In our daily lives we are exposed to advertisements that can impact us negatively or positively. When we look at an advertisement we tend to look at what is being advertised but if we looked more closely, there is always a story that is trying to be told to us. Several advertisements can bring negative stories that can be sometimes sexist. Sexist ads portray women as objects in order to convince consumers to buy the product. Other ads tend to portray the perfect women that each time seems to become impossible to achieve. Kilbourne and Mernissi argue that ads present an unrealistic and unattainable female ideal, which is being pictured in a Detour Protein Candy Bar advertisement.
This advertisement does not clearly show an exterior or an interior setting that could perhaps be Photo Shopped. The colors in the ad seem to include bright ones with a flash that is being directly focused on the two women being represented in this advertisement. The ad contains colors that make it pop out; it has a green color for the woman on the left as the background and a blue bright color for the woman in the right side of the ad. On the bottom of the ad, we can see a yellow and red horizontal line that serves as background for the Detour Protein Candy Bar, the product that is being publicized (Advertisement). This advertisement features two women about 25 years old who have different bodies shape. Although, they might be the same age one of them, the athletic woman is considered acceptable and the larger woman unacceptable.
The two women’s body positions are different and it is all due to their difference in body shape. The woman on the right who looks like she has a perfect and athletic body transmits a posture of security and pride as if she is happy the way she is. In the other hand, the other woman on the left does not seem to have the same level of self-confidence. I notice that their head positions are quite different. For instance, the head of the athletic woman is up as if she is proud of who she is and feels superior to the larger woman perhaps. Indeed, the large woman on the left has her head inclining down as if she is ashamed of how she looks. Her facial expression seems as if she is trying to be accepted by a society that values skinny, large-busted women physically. Both seem to be white and have blonde hair. I would assume that they are the same person by the similarities they have of their face. If this is the case, then one of the two pictures must be a Photo Shop. The way their hair is makes them appear different since the woman in the left has short hair while the woman in the right has long and exuberant hair making her look sexier and appealing. Also it is noticeable the way they are dressed for example, the athletic woman is in a swimsuit while the other woman who seems to be chubbier is not in a bikini swimsuit because she does not have the body of the athletic woman on the right.
When I first saw this advertisement, my eyes were first drawn towards both women because I quickly noticed the difference in their bodies. At first I did not understood what was being advertised because my eyes were centered to the women’s bodies. One can think that the ad is trying to advertise a product to lose weight and look like the woman on the right. It is not until I looked really closely when I noticed what is being publicized. I knew that the Detour Protein Candy Bar was being advertised persuading women to consume it. The ad is encouraging women to consume the Protein Bar and they will look like the athletic woman. The ad is trying to convince women that eating a candy bar can make you gain weight and look unattractive like the woman on the left. Both of the women are holding a candy bar but with a different name, one says candy from the left and the other says Detour from the right which is also the name of the ads campaign. Not only is the ad trying to get women to buy the Detour protein bars but to also let them know that it is the right food choice for them if they do not want to look like the woman on the left. Perhaps many women who saw this ad went out to buy this protein bar with the intention of looking like the athletic model. What stands out in this advertisement is the way the models are holding the candy bar. Both of them are holding it on their bottom next to their private parts as if they were promoting that part of their bodies. The implied promise in this ad is that is a woman consumed just Candy Bars; they will end up looking like the large woman on the left. But as said in the ad “Then there’s Protein Candy Bars” (Advertisement), which will get a woman into the ideal shape. Overall, the message of this ad is that if women ate the Protein Candy Bar they will get the desired shape they always wanted and men will get those women. While if women ate the Candy Bar they will end up looking like the model on the right which for most men is undesirable.
In the video Killing Us Softly, Jean Kilbourne argues that we are exposed to many advertisements every single day ad although we try to ignore it they still keep showing up on magazines on television. She also says on the video that the media has created an image of women with a perfect body that is not real. It is not real because in order for a model to look the way they do on magazine, they have to go through a process of Photoshop and even changed in how they look. She points out that the models we see in advertisements are not models and instead are a compilation of many models to create one perfect model using the nose, the lips, and the eyes of different models. Knowing this we can be sure or perhaps assume that the photograph of the athletic model in this advertisement is not really her and probably she was also Photo shopped or made using different models. What we can be sure of is that there is no women with a perfect body out there if they are then they probably must not be natural. Kilbourne states on her video,
In the reading “Size 6: The Western Women’s Harem” by Fatema Mernissi we see a similar situation going on with respect to what is considered normal for women’s body size and shape. Fatema tells how she went to an American clothing store to buy clothes for herself, but the sales woman told her that they did not have a size for her and that the only sizes they had was 4 to 6(). Mernissi was surprised because she thought she had a nice body and never needed to worry about but after hearing the woman in the store her attitude changed because she had never had to worry about fitting into a size since where she came from all her clothes were done according to her body size and her measurements where she never had to deal with sizes. She realized that in America, the younger and the skinnier a women look the more attractive she seems to men. This relates to the advertisement of the protein bar since it is clear that being skinny is more attractive than being chubby and overweight. Fatema mentions that she would never starve herself just to try to fit in a size 6 and feels that Western women, as she calls them has it worse than Muslim women, which surprised her (). Women starve themselves, especially models who just try to look skinnier every time to fit into the clothing and to look appealing in media. To conclude, Fatema only hopes that the men in her country do not adapt to making women fit into a size zero because she is not willing to stop eating to satisfy others.