Original Advertisement- Abercrombie and Fitch
The image I chose for the culture jam assignment, is an advertisement by Abercrombie and Fitch. Abercrombie is a clothing brand, and is sold worldwide, as well their advertisements are seen worldwide. Abercrombie’s target market, are mostly made up of adolescents, and are known for their sexy campaigns.
In the image, it depicts a woman naked in front of a camera, with the caption “take an additional 30% off red lines”. There are several issues I found in this advertisement, and the message it sends. My foremost concern, is how the advertisement objectifies and sexualizes women. An advertisement of a women naked, and in front of a camera, sends the message that you must take your clothes off to be successful, especially in the fashion, and film industry. Companies are capitalizing on the hyper-sexualization of women.
Any picture of a naked women featured to sell something sends the wrong message to girls, that they need to become sexual objects to be considered beautiful in today’s society. This clearly depicts women as sex objects, and hypersexualizes them. This effects a women’s psyche, as well as teaching men that it’s okay to objectify women. This type of message has been seen repeatedly, and it shapes their beliefs and attitudes towards women.
The camera in the advertisement with the naked woman is highly suggestible to women working in the fashion, movie, and magazine industry. That it’s okay to take off your clothes, and that what you need to do to land a roll in a film or in advertisement world. It has become normalized, because of these types of advertisements. Many women think of it as paying their dues. This is only further exemplified in the recent allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
It’s ironic that an advertisement selling clothes, would have a picture of a women wearing no clothes. This might not be intentional, but they are normalizing women as sexual objects to youth as many of these clothing advertisements are features in malls. Youth are growing up socialized to this type of content. When you walk into Abercrombie, there are shirtless guys, or girls in bikinis standing in front of store, welcoming you. Advertisements like this, have made it acceptable for half naked people to greet you into stores.
Culture Jammed Advertisement
In editing the Abercrombie and Fitch advertisement, I took out the women being used as a sex object, for the conception that “sex sells”. This removed a woman being objectified, hypersexualized, and exploited for the point of selling something. The edited advertisement, even better showcases what is trying to be sold, clothes.
I chose to replace the picture, with a woman that looks happy and healthy, doing a normal everyday thing, grabbing coffee. It features the everyday woman. As the woman in the original advertisement, looks almost scared, and submissive.
Compared to the original photo, the woman looks strong and in control of her life, as she looks happy, and relaxed. While the women in the original is being directed by the person behind the camera, and can be inferred that she was instructed to remove her clothes. Additionally, why I chose to remove the camera in the photo. I aimed to highlight a photo that doesn’t promote women having to take their clothes off to be successful in any business.
With advertisements like this, I hope to invoke a change in society, so that this could be the norm. Not normalizing women to be used as sex objects, or that you need to take your clothes off to be successful. These constructs built by advertisement companies, skew societies definition of beautiful, successful, and the attitudes toward women. Furthermore, I hope this type of change ultimately would reverse the hyper-sexualization, and exploitation of women all together. Hopefully this could lead to changing society’s attitudes towards women.