My alteration of this Bic ad intends to reveal a subliminal message that many people may infer from seeing this ad. The subliminal message, at least in my opinion, is that women will only succeed in the world if they are pretty, young looking, quiet and passive women who have intelligent ideas. Only then will they achieve the ‘boss’ status. This is something that Bic feels is empowering towards women. By telling their intended targeted audience how to look, act, think and work, Bic has succeeded in influencing millions of people who view this ad. Whether this influence is negative or positive matters not, what matters is that Bic is telling people how to think and act in order to be successful. My alteration of this ad intends to invoke irritation at the way women are referred to in the ad, as substandard people who will only reach success if they act like men. By reading between the lines of the ad and putting the details into plain English, it is hoped that the viewer can see just how sexist this ad is. It tells women how to act, think and portray themselves, without taking into account that all women are different and have different ways of going about things. This ad takes a narrow view of womanhood, which I am showing in my deconstruction. Being a successful woman does not mean acting like a man, and Bic should be ashamed for putting this ad out.
The original ad I’ve chosen to culture jam is an ad that Bic South Africa created for Women’s Day. It shows a beautiful, smiling woman dressed in business attire, captioned with a phrase that enraged both women and men the world over. The phrase was ‘Look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man, work like a boss’. For obvious reasons, this inflammatory phrase raised the question, is it only men who can ‘work like a boss’? And why was it important for women to look like a girl or act like a lady while thinking like a man? It seemed that the ad had fallen prey to the sexism that surrounds the advertising field. What the ad was implying is that the three necessities that a woman required to become a boss were looking young, and acting ladylike while thinking like men (ambition, leadership and power comes to mind). This is problematic because by reading this ad, one would think that women have to act certain ways in order to become Bic’s image of a ‘boss’. It is also problematic due to the ‘act like a lady’ idea. What, exactly, does acting like a lady entail? A quiet, obedient woman who ‘knows her place’? The ad’s wording is so archaic and old-fashioned, and is reminiscent of sexist ads from the 60’s and 70’s. The fact that such ads are still being published in this day and age is troubling because it shows that gender equality still has a long way to go.