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BiC’s International Women’s Day Advertisement 2015 – Original Ad
Issue with the original advertisement
Bic is a pen manufacturer that released the above ad in an attempt to empower women on International Women’s Day in 2015. However, this advertisement delivered the complete opposite message to the general public and only further confirmed the issue of gender inequality and sexism that exists in present day.
The international women’s day advertisement has multiple issues within. The first line “Look like a girl”, raises great concern. Each women and person is entitled to their own identity and should be able to demonstrate it through the way they dress and present themselves to the public. Women should not be forced to “look like a girl” if that is not their identity, and instead should be encouraged to “look like themselves”.
The second line of Bic’s advertisement, “act like a lady”, is extremely sexist and problematic as well. This statement solidifies the exact public image that women are trying to avoid; the image that all women should act with class, be polite, stay silent and not speak their mind. Women have been working towards gender equality for decades and decades, and companies such as Bic, are setting women many years back from their efforts.
The most offensive line of all, “think like a man”, forces me to question Bic’s true intention with this ad. Is Bic implying that in order to be successful in the workplace and “work like a boss”, women must abandon their own thoughts and think like their male counterparts? This statement is not only sexist, but it also reflects the societal struggle of the glass ceiling that many women experience in the workplace. A woman should be able to receive promotions and pay increases, based on her own thoughts and ideas, rather than being encouraged to think like a man.
The final statement, “work like a boss” sums up the sexist nature of this ad quite well. It suggests that women must be polite, avoid stating their opinions and instead, should think like a man. It is implied that if women follow all of these suggestive statement, they will be able to become successful in the workplace, and ultimately, the boss.
Jammed Version of BiC’s International Women’s Day Advertisement
My Jamming Philosophy
My jamming philosophy intended to reveal the sexist nature of this advertisement. The four lines that were originally embedded in the ad already had a fairly sexist message, and therefore, I decided to keep them in my jammed advertisement. These four phrases imply that in order for women to be successful, specifically in the workplace, they must think like their male coworkers. When an individual is unable to think for himself or herself, they lose a large part of their identity, and thus, are no longer his or her own unique person. Translate this idea to the above advertisement; if a woman begins to think like a man and abandon her own thoughts, she loses her identity as a woman. At this point, she is essentially becoming a man. For this reason, I decided to add the phrase “In other words, BE A MAN”. The addition of this phrase solidifies the invalid idea that women’s thoughts are not as important as those of a man, and at that point, all women might as well just become a man.
In addition to the jammed phrase, I decided to replace the woman’s face in the original ad, with a picture of Donald Trump. Donald Trump could be seen as the epitome of a white male, especially in the sense of political and economic success. He also has made numerous comments alluding to the belief that women are of a lesser standing than men in society. The use of Donald Trump further emphasizes the sexist nature of this advertisement.
I hope that through my alteration I was able to emphasize the sexist message that BiC presented to the public. This was likely unintentional, due to the fact that it was released for International Women’s Day. However, it seems as if societal issues were not considered, resulting in an offensive advertisement that encourages gender inequality.
[Donald Trump]. (2018, January 16). Retrieved February 02, 15, from https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/what-donald-trumps-iq-heres-7983558
[International Women’s Day]. (2015, August 11). Retrieved February 02, 15, from https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/08/11/bic-apologizes-to-south-africans-for-offending-everybody-with-womens-day-ad.html