Culture Jamming Assignment

2. This add by BiC, portrays a South African woman who needs to think like a man to work like a ‘boss’. There are number of things that are insinuated in this advertisement. First, this ad claims that you need to ‘look like a girl’, and ‘act as a lady’ but ‘think like a man’ (not like a lady) to survive in the business world. This ad is perpetuating the gender inequality that still exists in the working world, bringing to light many about women, particularly that they cannot succeed in the corporate world simply because they are women. Furthermore, this advertisement also shows us why there is a huge pay gap between men and women in the corporate world. It is simply because people still think that women are not ‘smart’ enough or ‘strong’ enough to run an empire. They cannot simply be women to succeed, but they must ‘think like a man’.

Second, the model that was used by the advertisement conforms to the Western standard of beauty, which subconsciously reinforces what beauty is. The model has a long face that is hereditary to most Caucasian women. Furthermore, she is light-skinned, which again conforms to the standard of ‘white’ is beauty. To add, her hair is long and wavy, like what most white women are assumed to have. None of her natural hair is shown but covered with this addition of long and wavy hair. Another feature that I found interesting was that she was wearing red nail polish, again, all the little details are conforming to the standard of beauty. Why is there one standard of beauty?

She is a rather stunning model, but none of her natural beauty is portrayed in this picture. It is all conforming to the Western ideal of beauty, not the South African one. What disappoints me most about this advertisement is that it was used to celebrate Women’s Day. How can such a misogynistic ad be used to celebrate a beautiful day about women?



4. In the culture jammed version of the advertisement, I decided to alter the words of the advertisement, from look like a girl, to look like yourself. This was to emphasize that we should not ‘conform’ to the gender stereotypes, and anyone can look however they want to. I also changed the ‘act like a lady’ to ‘act like yourself’, again to emphasize that we should not conform to societal expectations but rather embrace ourselves and express ourselves in whatever manner we feel best. I changed the think like man to think like yourself, because again, you should think the way you want to think and what does think like a man even mean? Lastly, I changed the work like a boss to you are a boss the same because I felt that if you look like yourself, act like yourself, think like yourself, then you of course will work like a boss.

Next I changed the model to Lupita Nyong’o to represent a natural beauty, and emphasize that we should not conform to ‘beauty standards’. In the picture, Lupita Nyong’o is not wearing any make-up, there are no hair extensions which shows us that beauty in the standards of media and Hollywood is not reality.

Lastly, in this culture jamming, I got rid of the “Happy Mother’s Day” quote. I felt that it did not add to the advertisement and rather than celebrating Mother’s Day, it was more of a promotional tactic for BiC, and a misogynistic one at that.