Culture Jam Brief Written Analysis

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.

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