Cultural Jam Assignment




The pictured advertisement shown above is an advertisement for the fashion brand Forever 21. The advertisement is visually simple, including just the brand logo and a model wearing merchandise produced by the company. Also, the ad utilizes a young, slender, and attractive model to promote the clothing and accessories of the fashion brand. The clothing worn is quite fashionable and trendy and is what was in style at the time it was released. Also based on the clothing and accessories, the target appears to be mainly younger consumers, such as teens and young adults (Forever 21- fashion that is forever and young). Although the advertisement seems quite simple it is complex in the way the multiple messages are being sent or portrayed. The implied messages or statements are a key issue that needs to be analyzed, re-examined, and subverted. A problem I’ll be addressing with my jamming is the unnatural socially constructed standard of beauty. There is an unnatural standard of beauty in many fashion advertisements as often models used are either young, attractive, thin, and tall (not inclusive at all for all types of bodies). This is important as consuming such ads, can create and cause negative body images and low self-esteem in consumers (especially in women and young females). Also, another problem I would like to address is gendered fashion. Clothing has a great importance in the construction of gender identity and in the ad it does not include gender neutral clothing. Instead it shows the stereotypical clothes that a female “should” wear (feminine, pink, pretty). By addressing such issues, I hope to disrupt mass unfiltered consumption of popular ads and evoke some sort of reaction/ emotion from viewers for social change.






The picture above is my jammed version of the Forever 21 advertisement shown earlier. The major change made to the ad is the removal of the previous young, attractive, and thin female model to an older, out of shape model (which would be considered unattractive). The new model depicted is older than the previous and is wearing young fashion clothing which is similar to the products produced by Forever 21. By making this type of alteration, I was aiming to reveal the absurdity and ridiculousness of the messages being given to consumers. Such as unnatural beauty standards and body shape. By showing a different type of body I am trying to show that:

  1. There are all sorts of bodies and shapes
  2. You don’t have to be a certain gender, skinny, young, pretty, and etc to make an outfit work (although it can be confusing with the pic I used because some people can view it as un-appropriate for the age of the model- but ultimately the person rocks the outfit)

The jamming of the advertisement will help to tackle issues that derive from gendered social constructs and other elements in ads by increasing inclusivity of all types of bodies and consumer targets. Moreover, the alteration was made to invoke an emotional reaction from viewers to take a step back and really think about the subliminal messages ads give. Emotional reactions such as fear, shame, shock, and anger are reactions that often invoke change. I hope to evoke shock in the consumers and viewers who see my version of the advertisement.

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