into a joke, dismissing girls with actual eating disorders and body issues. Although, whether the model actually got bit or infected with a virus that turned her into a zombie or that she starved herself to the point of death is up to interpretation. Moreover, the model is being objectified since she is only shown her worth through her beauty and insinuated promiscuity. There is no sign that indicates that she is part of the game or even relevant to the plot. The model is solely there to project a shock factor and to grab the attention of the most popular demographic of the game.
This advertisement is controversial because it makes a joke out of something that affects thousands of girls on a daily basis. Statistically speaking “53% of 13 year old girls are unhappy with their bodies, that number increases to 78% by age 17, 65% of women and girls have an eating disorder,and 17% of teens engage in cutting and self-injurious behavior”. (Miss Representation) Not only do girls feel unhappy with their bodies, but they also go through depression and even self harm as one girl had admitted witnessing her younger sister ‘‘hacking’’ herself because she was unhappy with her body. (Miss Representation) Insinuating that starvation is a good thing and also silly at the same time makes it difficult for girls to realize that anorexia and bulimia are real disorders and therefore making it that much harder for them to ask for help.
The ZombiU game would be much more interesting if it kept the same concept, but switched the half naked girl for a group of survivors looking ready to kill some zombies. Then, when the page is turned, they reveal the entire group turned into zombies with the same slogan “How long will you survive?” daring the players to see how far they can go with their skill. There are no real necessities for half naked girls in an advertisement publicizing a game about killing human-like monsters.
In conclusion, the advertisement for the ZombiU game makes a practical joke out of an issue that touches girls of all ages and thus makes it harder for girls to make their voices heard or be taken seriously on these issues. It also objectifies women by using a model in lingerie being alluring and provocative to the straight male demographic instead of showing the model as an actual human being worth more than her looks which encourages the male gaze.
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Miss Representation. Directed by Jennifer Newsom Siebel, and written by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Jessica Congdon, Claire Dietrich, and Jenny Holland. Girls’ Club entertainment, 2011.