Culture Jam Assignment

A copy of the original ad

Brief written analysis of the original ad and the ‘problem’ you will be addressing with your jamming

Agee Pyrex is a brand of kitchen appliances and food containers. In this Agee Pyrex advertisement, I identified three problems. First, it says on the top of the advertisement that “successful marriages start in the kitchen”, which implies that all marriages without good kitchen work will be unsuccessful. Second, the lines underneath the image says “now the new mistress of the house can go right ahead with some of those girlhood dreams – planning lovely meals for her man, preparing all sorts of interesting little dishes and safe in the knowledge that Pyrex is going to make failure-free cooking easy”, which means cooking is a sole responsibility of women and women should always cook for men in families. Third, in the picture between the line at the top and the lines at the bottom, woman is the one who takes out the Agee Pyrex container with food inside from the oven and man has his hands on his back to show his absent involvement in the kitchen work. Furthermore, although the woman is in a wedding dress, the apron she wears makes her look like a maid.

Overall, I think the three problems show obvious gender stereotypes and gender inequality. Male audience of the advertisement may think, as long as they buy Agee Pyrex containers for their wives to use, their wives will work in the kitchen like a maid portrayed in the advertisement to provide delicious food to them. Female audience of the advertisement may be influenced by the clear gender stereotypes conveyed through the advertisement and think the whole society believe women in families are the ones who are responsible for kitchen works and they may even think all men marry women because they want to have free female servants at home. I think the advertisement is problematic because both men and women can be involved in kitchen works and women should not possess the idea that their marriages will only be successful if they do well in kitchen works. Good kitchen works are never prerequisites of successful marriages.

Jammed version of the ad

Brief written explanation of your jamming philosophy

The jammed version of the advertisement has a man who stands straight with a cigar in his mouth and hands in the pockets and the physical size of the man is larger than the size of the woman. The contrast between the man and the woman highlights the advertisement’s absurdity because the relationship between the man and the woman in the jammed advertisement seems more like a male boss and a female employee, instead of a married couple. Although husbands are expected to look at wives in a loving way, which means they will be happy no matter how well their wives cook, the man in the jammed advertisement looks at the woman in an evaluating way, which is similar to how a boss evaluates an employee’s work. Comparatively, at least, the man in the original advertisement still bends down his body to show interest in the dish the woman takes out from the oven, the man in the jammed advertisement do not show any affection through his body language.

I think body languages convey messages that are reflections of human’s thoughts. The gestures and facial expressions of the man and the woman in the jammed advertisement show that women should always try to please men and men can stay uninvolved in kitchen works, which means gender stereotype and gender inequality are rooted in their mindsets and these ideas continue to perpetuate through advertisements. Men should not possess more power and a higher level of authority in families because both men and women should have equal statuses in families. From the point of view of advertisement designers, users of the Agee Pyrex containers should not be restricted to one gender because men and women can make use of the Agee Pyrex containers.

1 thought on “Culture Jam Assignment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *