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At first glance of this advertisement, it seemed like nothing special. It is simply an advertisement of a laundry machine showing how it can bring joy due to its effectiveness and convenience. In your lifetime, you have probably seen a million of Tide commercials or Panasonic washing machine commercials through so many different platforms – whether it is on TV, magazines, and so on. It has become like the bread and butter of the many things that you have grown accustomed too. Because of the commonality of these pictures, you have become unfeeling and developed a immunity to it, much alike me.
However, what is quite disturbing about this ad is that why is a female used to advertise the laundry machine? Why is it necessary to use a female model to emphasize the usefulness of the product? Why is it that it is so easy to overlook this huge sexist issue in the advertisement whilst looking at many similar ones in our everyday lives? The fact is that we have been too largely and frequently exposed to the portrayal of the classic housewife image within advertisements that we have somehow subconsciously accepted it as the social view, or grown an immunity to the problem. We have allowed businesses to utilize sexism and slowly morph our society to believe this to be the norm. The classic housewife image has allowed women to be objectified to the benefit of these businesses and as they control the public with their power to sustain gender norms as well to make monetary profit. Women are constantly sexualized and stereotyped into the class housewife image – a form of oppression that needs to be addressed and stop being taken advantage of.
Through the alteration of the advertisement, I hope to invoke a thoughtful, consciousness-raising impact. By compiling multiple laundry detergent and laundry machine advertisements together with women models, my goal is that whoever views this will have a sudden realization of just how much we have been exposed to this and what its implications are. Seeing one particular ad at one particular time with women we may be ignorant of, however when all these ad pictures exposed to us at once we see the problem right away. Additionally my usage of ads from different generations are in attempts to illustrate how the sexualization and stereotypes of what a women should be has been ongoing even until this modern era. Why is it that even though so much time has passed, the objectification of women has not changed one bit. I’ve also incorporated ads from Chinese, Korean, Indian, and Euro-American regions to also address that this is an universal problem that occurs everywhere. This constant objectification of women has not changed throughout the years and the intersections of race and class. Perhaps the objectification and stereotyping has acted as a subtle method of maintaining this incorrect social norm for all. Hopefully this image captures how the problem of the sexualization and the oppression of women is still present and that change needs to occur.
My jamming of this ad was inspired by Marilyn Frye. These ads are extremely relevant to women’s oppression where Marilyn Frye uses the bird cage analogy. She states that at a microscopic level, oppression is difficult to see. However when you take a step back and look at the broad whole picture, you can then spot oppression in an obvious manner. By compiling multiple ads containing the classic housewife model, it is my hope that women’s oppression can be seen instantaneously and provoke critical thought. Additionally, this is also my attempt to emphasize how detrimental the continuation of the stereotypes of women in advertisements can bring because of its power to influence social cultural norms on a person subconsciously and how difficult it is to spot oppression on a microscopic level.