Cultural and Societal Representations

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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The ad industry is a corrupt institution implementing women's sex appeal as a device to sell their own commodities in larger markets. Typical ads displayed by mass markets, according to Judith Williamson, are exploitative to women and are not really depicting what they are selling. For example, an ad for Colman's mustard portrays a woman lying on the floor on top of a skinned wild animal while eating Kentucky Fried Chicken in a very seductive manner, and a lion is seen in the background bringing her the mustard for her chicken. The actual image that is being sold here is the woman, not the mustard at all. The woman suggests all aspects of femininity, her sexuality is attainable to those viewing this ad. She appears to be uncivil, almost barbaric-like and dominant in her attempt in eating the meat off the bone. Although this is presented, there is still a suggestion that this woman seeks for a man to dominate her and thus allowing herself to be subordinated.

Williamson also discusses in her essay the manipulation of these ads to present white women as exotic women from distant islands, and how these women are capable of portraying exoticism in beauty as something that is attainable (such as the notion of being white and using self tanners to be tan) however the reversal is not plausible (African American women can never be lighter in skin pigment in such an unnatural way as white women can darken their skin, also black women cannot tan). These ads are overall misleading and exploit women for the benefit to sell a commodity.

In Pletchky's essay "Fetal Images" the fetus is portrayed as a 'separate" "individual" aside from the vessel, this being the mother, who carried the child into each term. Pletchsky goes into detail on...