GRSJ 300 Assignment

For this assignment, I chose an advertisement for a digital camera lens. The ad depicts a male presenting person appearing to intensely take a photo of some pigeons in a park, with some women / feminine presenting people relaxing on a blanket over to the man’s far left.  These women are dressed for warm weather – with bare legs and visible cleavage. They are assumed to be out of them man’s photograph, as they are situated almost behind him. They are minding their business, doing their own thing as people do while in public space. Once the reader spots the (small) logo in the bottom right however, they learn that this ad is selling a wide-angle lens, and that is the whole gimmick of the ad – that now the man can be a creep without being obviously so.

This ad is a problem because it reinforces the idea that women are objects for men’s viewing pleasure – literally, and even builds on the already problematic, by suggesting that this lens allows one to look at and photograph women – undetected and without consent.



My jam of this ad was intentionally simple- to acknowledge that this ad is a problem due to the ever-present Male Gaze – being that this ad is a literal representation of it. This advertisement is for camera equipment, and appropriately, the term Male Gaze, was born out of feminist film theory, [1] to explain that men, being the main producers of / protagonists in as well as the primary consumers of film (or any art /media), are therefor the ones who “own” the gaze – or  in a sense control what the camera sees and HOW it is seen. This control ultimately sexualizes how women, and turns them into objects for the viewer’s consumption. This why there is a sexual overtone to how the 2 women are positioned on the blanket, where the “viewer” can also see down the front of their tops.

This gaze can range from subtle (is this ad subtle? I can’t even tell anymore!) to outright pornification of women in media, but is consistently present in movies, art, magazines and as is the case here, advertising, where “more than just being an object of a gaze, the woman in the advertisement becomes what’s being bought and sold.”[2] The male gaze is so pervasive that it has become normalized so much so that the average (non grsj major) person may not even notice it. This is why I also kept my jam subtle – to speak to that fact that the male gaze and its sexualization of women doing non-sexual things happens so often that you don’t even know what the ad is supposed to be selling.

Through my jam of this advertisement, making more media with the male gaze, presenting women as pretty / sexual objects just got even easier – they now don’t even have to be aware / willing subjects in the objectification.

There were two versions of this ad, so I made a second jam…


[2] Ibid.