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(The Gender Ads Project, 2017)
Under Armour is a popular athletic wear company that produces all kinds of athletic gear, but mainly focuses on designing clothing that helps regulate body temperature while enhancing athletic performance (About Under Armour, 2017). They sponsor famous athletes such as Stephen Curry and Lindsay Vonn as well as other famous athletes to influence society to purchase from their brand. Like all athletic brand names, Under Armour advertises their clothing as if it produces a significant increase in an athlete’s performance. However, in this ad the message from Under Armour appears to illustrate a different message. From looking at this image you can see a muscular and attractive man, wearing Under Armour underwear, standing in a dominant pose while an attractive naked woman is on the bed behind him covering herself with the bed covers. The advertisement then reads “For the benefit of mankind” below the image. Even though Under Armour is an athletic clothing company that expresses that they design their clothing for the purpose of enhancing athletic performance, there is nothing in the advertisement that highlights any sort of athletic action. Instead it appears to be that they are implying that their underwear will benefit the way men look when wearing underwear and attract woman to the extent that they will have sex with you if you wear Under Armour underwear.
The obvious issue with this advertisement is that it is showing the woman in the image as a sexual object for the man to enjoy while also showing the man as the dominant or superior sex and the female as a passive and inferior sex. In addition the slogan reads “For the benefit of mankind”, which accurately depicts how our society functions.
My jammed version of the advertisement has the same image, but different message. What my jammed version is demonstrating is the underlying message of the original advertisement, which is that women are sexual objects that are alive for the sole purpose to benefit men or to please men. Moreover, I am addressing the obvious fact that a woman is in the photo when the advertisement is clearly supposed to be about Under Armour’s men’s underwear. Under Armour could have advertised just the male model in the advertisement by himself wearing the underwear with the same message and it would have not looked so sexist. However, instead they used a woman’s sexuality to grab the attention of the heterosexual male viewer, so that men will buy their clothing.
Unfortunately, these types of advertisements are very common within our society. From men’s deodorant to hamburgers; many advertisements that have things that we have associated to being ‘masculine’ use women’s sexuality to please the male viewer and attract them to purchase their products. However, when we see advertisements for products that we have associated to being ‘female’, they still use female sexuality to promote their products. If Under Armour were advertising their women’s underwear, the viewer probably would not see a male in the advertisement. Instead, it would most likely be a woman by herself or with other women, wearing Under Armour underwear and posing in a sexual position.
Advertisement: Lukas, S. A. (2017). The Gender Ads Project. Retrieved from http://www.ltcconline.net/lukas/gender/pages/howto.htm
About Under Armour. (2017). Retrieved from http://www.uabiz.com/company/about.cfm