Culture Jam




            The issue with the Abercombie and Fitch advertisements is the fact that the company uses the depiction of the human body to promote itself. There is a tendency to degrade the body as a form of a selling point for their company. Often times, the models of the advertisements are sexualized and portrayed as the ideal body image. Contrary to the focus on female bodies, I want to show more emphasis on the male body as well. I believe that male body ideals also target its male consumers and female audience on ideals to look for in one own self, and in potential partners and attraction. Abercombie and Fitch is known to portray unrealistic ideal images and expectations to its young consumers. The models for the company centralizes white, young, and fit models. In this advertisement in particular, it is to no surprise to see the displays of a white, young, fit and able-bodied male model. As a retail store it is not unusual to find attractive models in their advertisements to promote their product. However, Abercombie and Fitch, also a retail company, uses similar attractive models to represent their company, yet in many of their advertisements there is a lack of garments that is present in them. Therefore, further the usage of sexualizing and objectifying the models. In this advertisement, it also purposely excludes the male model’s face. By doing so, the advertisement creates an illusion for the consumers to view it as own self. It makes it easier to make a correlation with the company’s merchandise as a way of obtaining such unrealistic standards. In turn, will cause negative effects to oneself and create self-esteem issues due to the inability to achieve such body image standards. Abrecombie and Fitch goes beyond selling its merchandise for their young consumers by selling a particular body image that is deemed desirable. Abercombie and Fitch further contributes to the ideal body image already found within society.

            The new advertisement for Abercombie and Fitch is meant to put into perspective of the reality of what the advertisement and the company is trying to portray. The insert plays a large role in conveying the message that can be hidden within the advertisement. The insert found at the bottom of this advertisement is to advocate that the company goes beyond just selling merchandise. The text, “selling without selling clothes”, helps convey the message to the young consumers which are their targeted audience. The imagery of the advertisement works alongside with the message written. The insert pokes fun at Abercombie and Fitch through its sarcastic antics. It holds two meanings in its statement. First, being the most obvious, that the retailer has a faceless and clothing-less model to represent the company. Even though Abercombie and Fitch is a retail brand that supposedly sells garments, it does not have a representation of what products and garments are expected to be found within the store. Thus, leading to the other meaning to the statement is the underlying factor that the company embodies. As stated before, Abercombie and Fitch not only sells garments, they actually sell a certain lifestyle that is deemed desirable. Its main focus is on the body image and thus creates unrealistic standards, that can be found within their marketing strategies and even store image. This can be also be generalized to female body portrayals found in other advertisements as well. Although the statement does not outwardly address the issues of ideal body image portrayal directly, the ambiguity allows discussion and debate on both meanings. Having the statement on blast can let the consumers see the negative connotations of Abercombie and Fitch through a more understanding and humourous manner.