Culture Jam Assignment

The ‘Are You Beach Body Ready’ poster in Protein World ad features bikini illustrated model Renee Somerfield. Similar to many so-called ‘healthy’ and ‘beach body’ ads, this one suggests to the audience of an ideal and perfect body type and face that defines ‘beach body’. As such, the overarching issue with this ad is how it portrays body image. The flawless skin, toned up abs of an hourglass body figure, full lips, and such features that society has accepted to be the highest standards of beauty, are all attributed to the fitness model in the ad. What does this imply? Only women who are like Renee Somerfield are ‘beach body ready’. Regardless of whether this ad intends for that kind of meaning, it nonetheless is interpreted that way. More over, ads like these are extremely dangerous for young women because it creates an unrealistic body image for many young women, which triggers them to try all different kinds of diets that are harmful to their bodies in order to achieve that body type. Another controversy of this ad and other beach body ads is that they inadvertently (or advertently, who knows) only target women, which raises the question of sexism in weight loss and beach body posters. My verdict on this? Well, this ad most definitely does not portray a realistic body figure, how many women actually even look like this to begin with? Second of all, it does not encourage women to be fit or healthy as the whole Protein World ad means to. Rather, it confines the acceptable body image of a woman to that of a bikini model and presents it as the perfect physical image. Therefore, my cultural jam of this ad will counter the blonde haired, tanned, petite hourglass figure,┬ábeauty standard of the western society with more realistic representation, because there is no one definition of ‘beach body’.

My attempt of to jam this ad demonstrates the unrealistic body image standard that advertisements portray as well as western society’s expectations and ideals of a physical perfection in a woman. Using photoshop, I transformed the bikini model Renee Somerfield with Moana from the Disney movie ‘Moana’. I chose Moana because she different from every other disney princess ( aka barbie-like). By different I mean her as a representation of a female. As we perceive, Moana clearly does not have the same physique as Cinderella or Snow White ( She does not even come close), and she is portrayed as a strong, both in mind and body, young woman. Moana departs away skinny, hourglass body image that our society presses on, instead she the closest to a realistic body image compared to the rest of the disney princesses, and even the bikini models in our society. The point that I am trying to convey here, is that these ads that show models like Renee Somerfield are excluding woman of different size and culture by constantly reinforcing that barbie body in their ads. It’s mind-blowing how much they influence young woman’s decisions and how it depresses their feelings about their own body when they see ads like this everywhere on the streets, bus, newspapers. It’s everywhere around us. My alteration of the ‘beach body’ ad attempts to point out that sometimes we may not realize that our actions can result in very negative consequences, and we have to be more sensitive to everyone. Lastly, my jammed version of the ad aspires to bring more attention to body shaming and insensitivity to everyone around us.