Description Of An Advertisement

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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Fifth Element star, Milla Jovovich is sitting on the bed, wearing little more than her birthday suit, gazing longingly into the eyes of the man before her. Every detail of her body is in perfect focus. Her forehead glistens with the shimmer of an unconfident sweat. Milla has starred in a number of hit films, graced the cover of hundreds of magazines, and been the focus of thousands of advertisements, but the is no trace of a strong, independent, confident woman. She leans forward with a modest, crooked posture, one arm, defenselessly on her lap, the other supporting her limply. Most of her skin as well as all of her physical flaws are visible; she cannot hide anything. Her companion is wearing black. Most of his features that would be visible the angle are shadowed or out of focus. His flaws are wholly masked. He towers over Milla, literally casting his shadow upon her.

His fully covering clothing leaves everything to the imagination and hides any possible flaws he might have. His hands are behind his back, he puts nothing regarding his personality forward and he presents a strong, unflawed image.

As assumed the woman is the subject of the gaze and the product is displayed on her. Milla is wearing a sensual matching set of a brassiere and panties. The products are simply named Intimates and upon a quick look at the advertisement one will notice that that only one of the two looks like they have any form of intimacy in mind and that would be the meek woman. The ad doesn't focus on Milla's sexual power whatsoever. In fact it wholly underplays it, as a female's proactive sexual interests would be considered dominating and hence masculine. The ad is seeking out women who want to be sexually subservient to men and men who want their women to be subservient. Jim thinks Betty will stare at him like she was high on crack, drooling over him, but only if she was wearing Donna Karan's Intimates.

"A heterosexual orientation would require women to dress, move speak, and act in ways that men will find attractive."(449) "Femininity must be expressed through modes of dress, movement, speech, and action which communicate weakness, dependency, ineffectualness, availability for sexual or emotional service"¦"(449) Milla has short hair, which if quickly judged could be considered a masculine trait. Actually, the short hair on women, combined with the smooth skin and bright, accented eyes closely resembles a little boy. A little boy, minus the assumed heterosexual orientation fits the description of femininity perfectly. Little boys look weak, dependent, helpless, and easily commanded. Their rosy-red cheeks are often considered cute and a sign that they haven't entered their dominance stage of manhood. Cute means non-dominant in the little-boy look. So, it seems, that in some sick psychosexual way, men often find the little boy look attractive.

All of Milla's masculine traits are well hidden or not even shown. A slight trace of her six-pack is visible, but she's leaning forward in order to cover up the definition in her abdominal muscles, and the red cloth draping over her waist actually hides the rest of the muscle. You also can't see the fact the she founded her own professional life. She has millions in the bank due to her own abilities. The blurred male in front of her is probably some obscure actor and this is the apex of his career, while Milla was in two other ads in the same magazine, let alone she was probably on the cover in the past. Despite all of her personal achievements, the man is still literally and metaphorically looking down upon her.

My best friend Cody has been obsessed with Milla for about three years. He would go to many ridiculous extremes just to meet her. She's got a large number of drooling fans just like Cody. One site I visited the "Milla Jovovich Fan Site" had almost 700,000 hits. Yet with a following like that and millions in the bank she's still shown as a feeble, helpless, dependent little girl. I don't know how many men would want to buy the same product advertised under the concept of "you can never have me you far less successful and domineering man". Milla is expected to capture the gaze of the viewer as the man almost blends in to the backdrop, as he was as important as the curtains. The man's value could come from male readers imagining themselves as the tall, dark, and handsome man with Milla being his soon to encounter lover. From either perspective Milla is the object to be gazed upon.

"Men often are assumed to be the sexual initiators."(439) Milla is looking up at her dark and mysterious man yearningly begging for his attention. Her collarbones glistening sexily under that thin layer of unconfident sweat, her eyes meet his. She's not moving, just putting herself on display. She's on display awaiting his approval. He only stands there, coyly, hands tucked behind his back like a drill-sergeant reviewing his troops. "Bow more!" "Show more leg!" "How am I supposed to find you attractive without more of an accentuation on your breasts!?" Like a drill-sergeant I'm sure he'd have a field day if she spoke without being spoken to.

Intimates is the name of the product, but I think it should be singular. He doesn't look very intimate to me. A man declaring an enjoyment of intimacy is feminine. Our hero isn't a sissy-boy that likes to be all kissy-kissy; he wants the manly wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am. Yet under this shadow of indifference lays the pale-skinned little girl ready to put her heart on the line. She looks less like she's ready for a pleasurable encounter and more like she's ready to sacrifice her body for love. Ironically enough, the indifference insinuated in his gesture shows that by no means is he considering the upcoming encounter to be one of love.

She's so big-eyed and innocent looking. Milla is pale, and although I'm not exactly a lingerie connoisseur I can tell that blood red isn't the color for such a pale girl. It looks like the red is intentionally misplaced on her to bring a focus on her desperation to attract her man. Being that she's absolutely drop-dead-gorgeous to begin with isn't enough for her to get a man. She trying to wear the most lustful color she can. Her bright red lipstick is representational of a woman's natural lip coloring when she is aroused. So, bright red lipstick would make her look very aroused. All these extreme steps are taken for her to be attractive and wanted by him, but it seems that very little is there for here to want him. A woman seeking her wants is considering a masculine characteristic. His clothes are loose and baggy, his hair is a mess, and I'm sure he's a few days unshaven. If Milla were a few days unshaven she'd be considered far less attractive. If she chose not to shave at all she'd be called manly or butch. She'd still have the same sexy curves, but she'd have hairy legs and that's not attractive for a woman.

This ad is aimed at the heterosexual public. It assumes the men want their woman to be little dependent china-dolls and that woman want the approval of their men. It's trying to enforce the idea that if you're a woman and not slender and exceptionally well groomed that you have no chance of being an object of desire. Even more basic than that it assumes the woman wants to be desired for her body and even to the next extreme that the woman actually cares what she looks like. I'm sure she was expected to have cooked dinner and cleaned the entire house before spending six hours on grooming herself for her man all before he wakes up, rolls off the couch and puts on some dirty wrinkled, manly clothes.