Summary/Response paper of “Some Don’t Like Their Blues at All” essay by Karyn Lewis
In the essay “Some Don’t Like Their Blues at All”, Karyn Lewis gives a powerful, somewhat argumentative, view on her reaction to a clothing advertisement for Fila Jeans. She opens the article with a precise description of a young, black, muscular male purposely posed in front of a dominating scene from a football game, sprawled across a full page in a magazine. On the opposing page is a young, white female “curled and giggling upon a chair” (p. 179) conveniently posed in front of a picture of a bikini clad, sensuous woman that is intended to “incite passion within the viewer” (p.179). In the outer corners of each page are the phrases that Lewis believes to set the tone for the entire 2 page ad. “SOME LIKE THEIR BLUES HARD” and “SOME LIKE THEIR BLUES SOFT”.
Lewis argues that this advertisement “blatantly uses stereotypes” (p. 179) to appeal to society’s decided gender roles and it gravely influences consumers to strive to fit in to those roles. She explains throughout her essay that we have been categorized into these roles over many generations that portray men to be hard, violent, “power incarnate” (p. 179), with no expression of weakness. Women are seen as being unintelligent, overly sensitive, sexual and innocent beings that must obey men. Lewis announces that this ad conveys the message that in order for a man to be “hard and powerful” or a woman to be “sexually intense and desirable” (p.180) they must be dressed in Fila jeans. She contends that there is a powerful sexual theme underlying the message conveyed in this advertisement.
Lewis believes that even the smallest of details in this ad hint to the sexuality of the stereotyped genders and the glaring differences between the two. She states that she believes even the words “hard” and...