Culture Jam: In a Controlling World

Original Advertisement

In the images shown in an advertisement from a Brazilian jewelry company, a man is holding a small box and the woman is sitting down with her legs crossed. In the next picture the box is opened with a beautiful ring inside, and the woman’s legs are now uncrossed. The deliberate message is that in exchange for a ring for marriage, the woman compromises her body. Although some find the ad humorous, many find it offensive to women as there is a disturbing meaning implied.  Instead of focusing on what they are supposed to be selling, Natan’s advertisement shines light on the issue of objectifying women and gender roles. The meaning behind it shows that men can dictate women simply by purchasing luxurious items for her, specifically for sex in this case. It also suggests that women are “easy”, and will throw themselves at men to receive what they want. The significance of this raises concerns with young men, as it falsely implies that women are materialistic and that men are expected to buy nice things for a girl in order to “get with her”. It’s almost as if young men are expected to believe that they have that remote control to females.

Something else I had noticed is the fact the advertisement fails to capture the reaction of the man and woman when she is being proposed to. Instead of displaying the couple’s face, it is made more sexual by only displaying the woman’s bare legs. This re-emphasizes the dominance of the man taking over the woman’s body for his sexual desires. It may appear to the audience that the woman is the authoritative figure without analyzing the pictures because she is being proposed to. However, the true take home message from this is that the men will always have the authority over the women, and equalization is never established. Natan successfully conveyed a distasteful message to their consumers without actually spelling anything out in their advertisement.

Jammed Version

In my jammed version of the advertisement, I edited in a way that focuses on the second image of the original advertisement and split that image into two images. The statement “How to control your girl” acts as a title to a guide, and the two pictures act as the action and outcome. By presenting the ring, the man becomes dominant, resulting in the woman becoming disciplined by satisfying his needs and finishing with the statement “She’s all yours”. The purpose of jamming the advertisement was to re-create it in a way that more clearly articulates the unjust stereotypes against women without hidden meanings. I underlined the word “control” in my version because the innuendo of the advertisement is only one of the problems presented. The significance goes beyond the physical aspects. The deeper meaning behind this advertisement is having control over the woman emotionally and mentally. Engagement and marriage should be sentimental to both the man and woman, but the way the advertisement is depicted shows that women can easily be emotionally and mentally satisfied by just giving her the ring. This is almost (if not, is) analogous to the situation of giving candy to a crying baby.

The multiple issues that are brought upon the “hidden meaning” highlights the concerns about young women as it not only promotes the objectification of women, but the idea of women objectifying themselves. It doesn’t just make women look bad, but it also makes them feel bad about what society expects them to be. A message like this tells girls that they are expected to look up to men as constantly having the upper hand. The more that women are objectified in society, the higher the negative impacts are on their well-being.  It is unfortunate that many advertisements in our generation turn women into sexual objects of attention as many companies and campaigns believe this is a successful way to market their products. Women don’t exist in this world as pleasure for men, and the stereotype that women can be bought is unreasonable.