GRSJ 300 Culture Jamming Assignment

Original Ad Written Analysis:

This ad for an animal rights organization, Peta, portrays Angela Simmons, a famous African American shoe designer, in a sexually suggestive way. Angela’s naked body is wrapped in English ivy. She is holding an apple that is positioned seductively near her mouth and her posture accentuates her curves. The background of the ad is dark and moody and reads “eating meat is a sin”.

One of the major problems with this ad is the hyper-sexualization of a person of colour. Women – especially female people of colour – experience high rates of sexual assault and violence. Sex sells and they are using Simmon’s body to promote their cause and the fair treatment of animals. This is ironic because the ad is degrading another human being. Furthermore, Angela is meant to represent Eve, from the biblical story of the origin of mankind from Christianity. This story depicts women as leading men astray. This further degrades women and demonizes their sexuality.

What is being conveyed in this ad is that eating meat is a sin. A subliminal message in the ad is that being a woman is also a sin. Peta is further confirming the oppression of women, specifically black women, by using Angela Simmons as the face of this ad. Vegetarianism is a privilege and not everyone can afford to access this lifestyle. Most marginalized groups live in poverty. This ad uses shame as a way to push its agenda and promote vegetarianism- something that is not achievable for many living in poverty. Moreover, Christianity is a force that has aided in the colonization of many Indigenous people and their territories. Not surprisingly it is being used by Peta, an organization which condemns Indigenous practices such as hunting animals for food, clothing, and ceremony. For example, Peta condemned the seal hunt, a practice important to Inuit way of life. It’s important to note that slavery was necessary for the colonization of North America. The oppression of black and brown people enables the perpetuation of a capitalist-colonial society. For this reason, it is even more harmful to use Simmon’s to promote Peta’s message in this ad.

Jamming Philosophy:

My Jammed version of the ad seeks to subvert the message that eating meat is “a sin,” and highlight that in fact, being vegetarian is a privilege afforded to those who have enough income to afford to become vegetarian while getting enough nutrients in their diet. Moreover, I attempted to reveal the patriarchy and colonialism embedded within the ad. Examples of these include the hyper-sexualization of a woman of colour and using Christianity in an attempt to shame the reader into becoming a vegetarian. The patriarchy present in this ad is a direct result of colonialism. First I added “Who Are Privileged” to the headline: “Angela Simmons for Peta2, Free For All…” To show that the lifestyle promoted by Peta is accessible for people who have the privilege to eat a vegetarian diet.  Next, in the tagline, “Eating Meat is a Sin: Go Vegetarian,” I replaced “Go Vegetarian” with “Go Colonial.” to make visible the colonial messages in the ad. This message is carried even further by the English ivy, which in both the original and jammed ads, is wrapped around Simmon’s curves. English Ivy is a colonizing plant introduced to North America from England, and which takes over and destroys Indigenous species of plants. I am pointing to the fact that Peta is an organization that speaks out against the inherent Aboriginal Right of Indigenous people to hunt and use animals for food, and clothing ceremony. Finally, I replaced “TEXT INFO TO 78322 FOR MORE INFORMATION,” with “VISIT WWW.PATRIARCHY.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION. #0ppression” to show that patriarchy is employed by colonialism to oppress people (especially women) of colour, and it is especially evident in this ad.