The above image is an advertisement I found online. It was first printed in 1952 according to some sources. I intentionally looked for advertisements in the 1950s as sexism was a common feature in advertisements in that era. For this particular advertisement, I found the following symbols that needed to be changed:
- The man figure is very sharp looking compared to the woman suggesting he has just arrived home.
- He is standing closer to the window. In art history courses I have taken, I learned that portraying male figures closer to the window/door emphasizes on their role outside the house.
- He is portrayed in a way as though he is protecting the woman and directing her.
- The sharp lines used in his body figure and his size compared to the female figure suggests his power
- The woman is dressed well and clean but she has her apron on and has been cooking
- She seems clumsy as she burned dinner
- The curved lines used in her figure direct the audience’s eyes to the male figure; she also looks worried and overall she seems to be dependent on him.
- The overall image reads from left to right. The eyes first see the smoke and since it does not look pleasant it moves on to see the sad face of the woman with a handkerchief wiping her tears (almost leaning on her husband). The husband comforts his clumsy wife by saying: “Anyway, you didn’t burn the Schlitz!” and points to the beer.
- In the caption it says: There’s hope for any young bride who knows her man well enough to serve him Schlitz Beer. For what man (or woman) can resist the taste of Schlitz Beer…a taste millions prefer to the taste of any other beer. No, we’re not just saying that. Here’s the simple proof: Schlitz tastes so good to so many people, it’s first in sales in the U.S.A.’ Therefore, the targets of the advertisement are young housewives of 1950s and suggests if they want to sugarcoat their clumsiness in front of their husband they should buy Schlitz beer. This way they can gain his approval and happiness eventhough they cannot cook properly.
The above image represents my edited version of the advertisement. I did not have any editing background, hence, it does not look professional, but I hope it reveals the message I wish it to convey.
- I repositioned the woman closer to the window. She is sitting ( this way the male figure and female figure are not to be compared in size, and the male figure does not look bigger and more powerful) and enjoying her beer while having a pencil(instead of the handkerchief) in her hand.
- She is looking away from her husband that makes her look independent from her him.
- I worked on her face to make her look happy and satisfied instead of being worried and sad.
- She is looking happily at the beer her husband is holding and she is engaged in the act of writing in general.
- The husband is holding a beer in one hand and doing the cooking with the other.
- Instead of looking sharp in his suit, he is wearing an apron on top. I hoped to reduce the overly “musculine” (as they say in art history courses) look of the man by adding a bit of lighter colors and curved lines and flowers to his outfit.
- The caption I used is from another Schlitz advertisement. I found it very relavant to this one. Each figure is enjoying what they are doing at home. yet they are enjoying the company of eachother and the taste of the beer. The beer and the happiness is the only common feature they both share. Instead of targeting only a specific audience, this caption speaks to everyone as it does not target an audience of a specific gender or a specific age.