Cultural Jam Assignment




The men’s Edge shaving cream advertisement features sports illustrated super model Nina Agdal. This ad, like many others, employs a hyper sexualization of a woman to sell their product; it says “if you buy this product, you’ll get laid”. Most advertisements have this as a connotation through their sexualized product placement, but this ad is upfront about the “promise” of sex through the caption. It provides both a question and an answer saying “what’s behind our shave cream? There’s only one way to find out.” Then, because she is holding the shaving cream and through the smaller subtitle “with a smooth shave, she might give you a chance” There’s the answer. If you shave, you could have sex with super model Nina Agdal! This ad presents many of our culture’s values which is problematic as it further implements them and excludes many people for their race, sexual orientation, or gender identification. By saying she is what you can have if you shave, it establishes her as perfection and what men should strive to have and women should strive to be. She exhibits many of the beauty standards women have, for many years, tried to obtain: perfect white teeth, glowing tan, skinny figure, perky breasts, luscious shiny hair, and flawless, hairless skin. While the advertisement is not explicitly saying it is a men’s shaving cream, it is implied through the masculine packaging and the assumption the media would present a heterosexual relationship. Lastly, she is white and it is assumed the male consumer in the Edge shaving cream’s mind is white as well. While not explicitly in this advertisement, it fits the cultural “ideal” for their couple and is shown through other shaving cream advertisements which feature typically a white man. In my jamming of this assignment, I will present a relationship between the consumer and model this hyper masculine product would not use as its target is a heterosexual couple.


My (very) poor attempt to jam this advertisement is to show how concrete our norms are in advertisements and how as a society we expect the hypersexualized white, skinny woman. My fantastic photoshop skills transformed super model Nina Agdal into the infamous drag queen RuPaul. While still a “she”, it shows how we as a culture define “she” if RuPaul would fall outside of that in the world of advertisements. Interestingly, while RuPaul is not the “she” the target audience is after, RuPaul still is conforming to the beauty standards through her curves in her hips, breasts, and skinny waist. Other ways I could have jammed this advertisement would be through making Nina Adgal “unattractive” through making her gain weight, stretch marks, cellulite, yellowed teeth, or having body hair. Advertisements tell us what we should be in order to get what we should want. It shows men that they should be clean shaven as a beauty standard in order to get the woman they want, because of course their target audience is an average, straight, white man. Furthermore, it is interesting to see how other companies try to stray from this highly sexualized, photo-shopped portrayal of women. Companies such as American Eagle have gained recognition for their “untouched” campaign with their unedited female models. While the campaign is a feminist movement through showing natural women’s bodies, it also incudes women of other races. While not explicitly a campaign on inclusion of all races, the movement does show a diverse representation which shows the overlap of the movements of race and gender. That movement gained attention because it was so out of the norm of the sexualized, perfect woman. My version of the Edge shaving cream advertisement would also gain attention because it steps out of the norm because their representation of a “she” would be a minority, instead of the perfect, tanned, straight blonde, western society has defined as the ultimate “she”.



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