An Image of a Tattooed Baby: Corporate America and Its Impact on the Youth

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateB+, November 2008

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Everywhere you look nowadays, something is always being advertised. Whether it is fast food, clothes, or beer, advertisements are a major part of our everyday lives. From the moment of birth, pop culture puts their stamp on us. Corporate America is something that we are born into and it gets under our skin at a very young age as is indicated in this image of a baby tattooed with brand names and logos. As a result, we are gradually nurtured into choosing popular products and trends.

Corporate logos are all over our bodies, and we don't even realize it. This is exactly how the visual portrays the naked baby and all the corporation logos all over his body. The famous brand name logos that adorn the baby's skin are on our shirts, pants, socks, and shoes. Just as we wear the logos, the naked baby wears the tattoos. For most, keeping up with the current trend in today's society is the most important factor that people consider when getting dressed in the morning.

People have to wear popular shoe brands like Adidas or Nike, shirts with a popular sports team logo. The naked baby only has popular, trendy tattooed logos on his body. Therefore, corporations have to market their brand name so that it is "cooler" than the other labels being marketed, as indicated in the image. The tattooed baby is an example of how corporations have brought up people to buy and wear only popular brand names.

In the image, the baby is being held by two different hands. The baby's arm is being grabbed by what is perceived to be a woman's hand, while the hand holding the naked baby's bottom seems to be that of a man. The man and woman together hold the baby's tattooed body in a unique position which jumps out at the viewer, just like corporations make their advertisements jump out at us. Specifically, Corporate America has a way of grabbing and catching us when we are young. They try to keep their customers just as we see the hands firmly grabbing and holding onto the baby with the stamps of brand names tattooed all over his or her body.

The two hands holding the naked baby have a different shade of color. The man's hand is a light brown color, while the woman's hand is white. These two hands seem to represent a man and a woman from different ethnic backgrounds. The visual also has many tattoos on the baby's body that appeal to people from all different backgrounds and races. Similarly, corporations market their products toward a very diverse group of consumers. Corporate America puts a stamp on all Americans regardless of their color, just like the naked tattooed baby is being held by two people of different colors. As a result, companies are color blind when it comes to marketing their products, as portrayed in the visual.

In the essay "What Is A Homosexual?" Andrew Sullivan describes how society has learned to incorporate diversity, but he fears that people have become too obsessed with accepting everyone as being similar. He says: "But as the obsession with diversity intensifies, the possibility of real difference alarms and terrifies all the more. The notion of collective characteristics has become anathema" (Sullivan 239). Sullivan infers that by accepting everyone as being the same, we are basically hiding people's differences. People in today's society can no longer make generalizations about different groups of people. Therefore, Corporate America must use one specific standard of marketing to attract many different consumers. In the image, the naked baby holds onto both hands regardless of their color or sex differences. This indicates that no matter what gender or race a person is, corporations will put their stamp on them.

In the visual of the naked tattooed baby, Microsoft Windows, Miller Lite, Sports Illustrated, Sony, and Major League Baseball are masculine logos. These brand name logos are all considered to be masculine because they deal with beer, sports, and computers. The Sports Illustrated logo tattooed straight across the arm represents powerful, manly strength. These logos are what society perceives as being at the center of manliness because they portray male bonding, and being smart and dominating. Kodak is probably the only logo that is feminine on the naked baby. It deals with photography, fashion, and posing. The Kodak logo that is tattooed on the baby's face shows the importance of a woman's facial appearance when out in public. In the same spot where the Kodak logo is positioned, women apply makeup to their face so that they will always look pretty and glamorous. Maintaining facial beauty by applying makeup is the core of femininity in America. By using Kodak logos to attract women and sports logos to draw men, Corporate America is able to stamp us into consumer society.

Andrew Sullivan also explains how certain school subjects can be marked as masculine, while others are considered to be more feminine. He says: "There is something masculine and respected in the discipline of the arts and especially the sciences" (Sullivan 237). Sullivan says that even school subjects play a role in shaping the way a person identifies his or herself in society. Schools, like corporations, stamp certain areas of studies in terms of sex and gender. But in the image, the viewer cannot identify whether the naked baby is a male or female. This shows how the baby will grow up, and ultimately learn his sex and gender identity through the influence of Corporate America and other aspects of society such as schooling.

A unique aspect of the visual is the placement of the logos on the naked baby's body, which ironically corresponds to the baby's body parts. The Microsoft Windows and Intel logos are placed over the baby's forehead on the brain. This indicates how people view the brain as being similar to a computer. The Kodak logo is positioned on the baby's dimple and facial smile. Just as the image portrays the naked baby smiling for the viewer, people also smile when taking photos. The Sports Illustrated logo is placed on the baby's arms. This relates to the fact that we need to have strong arms in order to play sports. The McDonald's and Miller Lite logos are positioned on the naked baby's stomach, which indicate where food goes once we eat. These food and beer companies put out ads that make their viewers drawn to the delicious taste of fast food and beer. Overall, Corporate America uses our body parts to market their products and grab us, as displayed in the visual.

As indicated in the image of the naked tattooed baby, Corporate America stamps us at birth, and continues to nurture us throughout our lives. Society immediately begins to teach and influence people, and we are gradually taught what is the normal style or trend. Choosing popular brand name logos are actually cultivated as part of our upbringing in society. Conclusively, humans becoming consumers is something that is created, and starts at a young age.

Bibliography Sullivan, Andrew. "What Is A Homosexual?" Peterson, Linda. 12th ed. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 2008. 45-47.

"Baby Image." June 25, 2007. <>.