GRSJ 300

Maddie Martin's Culture Jam Assignment

Don’t Fit our standard? We don’t want to see You


In my culture jammed version of the advertisement I attempted to obviously show the normalization of an extremely unrealistic and exclusive standard of beauty. The white model is very clearly in a position of privilege as she is the only one that is encouraged to show off her body and is framed as the ideal standard. This echoes the messages in mainstream media, as thin, white women are overwhelmingly present in television, movies and the music industry where they are encouraged to flaunt their bodies in revealing clothing. Larger women are underrepresented, as are women of different ethnicities. The model is even thinner in this version of the advertisement to clearly represent western societies idealization of extremely thin bodies.

The photo of a heavier Asian woman is included to invoke discussion on why different bodies are not advertised to be as desirable as the beautiful white woman, and the hurtful commentary associated with that fact. The photo of the black man is included to shed light firstly, on the truth that he is not white and therefore not part of the desirable norm. Secondly, to highlight that men are somewhat excluded from excessive media messages featuring impossibly thin, perfect bodies as the female norm. Although men are bombarded with hyper masculine ideals, there are more men with different body shapes represented in popular culture and are rarely as hypersexualized as the ideal feminine form.

Overall, this version of the advertisement reveals the blatant harmful messages the original advertisement was promoting. It clearly exposes messages encouraging only one image of acceptable beauty that one should be proud of. This image of acceptable beauty excludes the vast majority of ethnicities, any woman that is not incredibly thin as well as, ideally beautiful and so many others.



Only one specific type of Person Allowed, Please


The original ad by “Protein World” is problematic for a number of reasons. The most obvious problem is with the message regarding body size and image. By putting the question “Are you beach body ready?” around a photo of an extremely thin woman, the company is essentially spreading the message that if you do not look like this extremely thin woman, you should not be showing your body at the beach. This message is extremely harmful because it is saying if one does not look a certain way they should cover up their body. In the world this advertisement is trying to promote; anyone heavier than the pictured model should not feel comfortable in a bikini, in her underwear or naked. Therefore, it would be impossible for one to feel comfortable or remotely confident with herself. It places a familiar pressure to live up to an unrealistic standard of beauty on women. Targeting only women with unrealistic body standards is in no way confined to this advertisement and is highly prevalent in popular culture, however this example is utterly blatant.

Additionally, the advertisement is jarringly exclusive in what constitutes a “ready” beach body. The one the company is promoting is white, ultra feminine, extremely thin, has straight blonde hair and is able bodied. This excludes anyone who is a different ethnicity, disabled, heavy, women who look more androgynous or do not fit the societally accepted archetype of “beauty,” and many others. This message is societally troubling as it tells people that the image endorsed by “Protein World” is the norm, and is what all women should aspire to look like in order to show off and feel comfortable in their bodies.


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