GRSJ 300 Culture Jam Assignment

Original Ad:

In the original advertisement by Levi’s, the clothing company had started a campaign in an attempt to expand their target audience and appeal to women of all different sizes. The company does this by trying to promote their “Curve ID” line which is supposed to have customizable jean sizes. The advertisement consists of three women wearing Levi’s jeans and a tag line that says “Hotness comes in all shapes and sizes”.

The tag line is fine in that it is inclusive of all people, but one of the big issues with this advertisement is the photo that they choose to display. A lot of times, images speak louder than words, and in this case, the focus of the photo is not just on the jeans, but instead on the closeup shot of three women’s backsides. This photo is an over-sexualization of women, saying that “hotness” is nothing other than a women’s backside or breasts. The advertisement could have displayed a full image of women to show how the jeans fit, but instead, they zoom in on something that they know people will pay more attention to.

For my jammed version of the advertisement, I will be focusing on the issue of how Levi’s attempts to be inclusive of all women, but instead highlights female insecurity by displaying women that they consider to have the “ideal” body size. This advertisement tries to include people of different sizes but then shows an image of three relatively skinny and similarly sized women. This tells people that these skinny women are already considered “curvy” and it sends the message that if women are any larger, then they are not considered hot and that they are an undesirable size.

Jammed Ad:

In the jammed version of the advertisement, I altered the tag line to “Hotness comes in all shapes size 2 and under” which I believe is a better reflection of what they are showing in the image. As well, I replaced the smaller text that states “It’s about shape, not size” with “It’s still about size”. While Levi’s tries to claim that size does not matter, they continue to only display women who are skinny, meaning that clearly, they prefer women of one size over the others. With these changes, I believe that it reveals the underlying message that Levi’s advertisement is trying to convey, which is that women of smaller sizes are ideal and that this is what they consider to be “hot”.

I believe that the jammed version of the advertisement helps to emphasize how ridiculous Levi’s campaign is if they believe that “curvy” women will be encouraged to buy their products after seeing such a limited representation of sizes. People come in all shapes and sizes, as the advertisement states, but Levi’s chose not to embrace this by not showing a group of women of different sizes. There are a couple of other advertisements within this campaign and none of them feature any women who could possibly be larger than a size four. The size of women in North America varies greatly, so by constantly showing them images of the “ideal” size, it sets unhealthy and unrealistic expectations that women will feel pressured to achieve.

As plus-sized models slowly get more representation in the fashion industry, it is important that the media displays more diverse groups of women to show that the idea of one perfect body no longer exists. If advertisements want to be successful, they should fully embrace the idea that bodies come in all different shapes and sizes.

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