Parable of Aerobic Excercise in the 1980s

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Tim Pennino
Aerobic exercise became a widespread trend and gained its popularity in the 1980s. Aerobic exercise is described as a physical exercise consisting of low intensity activities but consumes high amounts of energy. The exercise is achieved over an extensive period of time and strengthens and improves many aspects of the body resulting in a better lifestyle. Aerobic exercise is especially popular amongst young women and middle-aged women who desire being thin and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Health clubs and gyms in the 1980s, were taking full advantage if this phenomenal and started to offer aerobic classes and people incorporated them into their workouts. The gym was predominantly comprised of males but aerobic exercise attracted female customers, which generated the impulse of impressing the opposite sex. Another characteristic of Aerobic exercise during the 1980s was the fashion worn especially for women. Women who were involved in aerobic exercise mostly wore at least one of the following, spandex tights, unitards, leotards, sweatbands and leg warmers. The 1980s were also a time of bright colours including pinks, purples and yellows and aerobic clothing attracted these colours.

The first advertisement discussed in my essay, was developed by the Gold Bond Ice Cream Inc. in 1989 introducing sugar free Fudgsicle’s. The advertisement displays a fit lady stretching across the corners of the whole page. She qualifies as the typical demographic in the 1980s that was participating in Aerobic exercise and making it part of their daily lifestyle. The stance of her curved body is in motion and reflects a typical exercise in Aerobics. The women is full of energy and happiness Tim Pennino 2

because she is maintaining a healthy lifestyle and treating her self to an after workout snack. Her clothing consists of bright colours similar to the branding and packaging of Popsicle, and her accessories on her arms indicate that she is up to date with the latest fashion trends, inspired in the 1980s. Near the middle of the advertisement the women’s waist is clearly visible showcasing her fit body and her attention to being conscious of what she eats. The woman is holding a Fudgsicle recommending it having it right after or before you exercise as your entering or leaving the fitness center. The main copy in the advertisement, “All Fudge, No Pudge.” implies that usually fudge has a negative connotation attached to it and people automatically assume it’s a fattening food. On the boxes displayed at the bottom of the ad, convey that popsicles are sugar free. This implies that the fudge will still taste satisfying without making you look fat. Also beside each package of popsicles is the amount of calories contained in each popsicle, which are all low. The next advertisement I will be analyzing was introduced by the National Dairy Board in 1985. This ad displays a women slightly laying down preparing her self to perform an Aerobic exercise, looking away from the camera fully concentrated. The woman is dressed in a bright pink tank top with white pants fully wearing makeup and her hair reflects a hairstyle that was popular during the 1980s. The positioning of her body suggests she is flexible and has the strength to hold herself in an upright position. At the top of the ad, writes “Listen to your Body Language.” By taking care of your body, you are listening to your bodies needs and desires to stay trim and thin. Followed by the main headline there are three sub headlines. The first one Tim Pennino 3

reads, “Beautiful moves are an inside job.” To achieve outer beauty you must first take care or your self internally and drinking milk provides you with the strength and motivation maintain a beautiful body. The next sub headline, “The healthy difference between trim and thin.” deals with issue women having preconceived notions that in order to be skinny you must starve yourself and keep eating to a minimal. Milk provides...
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