More than 10 years after its debut, the Dove Real Beauty program remains a marketing icon and a source of controversy. What did it accomplish?
by Rohit @ Influential Marketing Blog
Fri Oct 20 05:43:00 PDT 2006
Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty has been one of the most talked about campaigns of the year, earning praise from people in the advertising world, as well as from real consumers for representing something different to the typical fashion advertising. By focusing on the distorted perception of beauty that much of the fashion industry is
by firstname.lastname@example.org (kat2girl) @ WMST 2010 A: Feminist Analysis
Fri Apr 25 09:39:00 PDT 2008
The film Erin Brockovich has made over 125 million dollars in the US and is based on a true story of a woman struggling through life as a mother and a workingwoman (Wikipedia.com). Erin is a single mother, raising three children while trying to maintain a successful career as a secretary. Reviewing this movie through a feminist perspective, I argue that it contains ideas from both the second and third waves of feminism. It focuses on the issues from the second wave of motherhood and careers, but it also touches on issues of sexual empowerment from the third wave.
Erin is a strong, attractive woman in her early 40’s, trying to raise a family and gain a position of respect within the workplace, as well as try to discover her destiny. According to Elaine Roth, there are “many moral questions circulating in the USA at the turn of the millennium, such as whether mothers should work and whether corporations are corrupt”(CinemaSense.com). This film touches on these questions and provides evidence that women can indeed be excellent mothers while maintaining a successful career. Women can have relationships without feeling as though they have to fall into the traditional male and female roles. And women can use their sexual features to gain necessities, acknowledgment and an advantage over men.
First, there are issues from the second wave presented in which Erin challenges the traditional roles of males and females in relationships. Although she has been married and divorced twice, she now knows that she has the capability to care for herself and her children without the support of a man. True, she lets her male neighbor who she is having a relationship with baby-sit her children while she is working, but she refuses his offer for her to quit working. He wanted to be the one to provide for her and the children, and while this is a noble act, Erin decides she has to prove to herself and everyone else that she can care for them on her own. Giving in to the “traditional” relationship, in which a man provides for a woman, Erin would be devaluing herself and her abilities.
Another issue from the second wave of feminism that the film touches on is motherhood and the workforce. It was and still is a well-known fact that supposedly women cannot raise healthy and respectful children if she is working. “Erin must find the place to love them [her children] and still achieve her glory”(CinemaSense.com). The fight for the right to raise children and have a career has been around for decades, although it has not been as predominant as movement for sexual empowerment. But this movie reintroduces the audience the fact that equality within the workforce is far from being achieved and that we must continue fighting for what we deserve. Women have every right and all the capacity to instill good manners and morals within their children while making a profit within the workforce. Erin practically begs for the secretarial job, and in the beginning she struggles in preserving her relationships with her children, but in the end she learns to balance her career and the raising of her children.An issue raised in this film from the third wave of feminism is sexual empowerment. Erin Brockovich understands the power of her body and the effect that it has on men. She uses her sexual prowess to manipulate her male counterparts to complete tasks for her that they wouldn’t usually complete. Towards the middle of the movie, Erin needs to acquire some records that a young man is not allowed to release to her. After she unbuttons her shirt to reveal more of her chest and hikes up her skirt to reveal more of her legs, the young man allows her to have all of the records she would like. Women hold a spell over men in which they can attain almost anything they desire through their sexual attributes. Erin acknowledges these advantages and makes them worth her while. “The film heralds her as a good mother, primarily for her traditional ability to empathize, her scrappy resilience, and her work ethic”(Roth).
The film Erin Brockovich brings forth ideas from both important feminist eras. It doesn’t only center on sexual empowerment, a movement of the third and current wave of feminism, but it brings forward the issues of the second-wave as well. The film presents Erin as a strong-willed, determined woman, who will fight for her right to work while raising her children. This film is evidence that while it may seem that some issues have been forgotten in the modern fight for feminism, the issues never disappear.
by email@example.com (Ren) @ WMST 2010 A: Feminist Analysis
Fri Apr 25 13:14:00 PDT 2008
Once upon a time, a young princess was all alone, mourning the deaths of her parents. Along came a noble prince on a white horse who rescued the princess from her despair and comforted her. The prince urged the little princess to never lose her innate nobility and inner strength, and, giving her a rose signet ring, promised that they would one day meet again. However, the princess was so impressed by the prince and his manner that she vowed to one day become a prince herself and also rescue girls in need. Flash-forward several years, and now Utena Tenjou, a middle school student at the prestigious Ohtori Academy, is pursuing her princely ideals while searching for the mysterious prince from her childhood. While defending a friend’s honor, Utena is drawn into a mysterious series of duels against the Student Council for the hand of Anthy Himemiya, a strange girl known as the “Rose Bride” who holds the key to revolutionizing the world.
Thus begins Revolutionary Girl Utena, a manga and anime series from the early 1990’s about growing up and carving out one’s place in the world no matter what society may say. The series is rife with symbolism and allegory, to the point where a viewer is almost sure to be confused the first time she watches the story unfold. One of the most prevalent and obvious themes, however, and the one that this essay will focus on, is the system of gender roles present in the world, and the third-wave feminist attitude of breaking them in the name of individual freedom. Perhaps the best example of this theme is the title character herself, a girl who wears a modified boys’ uniform to school and dreams not of marrying a prince, but of becoming one herself. Utena’s journey to attain such a noble nature is contrasted by her “fiancée” Anthy, who embodies feminine passivity, and Anthy’s older brother Akio, who represents masculinity in a patriarchal society. It is by these two that Utena’s character is tested and her identity is shaped throughout the series.
A central theme of the world of Ohtori Academy is that “all girls are princesses.” However, this is far more sinister than the gentle, heartwarming message of A Little Princess, where all girls are special and deserve to be loved. This is a law set down by the series’ world of old: women are passive and submissive, and must wait for a male prince to come to their rescue. Any girl who should defy this law would be branded a witch, and, like all fairy-tale witches, suffer for her crimes. “These were the two categories into which girls were separated, and there was no in-between” (Lundy). From the beginning, Utena defies this creed, dressing like a boy, participating in sports, and dueling for Anthy’s freedom. These actions immediately draw the attention of her teachers, who scold her for breaking the spirit, but not the law, of the dress code, her female classmates, who idolize Utena for behaving so “princely,” and her male classmates, particularly Touga, the Student Council President, who see her as something to pursue and claim as their own, so they can make a “proper woman” out of her.
Despite her aspirations to break the status quo, during the first season, Utena herself is guilty of enforcing the school’s patriarchal regime through her relationship with Anthy, whose free will is subsumed by that of whoever she is currently engaged to. When she loses Anthy to Touga, he tells her that whatever friendship the girls shared was all a lie. Anthy may have acted more like a “normal” person than usual during her time with Utena, but only because that was what Utena had wanted Anthy to be. In doing so, Utena had unwittingly perpetuated the notion that a girl should be told how to behave around others. However, Utena learns from the mistake, and after winning Anthy back, allows her to act as is normal for her, rather than what is normal to Utena.
During the third season, Utena’s behavior shifts toward the other end of the gender spectrum under Akio’s influence. The Chairman, a mature, elegant, and charming adult, reminds Utena of the prince she idolized since childhood. As she begins to spend more and more time with Akio, eventually becoming his lover, Utena starts to take on more traditionally feminine traits, letting her goal of Revolution and winning Anthy’s freedom slip as a priority. This fall from grace is exactly what Akio wants. As a bitter shell of Dios, the ideal Prince in the world of Revolutionary Girl Utena, Akio possesses all of the traits expected of a man in a patriarchal society: he is sexually aggressive, powerful, and in control of the women in his life. By controlling Anthy, the Rose Bride, he controls the key to unlocking the power to revolutionize the world. And by controlling Utena, the favorite to win that power in the duels, he can easily take it for himself. He believes that a girl cannot possibly control that kind of power because she is innately a princess, someone who by definition cannot be an agent of change. This attitude, conceited and sexist as it is, stems from Akio’s noble past; he was the Prince who did nothing but rescue Princesses. Thus, it is his duty to “rescue” Utena from her path, before she is struck down as a witch for her hubris. Anthy, who sealed the Prince away from the rest of the world and took on its hatred in the form of a million stabbing swords in his stead, is already damned to be the Rose Bride forever, but Utena can still become a Princess, if only Akio can stop her. While it may seem that Akio has good, if warped, intentions at heart, however, he is actually “more that of a spoilt child than an actual adult, claiming his own maturity where there is not yet any” (Harpy). He manipulates Anthy and Utena’s emotions, using sex and their love for him as tools to keep them in his thrall. Once Akio has taken what he wants from Utena, the sword that will break down the door to Revolution, he “hacks at the door with his sword, aware that every time he strikes the door it wounds Utena. She staggers towards him as the sword breaks and he informs her that the seal can never be broken now. He can always start over. The Rose Bride will be his forever” (Satan). These are hardly the words and deeds of a noble prince, even one with outdated views of how the world works. “Where Dios comforted and healed the sick, Akio feeds on weakness and insecurity, nurturing only his lust for absolute power” (Ohtori). It is this callous nature that allows Utena to see Akio for what he really is, and break away from him to return to her original goal of becoming a genuine prince for Anthy’s sake.
In the end, Utena finally reclaims her nobility and acts as a true prince, seeking to rescue Anthy from her pain and bring her back into the living world, just as her prince had done for her. “The ‘prince’ is anyone who is noble, selfless, truthful. […] Thus in the world of Utena, it is possible for a man or a woman to become a prince, and in so doing, our heroine breaks through the mold of the two limited roles to which women had been assigned up until the Revolution. Not a princess, or a witch, but a true prince” (Lundy). Unexpectedly, though, something goes wrong. Anthy falls into the darkness, and Utena disappears amidst the Swords of Hate and the crumbling ruins of the dueling arena. Utena’s strength gained her the power of revolution, but in doing so, she lost her place as either a princess or a witch. Without a place for her, the world thus ejected her from it.
Despite Utena’s apparent failure, the series ends on a triumphant note. After so many years of letting herself live a false life trapped in the role of the Rose Bride, Anthy packs up and leaves to search for Utena in the world outside of Ohtori Academy, leaving her brother and his control behind her forever. When Utena became a true prince who sacrificed herself to rescue Anthy from her pain, Anthy decided that it was time to rescue herself. “She no longer had to be the Rose Bride, she was no longer under Akio's control. And she was the only one who realized it. So she left” (Satan). “This time, it’s my turn to go. No matter where you are, I swear I’ll find you,” she promises an absent Utena before she picks up her suitcase and walks through the campus gates and into the world outside of the school, the “real” world. The school bells that had formerly rung to signify the end of a duel and Anthy’s continued servitude peal once again, this time in celebration of Anthy’s freedom.
Many anime series reinforce traditional gender roles, implying that while a girl can easily be capable of fighting monsters and performing “many brave deeds and [becoming] a strong character, […] in the end, she still must end up with a prince” (Lundy). While love is a beautiful thing and should involve supporting one’s partner through whatever challenges life may throw at him or her, Utena herself raises an interesting point when the subject of jumping through hoops in order to find a romantic match is brought up: “what’s wrong with not getting married?” Revolutionary Girl Utena defies expectations by having Utena and Anthy both decide that they do not need a prince to protect them, and can make their own way in the world. This attitude usually coincides with second wave feminism, but the way it is brought about, by defying traditional gender roles and breaking free of the “princess/witch” binary that had chained them for so long, marks Revolutionary Girl Utena as a third wave work. It is a tale fraught with pain and mistakes, but Utena and Anthy are both growing up, have “tasted adulthood only through pain, [are] able to recognise the end of the 'game' and leave the garden” (Harpy) that is Ohtori Academy, and enter the real world. By questioning and discarding the expectations placed on them as girls, Anthy and Utena have become mature, independent adults.
The latest Dove advertising campaign, “Real Beauty Sketches,” has already garnered its share of well-deserved criticism: That “Dove is owned by Unilever – the same company that owns Axe, king of mi…
by firstname.lastname@example.org (Giulia Carando) @ Public Relations Problems and Cases
Sun Mar 01 19:26:00 PST 2009
The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty
Case Study by Olivia Falcione and Laura Henderson
The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty was started after Dove conducted a global study on beauty. The study called, The Real Truth About Beauty: A World Report confirmed a hypothesis that the definition for beauty had narrowed and impossible to attain. Dove found that:
§ Just 12 % of women are very satisfied with their physical attractiveness
§ Only 2 % of women describe themselves as beautiful
§ 68 % strongly agree that the media sets an unrealistic standard of beauty
§ 75 % wish the media did a better job in portraying the diversity of women's physical attractiveness, including size and shape, across all ages
When the economy has a downturn women stop shopping, but for higher end items such as shoes and purses, not beauty items. Marketing in the beauty industry is mainly geared toward women for good reason. Women compose over 50 percent of the United States population and they influence or buy 80 percent of products sold. These are influential numbers for any company.
Dove is the number one cleansing brand and is growing at more than 25 percent yearly. They are doing a sixth-month rollout of their hair care line. Unilever prides itself on advertising, announcing in 2002 a multi-million dollar advertising alliance with AOL Time Warner. Unilever expanded a co-marketing deal with Bally’s Total Fitness that makes Dove the exclusive sponsor and provider of personal hygiene products at almost 400 Bally’s fitness centers across the U.S and Canada. It is a crowded market and Dove wanted to separate themselves from the other companies and brands to generate higher sales.
Unilevers’ competitors include Proctor and Gamble, Estee Lauder, L’Oreal, Avon and others. All of these companies are experiencing growth and healthy sales. Proctor and Gamble is strengthening their leadership in Health Care and Beauty, two of 2003’s largest growing sectors. Proctor and Gamble has 5 billion dollar health care and beauty brands and they acquired a sixth in 2003. Meaning health care and beauty sales will account for half of the company’s sales and profits. In 2002, P&G reported net sales were $10.80 billion, up 11 percent versus 2001 sales.
Estee Lauder has recorded more than 45 consecutive years of annual sales increases. Estee Lauder’s net sales of all products sold in 130 countries reached $5.12 billion in 2003 this includes all labels-Estee Lauder, Clinique, Origins, Prescriptives and Aramis.
L’Oreal is the world’s largest beauty products company. In the past ten years the brand has shifted from 75 percent of sales in Europe to exporting brands around the world. Sales through June 2002 were €7.4 billion up from the first half of 2001 with €4 billion in consumer products and €1.8 billion in luxury products. L’Oreal aims for its 18th consecutive year of double-digit growth year-end 2002.
Avon is the world’s largest direct seller and sixth largest global beauty company with $6 billion in annual sales. Avon sells to women in 143 countries through 3.5 million independent sales representatives. Net sales have increased by 4 percent from 1997 to 2001 and this is expected to continue into 2003. Avon is starting a new line for younger consumers “mark”. It will launch in the fall of 2003 in the U.S. and in the second quarter of 2004 globally.
Beauty companies are doing well leading up to Dove’s launch of its Campaign for Real Beauty in 2004. The number of women in the United States and the influence they have on purchasing products make them the primary audience for consumer companies like Unilever to market towards. This combined with the results of women’s issues with the media’s portrayal of women create and ideal stage to launch a campaign focused on real women.
For years, the beauty industry and media have been constantly reminding women of the ideal body standards that have been set in today’s society. The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, launched in 2004, was to support Dove’s mission of making women of all shapes and sizes feel beautiful every day, while widening stereotypical views of beauty. The campaign was inspired by a global study called “The Real Truth About Beauty: A Global Report.” As a company within the beauty industry, Dove wanted to have a better understanding of the issues regarding women and beauty by developing this study. Dove asked Dr. Nancy Etcoff, Harvard University professor and author of “Survival of the Prettiest,” and Dr. Susie Orbach, London School of Economics, visiting professor and author of “Fat is a Feminist Issue,” to help develop this global report. The study used quantitative data collected from an international study of 3,200 women from ten different countries between February 27, 2004 and March 26, 2004. Through the study, Dove aimed to explore the relationship women have with beauty, determine how women define beauty, learn the level of satisfaction with women’s beauty and the impact beauty has on the well-being of women. Through two key findings of the study, Dove was able to validate that the narrow definition of beauty is having a significant impact on the self-esteem of women today. The two findings are:
· Only 2% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful
· 81% of women in the United States strongly agree that “the media and advertising set an unrealistic standard of beauty that most women can’t ever achieve.”
In addition to these statistics, the study uncovered that only 5% of the women felt comfortable describing themselves as pretty and 9% felt comfortable describing themselves as attractive. When it came to body image and weight, women from all countries proved to be unsatisfied with themselves. The women of Japan had the highest levels of dissatisfaction with their body weight at 59%, followed by Brazil (37%), United Kingdom (36%), United States (36%), Argentina (27%) and the Netherlands (25%).
The study asked women about a wide range of issues regarding the mass media and pop culture. From all countries, cultures, ages, ethnicities and race, the women felt that there is a narrow definition of beauty. Specifically within today’s society, women acknowledged how they felt more pressure from the beauty standards set by the present mass media. Sixty-three percent strongly agreed that women today are expected to be more attractive than their mother’s generation.
The women surveyed believed that they are surrounded by unrealistic beauty images that are unattainable. The majority (76%) wished female beauty would be portrayed in the media as being made up more than just physical attractiveness. Also, seventy-five percent wished the media did a better job of portraying women of diverse physical attractiveness, including age, shape and size.
Based on these findings, Dove created The Campaign for Real Beauty to address the issues that were revealed in the study. Since the campaign has been launched, Dove has conducted numerous global and national studies. In 2005, Dove conducted the study, “Beyond Stereotypes: Rebuilding the Foundation of Beauty Beliefs.” This study collected information from 3,300 girls and women, between the ages of 15-64 from 10 different countries. This study was designed to explore self-esteem and the impact of beauty standards on both the lives of girls and women. The study showed that of the women and girls surveyed, 90% wanted to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance (with body weight ranking the highest). In addition, Dove found that 67% of all women withdrew from life-engaging activities due to feeling badly about their looks.
In 2006, Dove conducted the global report “Beauty Comes of Age.” The study surveyed a total of 1,450 women, aged 50-64, from 9 different countries. This report was done to help reveal the stereotypes associated with beauty and aging. Dove found that 91% of the women surveyed felt that the media and advertising need to do a better job of representing realistic images of women over 50. A vast majority of the women (97%) believed that society is less accepting of appearance considerations for women over 50 compared to their younger counterparts, especially when focused on the body.
In 2008, Dove commissioned the national report, “Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem.” Girls ages 8-17 were surveyed and were asked questions based on the three areas of self-acceptance, confidence and emotional orientation. Scores were assigned based on how the girls rated themselves in the three areas. Girls were classified into three groups of high, average and low self-esteem, based on their individual scores. The report exposed that in the United States, seven in ten girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, academic performance and relationships with family and friends and 62% of all girls feel insecure or not sure of themselves. In comparing girls’ level of self esteem and their feelings on their own beauty, 71% of girls with low self-esteem felt their appearance did not measure up, including not feeling pretty enough, thin enough or stylish or trendy enough. This was compared to 29% of girls with high self-esteem.
Dove created The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty to help start a societal change and an expansion of the definition and discussion of beauty. The campaign supports Dove’s mission “to make more women feel beautiful everyday by widening stereotypical views of beauty.” The campaign uses advertising, a Web site, billboards, events, workshops, viral marketing and a Self-Esteem fund in Dove’s effort to create a global discussion about beauty with women all over the world. Rather than using professional models, the campaign stands by Dove’s mission in using “real” women of various ages, shapes and sizes to promote discussion and debate about the narrow beauty standards and images set in today’s society.
The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty was communicated to the public through a variety of print and television advertisements, a Web site, workshops and films. The campaign that launched in September 2004 began with an advertising campaign that featured women whose appearance strayed from the stereotypical beauty standards that are commonly seen in the media. Dove wanted to get “real” feedback by having the ads ask viewers to judge the women’s appearances. Viewers were asked to cast their votes on Dove’s Web site, campaignforrealbeatuy.com. The second phase of the campaign launched in June 2005 was print and outdoor advertisements that featured six everyday women who had real bodies and real curves. This phase was created to challenge the ideal body type standards set by the media. In February 2007, the third phase of the campaign was introduced with Dove using advertisements that targeted women 50 years and older. Annie Leibovitz, a world renowned photographer, was the artist behind the print and television advertisements, which celebrated the beauty in older women. Currently, the campaign focuses on young girls and self-esteem. For this part of the campaign Dove created self-esteem workshops and online self-esteem tools for mothers and daughters. In addition, Dove has created online films such as “Evolution,” “Onslaught” and “True Colors” which was a highly regarded commercial during the 2006 Super Bowl. Many of the tools used for the campaign are funded by the Dove Self-Esteem Fund. In the US, the fund supports Uniquely ME!, a program of the Girl Scouts of the United States, which aims to build confidence and self-esteem in young girls.
The campaign launched in England in September 2004. The Dove campaign was inspired by the study “The Real Truth about Beauty: A Global Report.” According to the Campaign for Real Beauty Mission, “the study validated the hypothesis that the definition of beauty had become limiting and unattainable.” The study showed that the narrow beauty standards were having a significant impact on the self-esteem of women. The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty was created to address this issue by attempting to widen the definition of beauty.
The results of this campaign were overwhelming from the consumers and the media. The goal was to reach 5 million young people with the Self-Esteem Fund by 2010 and according to their Web site, they have reached 2 million already.
The campaign returned $3 for every $1 spent. Dove’s page on Unilever’s Web site says that the current campaign has been shown on over 25 major TV channels and in more than 800 articles in opinion leading newspapers as well as in popular women’s magazines. In the first six months of the campaign, sales of Dove’s firming products increased 700 percent in Europe and in the United States, sales for the products in the advertisements increased 600 percent in the first two months of the campaign. In 2004, the first year of the campaign, global sales surpassed $1 billion, exceeding company expectations.
Dove’s public relations company built in news coverage for Asia with the Dove “models” appearing in 618 different newspaper clippings with a circulation of 139 million. By the end of 2005, sales in the Asian-Pacific market increased from 19 percent to 26 percent.
In the United States, the campaign got free advertising space from media coverage on national television shows reaching 30 million daytime television viewers. These shows included The Oprah Winfrey Show, which included the campaign everyday for a week, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Today Show, The View and CNN.
“Evolution” the viral video and the most famous execution of the campaign to date had global impact. The viral has been viewed more than 15 million times online and seen by more than 300 million people globally in various channels of distribution, including news coverage, by the estimation of Ogilvy Chairman-CEO Shelly Lazarus.
Dove and Ogilvy have won awards for this campaign. These include the two Grand Prix Cannes Advertising Awards in 2007. This is an unprecedented number of awards to win. “Evolution” the viral won Film Grand Prix and a Cyber Grand Prix. Dove won a silver IPA for effectiveness with the campaign. In 2006 it was awarded a Grand EFFIE, which honors the most significant achievement in marketing communications effectiveness.
In the News- Campaign for Real Beauty
Media Awareness Network- Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty
My Black is Beautiful Campaign
Commentaires sur The most desired US brands by women … and men par Etude : les femmes et la technologie « Les News du planning
by Etude : les femmes et la technologie « Les News du planning @ Commentaires pour Womenology
Mon May 30 01:23:47 PDT 2011
[...] La plupart des marques des secteurs concernés n’ont pas perçu ce potentiel de consommation et ont délaissés les femmes dans leurs stratégies. À l’inverse, ceux qui comme Sony ont eu du flair se sont vus récompenser : avec des actions comme « Sony loves Women ! » ou la commercialisation d’une PSP Pink (première console portable conçue pour les femmes), le groupe nippon a réussi à devenir la 2e marque préférée des consommatrices américaines. [...]
by email@example.com (Melissa) @ WMST 2010 A: Feminist Analysis
Sat Apr 26 14:05:00 PDT 2008
On September 11th, 2000 one of the most popular sitcoms debuted on UPN- Girlfriends. Thousands of women loved to sit in front of their television and watched four intelligent, African-American women go about their day and deal with daily obstacles that were thrown their way. The audience were being drawn into the feminist world of these four ladies from Los Angeles, California. Joan, the main character, was considered the unofficial “den mother” of the group; Maya - a former assistant to Joan and a housewife/author, Lynn - a needy friend that is still trying to find herself, and Toni - the materialistic and self-centered one of her girlfriends and is the self-proclaimed “cute one” of the group (2). Even though these women are different in some ways, they are all still strong, beautiful, powerful, and successful women that are not afraid of taking on masculine roles. Looking at the sitcom from a feminist perspective, it is easy to say that it is based on third wave feminism. It is clear that all the characters in Girlfriends illustrate a sense of empowerment which reflect the third wave. Even though Girlfriends has a third wave twist, it is clear that the women of this sitcom have to deal with other issues that fall in other wave periods. In our analysis, we express the issues that the women have to deal with when it comes to being successful and trying to have a perfect “tv” family. Because there was a connection made between the waves, we can argue that there is no true third wave of feminism. This paper will focus on the lives of the four women in the sitcom Girlfriends and argue how them overcoming the stereotypes of women today is tied to the second wave text, proving that there is no true third wave text.
There is a number of feminist issues that surface in this sitcom; one being the traditional issue of women being secondary to men. This was one of the most talked about issues and was addressed throughout the show through the women’s role in their workplace. Even though these women had high-power, it still wasn’t accepted by society. There is a number of ways in which this is shown in Girlfriends.
In the first season (throughout the whole show really) of Girlfriends, Joan is having a hard time finding love. No matter what she does, her relationships never last. As she goes about her life and daily routines looking for a man she realizes that the problem is her being a lawyer of a very big firm. Joan grows to understand that men become intimidated by woman who have power and make more money than they do. Joan then tries to aim for guys with high self-esteem and self-confidence. She is tired of dealing with guys who don’t understand the fight she had to put up in order to become a lawyer and make partner because she is a woman. Betty Friedan, who wrote the book The Feminine Mystique, reflects on this issue. It argues that women should be encouraged to pursue careers as well as motherhood (5). This was one of the major issues Joan had to deal with being a lawyer and wanting to form a family.
In the second season of Girlfriends, the concept of women having high-power was still an issue. But another problem that arouse was women making more money than their partner. In this season, Maya had to deal with controversy with her husband, Darnell: an auto-repair worker who wasn’t making a lot of money. Being that Maya was working as Joan’s assistant at the law firm, she was the main supplier at home. That caused major issues because Darnell felt that because he was the male, he was suppose to be the “bread winner” in their family that consists of him, Maya, and their son-Jabari. Maya was also the person that had to pay when they went out. There were times when Darnell would refuse to go to public events with Maya because he was embarrassed at the fact that he did not have the money to pay for things at the events. This goes to prove how today’s society work. In today’s society, women are expected to be nice: soft, gentle, empathetic, selfless caretakers (3). And this draws a major concern and question about our society and where we stand as feminists.
It is clear that today’s society still have the mentality of those in society during the second wave. Men in today’s society are not interested in women who have more power than they do. They still believe that women should follow and depend on them. To them, women should stay home and be caretakers; same beliefs of men during the second wave. The writers of Girlfriends make it obvious that they were trying to show African-American women who are beautiful, intelligent, and very successful with this sitcom. They also wanted to prove that women have the strength and opportunity to get high-paying and high-powering jobs that at one point in time weren’t allowed. The writers wanted to show equality with race and in the workplace. Girlfriends above all expressed the difficulty for women who have power, to find love and companionship- this being tied to the second wave.
As writers and viewers look at Girlfriends, they notice that it is not at all a third wave text but one of the second wave. That draws in some problems because the sitcom is just an overview of what women in today’s society deal with. So, how can women today be dealing with issues of the second wave? The answer to this question: we are still in the second wave. It is impossible to move on to the next wave when you haven’t solved the issues of the previous. We cannot dismiss the feminist issues from the past. Joan dominates in her powerful position of being a lawyer, but she struggles with her relationships because of it. And a show that we thought represents the third wave doesn’t because we are still living in the second wave.
by mf12 @ Media and Cultural Analysis, Spring 2014
Sun May 11 18:40:03 PDT 2014
In 2007 Intel released a national print ad to promote its Core 2 Duo processor chips. The ad featured a slender, un-athletic white man in casual business attire, surrounded by six muscular black runners bowing down in a starting position in front of the him. The white manager stands under the headline “maximize the […]
by firstname.lastname@example.org (Giulia Carando) @ Public Relations Problems and Cases
Thu Oct 22 08:06:00 PDT 2009
Laura Peck & Antoinette Francis
October 22, 2009
McDonald's Hispanic Marketing Case Study
According to the McDonald's Web site, in 1940 Dick and Mac McDonald opened a restaurant in San Bernardino, Calf. called McDonald's Bar-B-Que. It was a drive-thru and offered car hop service. In 1948, the restaurant was shut down for renovations and reopened with a smaller menu. This consisted of hamburgers and cheese burgers, potato chips, pie and beverages like soft drinks, milk, coffee. At the time, a hamburger cost 15 cents. The french fries and milkshakes were added a year later in 1949. The famous founder, Ray Kroc, visits the McDonald's restaurant and learns that the owners are looking for a nationwide franchising agent. He gives up his job as a multimixer salesman and joins the McDonald team, turning it into the largest fast food restaurant chain in the world. The first McDonald's restaurant opened in Des Plaines, Illinois in 1955. The first day sales on April 15 were $316.12 (McDonald's History). "In 1961, Kroc bought out the McDonald brothers for $2.7 million" (McDonald's Corporation). And by 1965 there were over 700 restaurants, The current McDonald's mission is to "be our customers' favorite place and way to eat." Our worldwide operations have been aligned around a global strategy called the Plan to Win centering on the five basics of an exceptional customer experience – People, Products, Place, Price and Promotion. We are committed to improving our operations and enhancing our customers' experience (McDonald's History).
McDonald's is a publicly traded company (NYSE: MCD) and according to Hoover's "nearly 80% of the restaurants are run by franchisees or affiliates." (McDonald's Corporation). Some of McDonald's competitors include Burger King, Wendy's, Subway, Chick-Fli-A and YUM! restaurants international which runs A&W, KFC, Long John Siver's, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. According to Hoover's, McDonald's leads the industry in annual sales ($23,522.4 million), employees (400,000) and market cap ($64,149 million). It also leads the industry in gross profit margin (37.55%) and net profit margin (26.87%) (McDonald's Corporation). It is able to stay ahead by offering consistent quality food products at it's franchises, no matter the location. It is also always developing new menu items. It's most recent the Southern-style chicken biscuit in breakfast and sandwich form and it's widely publicized and advertised McCafé (McDonald's Corporation). Unlike other industries, quick-service companies are thriving. According to McDonald's most recent quarterly earnings press release, there was a "10% increase over the Company's previous quarterly dividend rate and brings the total quarterly dividend payout to about $600 million" (McDonald's Raises Quarterly Cash Dividend By 10%).
One of psychological competition facing the quick-service restaurant industry is the criticism of large obese population in the U.S. It is especially true of the value meals which provide extra large portion sizes of unhealthy foods. The nutritional value of quick-service restaurant food have sparked campaigns and legal action. According to New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, On January 22, 2008, the Board of Health approved an amendment to the Health Code that requires certain food service establishments (FSEs) to post calorie information prominently on menu boards and menus (Calorie Posting Regulations). Other criticize of McDonald's occurred after the documentary Supersize Me was released in 2004. The documentary involves filmmaker Morgan Spurlock and his quest to eat nothing but McDonald's for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a month. He has to eat everything on the menu once and has to supersize his meal anytime he is asked. His health is documented and tracked and the results are astonishing. The documentary does not paint McDonald's or the quick-service restaurant industry in a good light (Super Size Me (2004)). One of the biggest outcries was about the soc-economical reasons behind the combination of inexpensive fast food and the obesity rates among people below the poverty line. This is especially prevalent among two targeted publics, Hispanic and black populations, who have a pre-disposition to obesity and heart disease. "McDonald's continues to be a target for critics who charge the company's food lacks nutritional value and may be contributing to increasing rates of obesity, especially among children. In response, McDonald's has introduced healthier menu items and shifted its marketing towards children to show a more active Ronald McDonald" (McDonald's Corporation).
McDonald's provides fast-food products and friendly service to consumers. According to Hoovers, McDonald's is a part of the fast food and quick-service industry (McDonald's Corporation). It was one of the first of it's kind and led the way for other fast food franchising chains like Burger King and Wendy's. And have influenced it's competitors with innovating ideas like the dollar menu. McDonald's is also making strides when it comes to incorporating a diverse workforce. According to McDonald's.com, "more than 55% of [its] headquarters and U.S. company workforce are members of a racial or ethnic minority, and approximately 61% are women. More than 40% of [its] U.S. owner/operators and an even higher percentage of the people in training to become owner/operators are minorities and women." They also "purchase more than $4 billion a year in food and paper products from U.S. minority and women-owned businesses." Because of their diversity initiatives, McDonald's has been awarded a number of awards including Among Top 50 Places for Hispanic Women to work in 2004 by Latina Style, Among 50 Best Companies for Minorities in 2003 by the National Hispanic Corporate Council and Top Company for Hispanics in 2005 by Hispanic Business Magazine (People). Furthermore, "McDonald's Hispanic franchisees, when combined, represent the largest single Hispanic business in the country" (Diversity).
Furthermore, with the Hispanic population growing in size, McDonald's has focused some of it's marketing towards the ethnic group with the campaign "Me Encanta." It is the literal Spanish translation of McDonald's global slogan, "I'm Lovin' It." According the VPE Public Relations, the Hispanic specializing pr agency that works with McDonald's, "In 2004, the country’s estimated 40 million Hispanics are spending nearly $700 billion on goods and services. If this country’s Latinos were a nation, its gross domestic product (GDP) would rank ninth in the world, just below Canada. By 2008, researchers predict that Hispanics’ buying power will be about $1 trillion per year, representing an astounding growth rate of over 450 percent since 1990. Latinos are the largest and youngest ethnic minority group in the United States. By 2050, one of every four Americans will be Hispanic, a number that will exceed 100 million" (Hispanic Snapshot).
According to VPE Public Relations' Web site, "since 1992, VPE has played an instrumental role in strengthening McDonald's standing as the favorite quick-service restaurant of Hispanic families. VPE works hand-in-hand with the company's Communications and Marketing departments to adapt national initiatives in a meaningful way to the Hispanic market. Examples of successfully executed assignments include national concert tours for artists like Enrique Iglesias, Alejandro Fernandez and Molotov; major events like Fiesta Broadway and Calle Ocho; national promotions like Monopoly and Happy Meals; corporate responsibility initiatives like Go Active!; and sporting events such as World Cup, Olympics and All-American basketball. VPE has also worked closely with Ronald McDonald House Charities in establishing its HACER Scholarship Program as the country's largest serving Hispanic high school students" (McDonald's). Alma DDB, an integrated advertising agency specializing in the Hispanic market is also working on the Me Encanta campaign since 1994. According to Alma DDB Communications Manager, Olimpia Del Boccio, they "managed all the communications in terms of advertising and image for the Hispanic Market." The agency has produced many things for McDonald's including TV, print, radio and interactive ads. These campaigns and advertisements have won a number of awards including National Gold, District Silver, Local Silver and Local Gold at Addy Awards. They have also won Silver at the Best of Ad Age, Gold at Ad Age Hispanic, Gold at CRESTA and more (Awards).
One of their services including the entire "Me Encanta" Web site. The Web site is easy to navigate and is in both Spanish and English. Some of the videos however, such as the Tips from Missael Espinoza, from the Mexico Soccer team in only in Spanish and does not contain any subtitles unlike the rest of the videos. The links are relevant and sort the information into four categories: Your Music, Scholarships, Mexican National Team and Latin Pride. The Scholarships tab is the only one that leads to a bigger Web site designed to inform Hispanic students and parents about college and applying for scholarships. The Web site is only for consumer use.
McDonald's slogan or campaign theme of "Me Encanta" is clever and shows that although McDonald's is marketing towards Hispanics, the population is still part of the general population. Sometimes campaigns designed around a certain racial or ethical group will distinguish their differences instead of their strengths, morals and values. The public members (the Hispanic community) will relate to the theme and will enjoy that their material is available in both English and Spanish.Some of the video clips are available in Spanish and then in an accented English. McDonald's also uses the phrase "Mi Lado Latino" which means My Latino Side. This campaign is to promote Latino pride by providing consumers with computer wallpapers, t-shirt iron-ons, stencils, etc. with both the slogan and the McDonald's logo. While the idea is great, there isn't anything behind the campaign. There should be some information about Hispanic organizations, National Hispanic Month and things people could be proud about rather than just brand placement.
From a media standpoint, there isn't any links talking about what McDonald's is doing through its Hispanic marketing (Me Encanta). Surprisingly, the media center at McDonald's.com did not contain a general McDonald's press kit including a fact sheet or a backgrounder. The only material was pertaining to specific campaigns. And does not have that many press releases and none dealing with Hispanic marketing and campaign programs. It did have information on it's African-American Campaign 365Black and their work for Black History month. There were nothing about Hispanic History Month or the Me Encanta campaign (Electronic Press Kits Archive). The news releases that were found about "Me Encanta" were hosted on Web sites like PRnewswire.com and were pertaining to scholarships giving to Hispanic students. The majority of these documents concentrated on who received the money and how much money McDonald's had donated so far. There were also a number about college workshops being hosted in a number of high schools across the country. The documents concentrated on the scholarships rather than the restaurant (McDonald's Hispanic news on PRNewswire.com). However, on the general McDonald's Web site there is an electronic press kit for the entire McCafé campaign, and includes an fact sheet in Spanish (McCafé Perks Up Coffee Lovers Coast-To-Coast).
McDonald's also does not release information about their planning or marketing procedures. Attempts were made to contact representatives via phone calls and twitter and both times we were directed to the McDonald's Web site. The contact us student section states, "If you cannot find the information you are looking for on our website, then the information is either not available or it is considered proprietary/confidential. As such, we would not be able to answer your questions. And it went one to say "oftentimes, students ask very specific questions about McDonald's sales, business strategies and product information. However, due to the highly competitive nature of the quick-service restaurant industry, we simply cannot respond to questions of this nature" (Contact Us: Students). Contacting a representative from VPE Public Relations was also unsuccessful and as previously stated Alma DDB would only tell us what type of work they do for McDonald's. Therefore it is hard to find what particular planning measures that were taken prior to the launch. It is hard to know what type of research was conducted prior to the launch of the "Me Encanta" or "McCafé" campaign. However, because McDonald's is working with an agency and firm who specialize in the Hispanic market, it is general "Me Encanta" advertisement, which are merely the normal ads translated into Spanish. Having the English version of the Hispanic advertising spoken with a Spanish English accent was good move because it shows that many Hispanics speak English and that you don't have to just market only Spanish. It also shows that there are more to Hispanic culture than just the language (McCafé - Your search). And it is estimated that McDonald's McCafé campaign "is expected to receive an outpouring of more than $100 million fanned out across TV, print, radio, outdoor, Internet, events, PR and sampling" (Allison, Melissa). For the execution of the general McCafé campaign, McDonald's offered "Mocha Mondays" where they would give free samples of either their Iced Mocha or Hot Mocha beverage (McDonald's(R) Anticipates Giving Away an Estimated 10 Million Samples). They were also hosting a contest "McCafé Your Day" during the launch of the product, in including a grand prize of a $50,000 Visa gift cards (Perking Up This May, McCafé). Without information provided by McDonald's or the agency/firm, it is hard to tell if any evaluation was conducted after the launch to see if it was a success within the Hispanic markets. However, McDonald's is up for Ad Age's Marketer of the Year and received a lot of press on it's big McCafé advertising push (Vote for Ad Age's 2009 Marketer of the Year).
Overall the "McCafé" campaign was well planned and executed. Some of the strengths of the campaign was that it had it's own interactive Web site in Spanish and English just for the Hispanic market and was able to play off their cultural and societal values. It also created advertising in both Spanish and Spanish accented English just for the Hispanic Market. Some of the weaknesses was that there didn't seem like a lot of articles picking up on the specialized and specific Hispanic marketing initiatives that McDonald's. And other than the Web site or advertising McDonald's didn't appear to have particular promotions or contests involving the McCafé in the Hispanic community. It would have been a good idea to have McCafé sponsor events or concerts centering around the Hispanic community. An opportunity for McDonald's is their upcoming sponsorship of the 2009 Latin Grammy's concert tour. They would have given out free samples and information at these events across the country. A threat for McDonald's is the importance that coffee and espresso products play in Hispanic culture. McDonald's is truly trying to bring society awareness that a fast food company can provide coffee products at low prices without compromising the quality. Strategies and tactics that work well with this audience is making things family and music orientated and quality at a low price. McDonald's does this through it's McCafé section on Me Encanta, where it plays a Latin "Café" song and talks about the quality ingredients that goes into the product (McCafé - Home). Also by creating McCafé coffee shop it is promoting an atmosphere were the entire family can enjoy McCafé products.
Competitors in the quick-serve food industry are also jumping on the Hispanic marketing bandwagon. Burger King is "putting ads in such publications as Poder and Hispanic Enterprise" (Del Valle, Elena). According to the Director of MultiCultural Marketing for BKC, Alexandra Galindez, "Burger King Corp. is committed to engaging Hispanic consumers in a meaningful and relevant way" (Burger King). Burger King's main Hispanic campaign is "Futbol Kingdom" an interactive Web site with games and information about their "Futbol Kingdom" city tour (Futbol Kingdom). However, Burger King has made some "offensive" advertising for the European market, including one depicting a "little bit" Mexican man wearing the Mexican flag and promoting the Texican Burger. (Mexico protests Europe Burger King Texican Whopper advertisement's use of Mexican flag). Another quick-service food industry competitor is Wendy's. However, their site offered even less than Burger King's even though it references Vidal Partners for handling their Hispanic advertising (News). At the top right hand corner you could change the Web site from US English to US Espanol. However, this just translated the already present material and cut down on some of it's content. It removed the news & offers, ads and about us sections (Wendy's). Out of the three quick-service restaurants, McDonald's definitely not only had the most available for Hispanics when it came to advertising and interactive Web sites but also researched the market so not to offend the Hispanic market and community. Neither Wendy's nor Burger King had Hispanic oriented social media. Although they both had a general twitter (@theBKlounge, @therealwendys) and a facebook pages. This is the same as McDonald's (@McDonald's) and perhaps a spanish-only assumed that not much research had to be conducted for this particular campaign and that the agency/firm were familiar with Hispanic culture, society and values. As for the tactics, the goal of the campaign is to increase awareness and sales of McDonald's new coffee line, McCafé. And furthermore, to create positive attitudes of Hispanic consumers towards fast food coffee and espresso products. For the "Me Encanta" and "McCafé," McDonald's hosts interactive Spanish-English Web sites. According to the Alama DBB Web site, "Hispanics have a cultural relationship with coffee; they can sense when it isn't fresh or when it's been watered down. They trust their senses and know when something is real because they can see it, feel it, hear it, smell it and taste it. That's why our ideas was to take consumers to experience McCafé coffees with their 5 senses. We created www.meencanta.com/McCafé, a site with a great variety of activities that give consumers a space to interact with the product while stimulating their senses, using their webcam, microphone, headphones, mouse and keyboard" (McCafé).
Also the advertising for McCafé are made specially for Hispanics compared to the
facebook and twitter account will be soon implemented by the fast-food giants.
McDonald's currently has a website specifically tailored to the Hispanic community in both English and Spanish: www.meencanta.com. On this website, viewers will see a colorful display with interactive features to keep them enticed. Within that website, viewers will find a page for the McDonald's "McCafé." It also has an interactive display with Hispanic-styled music; the website is in both English and Spanish.
Through McDonald's Electronic Press Kit for their McCafé, viewers will see their mission statement, stating, "McDonald's McCafé espresso-based coffees are available nationwide, giving consumers a variety of customizable beverages that can be enjoyed any time of the day, as morning pick-me-ups or indulgent afternoon treats... McDonald's McCafé beverages include espresso-based coffees such as cappuccinos, lattes, mochas, iced lattes, and iced mochas, as well as hot and ices Premium Roast brewed coffees and hot chocolate." (“McDonald’s Electronic Press Kit.”) On this website, there are press releases, and promotional images and videos, specific to McCafé. The images they place on this site, not only include the product, but the images are of where the products are from with photographs of coffee farms and coffee beans. This goes to show consumers and the media that McDonald's McCafés are fresh and natural.
Upon entering the Hispanic McCafé website (http://www.meencanta.com/mccafe/index_english.jsp), viewers will be first see the eye-catching layout and then hear the McCafé music, modeled from Hispanic beats. The lyrics to the short music bit repeats: "cafe, caliente, soloso, my cafe," translated to coffee, hot, alone, my coffee. As the view moves throughout the site, they will experience all 5 senses of the McCafé: touch, taste, hear, smell and sight. The first link will bring the viewer to an interactive page where they can "touch" coffee beans by playing around on their keyboard. The second link will bring the viewers to another interactive page that explores the "taste" sense by putting the viewers face within the coffee's reflection. The third link will bring the viewers to a music bit that explores the "hearing" sense through aromatic sounds of brewing, pouring, and drinking coffee. The next and fourth links will bring viewers to a page that allows them to play with coffee foam, which represents the "smell" sense. The final and fifth link that explores the "sight" sense will bring the viewer to two commercials for the McCafé.
In "The Seattle Times" article, "McDonald's outspends Starbucks 4:1 on new ad campaign, reporter Melissa Allison describes how McDonald's is bringing in heavy competition for Starbuck Coffee Company. She says, "Now Starbucks is trying harder, with a brand campaign that launched this week as McDonald's begins an ad blitz for its espresso drinks, which have been rolling out for years but finally reached more than 11,000 stores." ("Coffee City McDonald's outspends Starbucks 4:1 on new ad campaign Seattle Times Newspaper.") The articles says how McDonald's will probably bring in more than $100 million through this new advertising campaign, using television, print, radio, internet, events, PR and sampling means of promotion.
"It’s cornered the market on Big Macs, fries, and shakes. And now McDonald’s is riding a massive marketing campaign to make gastronomic gains in premium coffee," states "The Boston Globe" in a June 18, 2009 article. ("McDonald's gains ground on coffee rivals Dunkin', Starbucks - The Boston Globe.") Reporter Jenn Abelson describes how with the introduction of the McDonald's McCafé, there is going to be a increased competition in the coffee industry. "McDonald’s is 'like a 9,000-pound gorilla,' said Dennis Lombardi, executive vice president of food service strategies for WD Partners, a restaurant and retail design and development consultancy. "They have made a very strong push to build share with its McCafé brand and to show it is an alternative to coffeehouses.'" ("McDonald's gains ground on coffee rivals Dunkin', Starbucks - The Boston Globe.")
ABC News states, "McDonald's Corp. on Tuesday began a more than $100 million marketing campaign including TV, radio, print, online and outdoor ads for its McCafé line of espresso drinks. The drinks are now being rolled out to the chain's 14,000 U.S. locations." ("Coffee Retailers Heat up Advertising, Cut Prices - ABC News.") This article talks about the drop in prices advertising prices as the competition to advertise goes up.
In a blog on HispanicAd.com, Manny Gonzalez describes in detail the four "P" of advertising within McDonald's McCafé Campaign. He states that within the product domain, the McCafé has contributed to about 2.8% increase in McDonald's U.S. sales. He goes on to say that the cause of McDonald's success is their diverse pricing strategy. Within the place domain, what also contributes to this success is the direct relationship between franchises and corporation. Through this direct relationship, McDonald's helps franchises become well-represented ethnically, as the most prominent and successful franchisees are in LA and NY, where many Latinos reside. He then examines McCafé's promotions and concludes that McDonald's marketing is centered around the multicultural aspect. They realize that they need to be marketing to a diverse population. (http://www.hispanicad.com/blog/?p=169)
In "McDonald's Mobile Campaign Targets Hispanics," reporter Mark Walsh says that 10 million samples of the McCafé will be given away on "Mocha Mondays" "as part of its broader push behind the new McCafé coffee line." Working with a mobile ad network, McDonald's, specifically targeting the 2.3 million New York Hispanics, created a mobile text messaging system that will remind users to take part in the "Mocha Mondays," where they will receive a free 7 oz. Iced McCafé Mocha or an 8 oz. Hot McCafé Mocha. ("MediaPost Publications McDonald's Mobile Campaign Targets Hispanics 08/06/2009.")
On May 5, 2009, McDonald’s released their “McDonald’s McCafé Perks Coffee Lovers Coast-to-Coast press release. It examines the new McDonald’s McCafé beverages. In the press release, the slogan “McCafé Your Day” is introduced as well as a contest and sweepstakes where “consumers are invited to visit www.mcdonalds.com/mccafe to submit a story and photo about why they or someone they know deserve a chance to be one of two grand prize winners, each taking home a $50,000 Visa gift card and $500.” ("McCafé Perks Up Coffee Lovers Coast-To-Coast.") The news release goes on to explain the enormous launch of the McCafé:
In 2006, McDonald’s successfully introduced Premium Roast dip coffee. In 2007, the company introduced iced Coffees to the menu and began testing the full-line of espresso-based specialty coffees in selected U.S. markets. The national introduction of McCafé marks McDonald’s largest product launch in 30 years, since the introduction of the Egg McMuffin sandwich to its national breakfast menu in 1977. ("McCafé Perks Up Coffee Lovers Coast-To-Coast.")
The July 9, 2009 press release, “McDonald’s Anticipates Giving Away an Estimated 10 Million Samples during the ‘McCafé Mocha Monday’ Nationwide Sampling Event Starting July 13,” introduces the McCafé Mocha Monday, where consumers can get free (specified) coffee each Monday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at participating restaurants from July 13 to August 3. This press release states that this is the largest sampling initiative McDonald’s has ever taken. Like in the previously-mentioned press release, this release goes over the McCafé Contest and Sweepstakes, as well as a brief overview of the McDonald’s brand coffee. (McDONALD’S® ANTICIPATES GIVING AWAY AN ESTIMATED 10 MILLION SAMPLES DURING THE “McCAFÉ® MOCHA MONDAY” NATIONWIDE SAMPLING EVENT STARTING JULY 13.)
Found on Hispanic PR Wire, a press release, “Gavina Coffee Helps Put the Accent on McDonald’s New McCafé Brand,” goes into a detailed overview of coffee supplier behind the McCafé. It talks about how a family-owned company, known as Gavina Gourmet Coffee of Los Angeles “helped formulate the company’s successful line of McCafé specialty coffee drinks recently launched on a national level.” ("Hispanic PR Wire - Gavina Coffee Helps Put the Accent on McDonald's(R) New McCafé(R) Brand.") The press release goes into a history and ends with a quote from the owner of the supplier; he says that “McDonald’s has given [the company] an opportunity to prove [themselves.]” ("Hispanic PR Wire - Gavina Coffee Helps Put the Accent on McDonald's(R) New McCafé(R) Brand.")
Overall, the media coverage seems to be similar to McDonald’s messages. There have not been any controversies around the new McCafé beverage, so there are not different in messages. All the media coverage seems to center around how McDonald’s is new competition for other coffee brands and how McDonald’s has invested so much into their McCafé campaign. The press releases typically talk about what McCafé is and how it came to be. They also illustrate the different events to help promote the McCafé. The media seems to use this same information about the fact of McCafé in their coverage.
When compared to McDonald's competitors the brand is far ahead when it comes to Hispanic marketing but furthermore, it's outreach allows Hispanic consumers to connect on a deeper level with the brand. It shows effort to produce Hispanic oriented commercials in both Spanish and Spanish-accented English. And their Hispanic oriented Web site, Me Encanta, is impressive along with their specific product interactive Web sites. Hispanics should be proud to know that their consumer buying power is being taken seriously and that companies are specifically adjusting to meet their needs, culture, values and norms.
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by email@example.com (Donavon) @ WMST 2010 A: Feminist Analysis
Fri Apr 25 15:49:00 PDT 2008
Implications for Single Mothers, Social Class, and African American Women
Prior to this assignment I had given little thought about the role and stereotypes surrounding single mothers; but in interviewing a peer who was raised in this type of environment, I realized that “Many of these women go through inordinate struggles just to get by, working against single mother, class, and race-based stereotypes” (Sidel, 42). Even though we have only known one another since this past summer, my friend Shiri’ self-disclosed to me about her life. I feel that we knew a lot about one another, and I felt that we shared a lot in common. We were both raised in a single- parent household, which seems to be a more common, occurrence. Throughout our friendship we have talked about our childhoods and the impact that those experiences have left upon our lives. Upon receiving this assignment I decided to interview Shiri’ and ask her about her personal experiences being raised by a single African American woman; this media text, combined with feminist theory, will help to further this discussion concerning single motherhood, social class and African American women in today’s society.
Single mothers face many issues: there is the typically implied lower household income per capital, increased responsibility on the mother for raising her children and working more hours to pay for all of her children’ needs. For Shiri’, there were positive effects of her mom being a single parent: her Mom served as a positive role model for independent women. Even though she was independent, she still ran into problems generally associated with single mothers who have problems in the work force: “The devaluation of mothers’ work permeates virtually every major institution. Not only is caregiving not rewarded, it is penalized” (Crittenden 191). In other words, the role of mother and caregiver is often overpowered by the single mother’s need to provide for her family.
Social Class is always an issue with single-parent homes. Due to the lower household incomes that single parents face due to their role as the only provider, they usually fall within a lower socioeconomic status. Women have had it harder than men in terms of earning money: “Of women working full-time in 2004, 20.1% earned less than $15,000 for the year; the figure is 22.3% for African American women, 32.2% for Latinas” (Bravo et.al, 180). In addition, “Women are disproportionately represented among minimum-wage earners, accounting for more than 3/5 of all those in this category. Of these women in 2004, more than three-quarters were adults and working more than 20 hours a week; the largest share (41.6%) work full time” (Bravo et.al, 180). From these numbers we see that social class is always an issue for single mothers.
Stereotypes, such as the welfare queen, are placed upon minority single mothers and more specifically; African American mothers. According to the welfare queen stereotype, women that receive financial aid from the government are perceived to be lazy and are lower class women. These women mostly live in neighborhoods where they struggle and have a hard time raising their kids. During the interview Shiri’ mentioned that her mother, being a single parent, struggled at times and had a hard time raising her children. She also stated that there was a time when there was not enough food to supply for everyone in the household. These are the stereotypes surrounding African American women as single mothers.
According to the matrix of domination, which “interlock[s] race, class, and gender oppression [and] expands the focus of analysis from merely describing the similarities and differences distinguishing these systems of oppression and focuses greater attention on how they interconnect” (Collins 221). There is an undeniable link in the negative associations of single mother’s social class and African American women. Stereotypes impact the majority of society’s negative view, which can adversely affect people.
by Duncan Macleod @ The Inspiration Room
Wed Jul 26 15:46:52 PDT 2017
Volkswagen France is running “Humains”, a commercial promoting the brand’s environmental credentials. Earlier in the month the French government announced plans to phase out petrol and diesel powered vehicles by 2040. The Volkswagen Humans campaign responds with the promise of adaptation. People have always adapted to their environment, often without realising, whether it be eating […]
by Duncan Macleod @ The Inspiration Room
Thu Jul 27 15:58:14 PDT 2017
Apple is promoting the latest Siri features with a commercial featuring The Rock, Dwayne Johnson. The commercial, “The Rock x Siri Dominate the Day”, has the actor, producer and professional wrestler using Siri to tick off items on his life long bucket list. In a whirlwind of activity he uses Siri’s connection with FaceTime, email, […]
by firstname.lastname@example.org (Alex M) @ WMST 2010 A: Feminist Analysis
Fri Apr 25 12:12:00 PDT 2008
When you think of feminism in mainstream media, I’m guessing The Simpsons is not the first show that comes to mind and that’s ok! Much to my mother’s displeasure, my brother and I have been watching The Simpsons since the tender of age of five years old, and while some people disapprove, I think it has served me well (especially in terms of this assignment). Because I have watched almost every episode at least seven times at varying stages in my life, I have witnessed first hand my own growing awareness of the messages the show presents to the audience. Matt Groening’s often used quote is that “The Simpsons is a show that rewards you for paying attention” (qtd. in Irwin and Lombardo 81). Both my brother and I have noticed how, as we got older and learned more, we began to pick up more on the social satire and of course, the almost overwhelming number of references, ranging from pop culture to poetry to literature. Simone Knox asserts that since it’s start, “the series has become accepted as a vital part of both US and global culture” (Knox 73), winning 23 Emmys, a Peabody Award for “providing exceptional animation and stinging social satire, both commodities which are in extremely short supply in television today” in 1996, and being named “Best TV Show” of the century by Time magazine in 1999 (qtd. in Knox 73). Currently, it is the longest running American sitcom ever, with over 400 episodes and counting.
Matthew Henry writes, “The Simpsons is above all a sophisticated satire on American culture…offering scathing critiques of America’s numerous faults and flaws. Among other things, The Simpsons mercilessly exposes the hypocrisy and ineptitude of pop psychology, corporate greed, commercialism, consumerism, and modern child-rearing, as well as the potential dangers of fundamental religion, homophobia, racism, and sexism” (273). Each episode questions the universality and normativity of-so called “traditional family values” and satirizes America’s own exclusionary practices of “minorities” in American culture, whose status, which Henry points out, is based on religion, race, age, sex and gender (273). This essay specifically explores how the show presents feminist ideas and feminist struggles through Marge, but in the end falls back on traditional gender norms.
Due to the changes in women’s lives and a shift in theoretical perspective since the height of second wave feminism, many women struggle with what it is to be a feminist, and as Henry notes, “their lives are marked by ambivalence and ambiguity, complexity and contradiction” (274). In Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media, Susan Douglas states, “American women today are a bundle of contradictions” (9). Douglas demonstrates that much of the confusion about women’s “proper place” and roles in culture are present in mainstream mass media, causing many women to be in a conflicted state, torn between traditional and stereotypical ideas of who and what they ought to be and progressive and liberating concepts of who and what they can be. Douglas writes, “The war that has been raging in the media is not a simplistic war against women but a complex struggle between feminism and antifeminism that has reflected, reinforced, and exaggerated our culture’s ambivalence about women’s roles for over thirty-five years” (12-13).
One issue that feminism has had an on-going discussion of is that of the stay-at-home mother. In season three, the episode “Homer Alone” (#8F14) attempts to address the same issue. Opening on a stressed Marge, it shows a sped-up version of her daily routine. Like a perfect storm, the combination of practical jokers on the radio, heavy traffic, a rude tailgater and Maggie, who spills her bottle of milk all over Marge and the car, lead to her breaking point. Stopping her car in the middle of a bridge and creating gridlocked traffic in both directions, local newsman Kent Brockman shows up to report on the situation. It is at this point that the gender issues discussed in Ann Crittenden’s “The Price of Motherhood” are brought to light as Brockman states, “An overworked and under-appreciated housewife has snapped and parked her car on a bridge.” Eventually, Homer arrives at the scene and pleads with Marge to come home, promising to help out more. Marge agrees, but insists on having a vacation for herself.
While vacationing at Rancho Relaxo, Homer struggles with tending to the children and the home. In some shows, Marge would be called back early to help restore “proper” order to the house, but instead, Marge finishes her vacation. Homer desperately tries to put the house together so it would appear that things were fine in her absence. Instead, the image of perfection at home that Homer wants to recreate is contrasted with the “real”, when Marge holds up a photo of her family (one in which everyone is well groomed) and lowers it to reveal the unkempt group waiting for her. The episode ends with Marge stating that she expects more help from everyone around the house to lessen her own stress level, and everyone agrees to pitch in. However, it seems that while the show highlighted the labor involved with taking care of the home, which has long been devalued or unacknowledged, the show seems to fall back upon the well-established gender norms for a resolution.
In season six, women’s roles outside the home are addressed in the episode “The Springfield Connection” (#2F21). In this episode, Marge has a knife pulled on her by the petty thief Snake, and during a rush of adrenaline, she successfully defends herself. After her exciting brush with danger, Marge struggles to find thrills in her life as a homemaker. Eventually, Marge goes down to the police station and announces that she wants to join the police force. Later that evening when Marge shares her news with Homer, it is obvious that Homer subscribes to the idea of polarized gender roles. He states, “Marge, you being a cop makes you the man, which makes me the woman, and I have no interest in that.” Marge quickly reassures Homer that there is no need for him to feel threatened, an acknowledgment of the idea that the feminism is a threat patriarchy.
Marge successfully completes training and becomes one of the best cops on the force, but she finds that her success comes at a price. Outcast by the town, it is Homer who finally voices his complaint: “You’ve become such a cop. Not that long ago, you were so much more to me. You were a cleaner of pots, a sewer of buttons, an unplugger of hairy clogs.” Marge replies, “I’m still all those things, only now I’m cleaning up the city, sewing together the social fabric, and unplugging the clogs of our legal system.” Homer, locked into the binary gender roles, asks “You’re cooking what for dinner?” Later, Marge writes a ticket for Homer’s car parked across three handicapped spots, but Homer simply claims that she is not a real cop, taking her police hat off and verbally mocking her. Embarrassed in front of the crowd that has gathered, Marge demonstrates the realness of her job by arresting Homer. Now fighting, it is only when Homer discovers that a counterfeit jeans operation is being run out of his garage that he realizes the role Marge plays as a cop. Following a dramatic chase scene, Marge successfully captures the criminal. But just like in “Homer Alone” this progressive ending is undone when after seeing all of the other cops trying on the illegal denim, she says “There’s too much corruption on this force,” and quits, returning the characters to their status quo.
Despite this “return to normalcy” at the conclusion of these episodes, I find it inspiring that these issues are receiving greater exposure in mass media. While we have established how enormously successful the show has been, I think it is important to consider what this means for episodes like those discussed here. Many of the viewers will not have taken a women’s studies class where they would be exposed to feminist ideas like undervalued motherhood and the rigidity of gender norms in marital relationships, but these episodes are able to reach a wide audience and hopefully, will inspire a discourse of some sort. The Simpsons continues to air today and even in the most recent episodes, they have managed to slip in quite a few references to feminist ideas (most recently Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex and the idea of women as the objects of men). Matt Groening himself has stated that he sees the show continuing for many more years, and for me, that means more opportunities to reach those unfamiliar with the ideas of feminism and maybe change some minds.
by fashionista 04 @ Media and Cultural Analysis, Spring 2014
Tue May 13 20:18:21 PDT 2014
The silhouette of the namesake bird. People all around the world recognize this logo without batting an eyelid: but in case you are not familiar with it, it’s Dove. Fifty years ago it was just a beauty bar that offered a new formula for cleansing creams, but today it is a “global masterbrand” […]
by email@example.com (NatalieH) @ WMST 2010 A: Feminist Analysis
Fri Apr 25 09:09:00 PDT 2008
Happily Ever After: The Ending that is Damaging for Young Girls
Disney Movies, in particular animated movies, portray woman in very specific roles. All the leading females are beautiful and of royalty. Disney creates a little girls fantasy on the big screen, princesses living their lives and falling for prince charming. Even in college, girls like to watch these movies and dream of prince charming, white horses, and beautiful castles. For most part, these movies are merely entertainment that allows for an escape from reality and the possibility of a perfect fantasy. Most Disney movies with a leading female character have the same plot: girl meets boy, girls falls for boy, and they live happily ever after. Some movies with happily ever after endings include: Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Snow White, The Little Mermaid, and Mulan. However, many feminists argue that Disney movies are anti–feminist and teach young girls to forfeit their values and assets for romance. The Little Mermaid and Mulan are two such movies where the girls compromise their characters and values for love; however, this is against feminist ideas, suggesting that women give up their true characters for men and a harsh society.
The Little Mermaid is a movie where the lead character Ariel gives up her life in order to love Prince Eric. Feminist Kathy Maio says, “Ariel will do anything to make the prince fall in love with her.” She gives up her voice to become a human, venture onto dry land, and find Eric. However, in the process of giving up her voice she is compromising her character all in the name of love. All that remains is the outer shell of beauty. A woman in this world should be appreciated for more than beauty. Frederica Mathewes –Green says, “the Disney women, ageless, still meet covertly in a private club overlooking the Pacific. The waves crash on the rocks below and they lift toasts in their little three-fingered hands. To us. We taught a million little girls what womanhood is like. Too bad none of them could make it. Then they snicker.” Ariel teaches little girls that beauty and sacrifice are all that are needed for women to have a successful life, win the men of their dreams. This concept outrages feminists because the girls leave the movie thinking that if they are beautiful and able to change their character enough, then finding and keeping their prince charming should not be difficult. In reality, this concept makes no sense: not every woman can seduce a man by looks alone. Most of the time, personality plays a large role in relationships and The Little Mermaid, along with other Disney movies, tells girls that their personality does not matter, and only the beauty on the outside is sufficient.
Females in Disney movies are always changing to live by society’s dictates. In Mulan, she cuts her beautiful hair and try’s to become a man. Society in ancient China did not allow for women to participate in wars. Eventually, even after changing her appearance, her true identity is revealed and Mulan’s life is left to the whim of a man. According to Kathy Maio, “Men still have power over them (Shang quite literally decides whether Mulan will live or die); and the best thing that can happen to them is to marry the hero and live "happily ever after."” Feminists disagree with this idea about living happily ever after because it gives girls a false hope that there is such thing as a prince charming. Girls are often drawn into the fantasy that accompanies these movies. In regards to Mulan, even after lying to her family, the imperial army, and her country, she is not killed and still retains her honor in the end. In Disney movies, “sexism has been a consistent phenomenon” (Bengtsson). Women are able to get away with lying or being weak, and in the end are fine, while the men are strong, rescue the women, and have a personality to be admired. Young girls learn that they can have a weak character and many flaws and still come out on top. Mulan is masquerading as someone else to fight for the honor of her family and this kind of deception is not an acceptable value young girl’s should learn from Disney movies. Yet, her lies lead to a happy life and her winning the heart of the man she loves. In the real world, this “happily ever after” does not occur so often. Girls need Disney female characters on the silver screen to be strong role models that teach positive character and a strong sense of self. In many cases these strong willed individuals in the films are the men, giving little girls no true animated role model. After watching a movie a young girl should want to be all that she can be, instead of wanting to be a “damsel in distress,” with her only hope of a fulfilling life being the love of a man.
Disney is an avid supporter of the weakness of females in society. In the Article Too Few Animated Women Break the Mold, Susan Riley says that Disney movies continue to exhibit insulting stereotypes that are essentially limiting. In The Little Mermaid and Mulan, the Disney writers exploited the female characters Mulan and Ariel, showing them to be weak and emotional; making decisions with their hearts not their heads. Feminists are believers of women thinking for themselves and living independent lives. Disney movies crush this feminist ideal and encourage girls to live in perfect fantasy worlds. How are young girls going to grow up to be strong willed individual when there favorite Disney characters are weak and emotional? Disney movies need to empower female characters, giving the little girl audience a stronger feeling of independence and self worth when leaving the theater. The Little Mermaid and Mulan are two such movies in which a woman gives up her true character for love. This is against feminist beliefs; no girl or woman should have to hide her true character for a man or society.
by lnf239 @ Media and Cultural Analysis, Spring 2014
Mon May 12 18:30:30 PDT 2014
Comedy is often used as an excuse for inappropriate behavior and characters. The genre is often exempt from receiving criticism for stereotypes that are employed in movies. Such as Rush Hour 2, which is examined by Ji Hoon Park, Nadine G. Gabbadon & Ariel R. Chernin, and they found people weren’t offended because it was […]
Dove’s Emphasis on a Culture’s “Real Beauty”: A Comparative and Critical Analysis of American and Chinese Dominant Ideologies Revealed within Marketing Strategy (PDF Download Available)
Official Full-Text Paper (PDF): Dove’s Emphasis on a Culture’s “Real Beauty”: A Comparative and Critical Analysis of American and Chinese Dominant Ideologies Revealed within Marketing Strategy
by Matt Thompson @ Savage Minds
Sat Sep 16 06:41:35 PDT 2017
Growing up in Austin, Texas, Diez y Seis — Mexican Independence Day — always seemed to hold an official, albeit minor, status in the state capitol. This was not a holiday that we observed in my family in any formal capacity. Much like Cinco de Mayo we might find ourselves at a Mexican restaurant that … Continue reading Remembering the Mexican Revolution with Aunt Julia
by Duncan Macleod @ The Inspiration Room
Sat Jul 15 19:03:49 PDT 2017
Squarespace commercial “Calling John Malkovich” is one of the nominations for Most Outstanding Commercial at this year’s Emmy Awards. The Super Bowl commercial is a continuation of the Squarespace campaign in which John Malkovich sets out to establish an online fashion design business. Things get tricky when he discovers that a namesake has already got […]
by firstname.lastname@example.org (Desi) @ RETOUCHING: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
Thu Dec 23 15:28:00 PST 2010
Do you really want this person to be you ? I don't think so...
by email@example.com (Jeremy) @ WMST 2010 A: Feminist Analysis
Mon Apr 28 05:54:00 PDT 2008
Feminist ask why can’t women be in a male dominant world and be feminine. The movie “GI Jane” is a great example why women can be in a male dominant world. Females in a traditionally male dominated world are mistreated in many different ways. The most important and most common ways are through double bind, beauty myth, and work conditions, all of which are in the movie “GI Jane”. There are a lot of different scenes in the movie that involve all of these characteristics of women feminism. The movie is about a lady that wants to show men that she was just as strong as them mentally and physically. She had to take in all kinds of abuse from most of the men in the movie. She had to do things that she was very uncomfortable with doing like taking showers with the men not knowing if and when one of the men will try to rape her or things of that sort, but she had to do it because she had to prove to the men in the military that she was not as weak as they assumed she was. If the men saw her show any signs of weakness out of her then they had the right to kick her out of the military because according to them she wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place. So she put in her mind that she was not going to show none of the men any signs of weakness. At the end of the movie she made out of the military with high honors and a lot of respect from a lot of men in the military because she made it through a lot of the hard training that they forced her to go through to prove herself to them. In this process of proving herself to these men in the military she had to go through a little bit of double bind.
She was in a very tough situation far as double bind because if she were to quit and give up on trying showing the men that she was as strong as the men then she would be looked at as being weak by all of the men in the military. If that were to happen then it would have made her hold experience and purpose pointless. On the other hand if she did better than all of the men military she had to think about dealing with women or other men that looked at her as not being feminine enough. For example if she were to finish all of her training and tone her body up to look really ripped up like a mans body would look in the military then she would get judged as being too masculine to be a woman by a lot of men and women in today’s society. Of course this is not far to her because she has to go through a lot of things while she is trying to prove herself to the men in the military but this is just how things work in the world. Either women are too feminine to work hard at something that a man can do so men automatically assume that a woman can’t handle a man job or if a woman does do a mans job as good as a man can do it then she is too masculine.
Another issue that she had to deal with while in the military was beauty myth. Beauty myth is very important in today’s society because for some strange reason some people feel like woman has to live up to the same exact standard for as beauty. In the movie she had to something that would mess up her beauty myth, but it was required to be in the military training. She had to cut all of hair completely off. She to get a buzz cut exactly like all of the men in the military. Now of course the fact that she did this made her look even more masculine than she was and this would make it harder for her in society because now not only did her body look physically fit like a man but now all of her hair is gone so she may be mistaken as a man. This totally goes against the so called “Beauty myth”. This doesn’t make it ant easier on her because now a lot of people are going to look at her as being too masculine and that is not something that was not something that she aiming for when she entered the military with the men.
One of the most important characteristics of feminism she had to deal with is the work conditions or in her situation the conditions of the training area and military base that she had to live in with the men for quite some time. She had to deal with a lot of harassment from the men at anytime of the day and night. She had to go through many nights in the cabins that they slept in with barely getting any sleep at all because the men would be calling her names all through the night and saying all kinds of vigor things to her. She was also had to worry about that fact that she might have gotten raped or sexually harassed at anytime of the night. In fact there was a very disturbing scene where she was in the shower with the men, because they didn’t have separate showers for women, and a few of the men that were in the shower with her tried to rape while she was bathing. Of course she knew that this would happen because she is a woman with woman features and she was exposing all of her features to the men but this wasn’t done on purpose because all she was doing was taking routine shower just like the men were doing. She had to go through the attempt of rapes more than one times so she figured out a way to not go through this. She started taking showers after all the men would take a shower. She felt more comfortable doing that.
At the end of the movie she made out of the military with flying colors. Something that a lot of the men in the military didn’t think she would never do. Even men and women outside of the military didn’t think it would happen. So she made a name for herself in the military and in society. She proved that women can do whatever men can do. Despite all of the double bind, the beauty myth and the work conditions she still manage to make out of the military with her head high. She also earned a lot of respect from men in the military. She earned respect from men and women outside of the military because she did the impossible.
by firstname.lastname@example.org (krm4589) @ WMST 2010 A: Feminist Analysis
Fri Apr 25 15:19:00 PDT 2008
25 April 2008
Finding the Perfect Balance:
Sex and the City’s Feminist Portrayal of Motherhood
Throughout the course of Women’s Studies, a key issue of discussion has been motherhood. There is a traditional debate on whether women belong at home with the children, tending to everyday housekeeping, or in the work force making a living alongside men. For a while it was unimaginable that a “good mother” could do both. From this perception, situation comedy shows emerged throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s that highlighted the feminine mystique and commitment to their families (Kutulas 15). The mothers in these shows were portrayed as loving women content with staying home to cook, clean, and tend to the children when they arrived home from school. As times have changed however, so have women’s roles. Women have gained much more power in society and with that, their roles as mothers have changed. This is portrayed clearly in the show Sex and the City by the character Miranda. Miranda depicts a working mother and the stress she experiences. In doing so, the program addresses many themes of feminism. Two characters in the cast of the show, Charlotte and Samantha, represent the social thoughts on motherhood vs. working, which was seen throughout the Second Wave Feminist Movement. In this paper, I will show that although many people say it can not be done, Miranda, over a period of time, portrays that there is such a thing as balance between the social binary of women being stay at home mothers or being successful in the workforce, and that it is a continual learning experience.
Throughout time, women have more than not been viewed as good caretakers, put on earth to bear and rear children. According to Susan J. Douglas and Meredith Michaels,
“Woman over the past years have been dealing with the stereotypical idea that, women are, by genetic composition, nurturing and maternal, love all children, and prefer motherhood to anything, especially work, so should be the main ones responsible for raising the kids” (139).
It is almost as if being a mother was idolized and put on a pedestal at one point, as something glorious, natural, and instinctive. Because of this “theory” many women chose to stay at home, believing that raising and taking care of their family was the most important task in life.
It was not until more recent times, growing most between the 1960s and 1980s that women were actually seen in the workforce on a normal basis (Witwer 184). In 2004, women made up forty-six percent of the U.S. labor force. Although women are seen in the work place more in modern times, they still struggle to maintain their jobs, and make enough money (187). According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2005, the average man with Bachelor’s Degree made around $76,462 annually, while a woman with the same degree made only $50, 483. What is even more shocking is that in 2005, a man with a Doctorates Degree brought in a total of $116,617, while a woman only earned $83,208 that same year. A problem that many working women run into while working and making enough money is a leave for pregnancy. Studies show that starting in 1981 however, the trend for pregnancy paid benefits in the work place began (Witwer 184). However, the desire to be a good mother, and the expectations of society on how to carry out this task, hold many women back from ever returning to their careers, and instead making home-keeper their new job. Because of these society norms, when a working woman gets pregnant, she often feels as though she is left with a choice, which is so clearly depicted in the HBO series, Sex and the City.
In Season Four of Sex and the City, the red-haired witty character Miranda reveals to her three best friends over lunch that she is pregnant. What shocked audiences however, was that the young woman was pregnant out of wedlock. Not only that, but she was not even dating her child’s father at the time. This alone is what much of society is against, and what some Feminists are trying to change. Conversation around the breakfast table arises about an abortion. According to an S&F online article, this conversation in Episode 59 in Season Four was a bold move for producers, seeing as that in 1992 “… Vice President Dan Quayle reprimanded the sitcom character Murphy Brown for having a child out of wedlock” (Akass 1). It was also groundbreaking for Feminists. At this point Miranda is faced with the choice. Already, she poses as the less confident, over analyzing, and somewhat pessimistic member of the quartet. To complicate her predicament even more, Miranda had a very prestigious job working as an attorney in New York City. To juggle being pregnant and having a child would not really seem appealing to someone in this situation for many reasons.
Statistics show that most women conform to the same areas of the work force including service, sales, and secretarial jobs (Witwer 181). On the other hand, only sixteen percent of law firm partners in the United States are women (“2007 Best Law…”). In a workplace that is dominated by males, Miranda had managed to become part of this elite group of women partners, and not allow her Harvard education go to waste. Because of her lifestyle (a large apartment, single friends, nights on the town, and a fabulous job), Miranda is faced with a serious choice that is constantly brought up by two of her best friends who represent both feminist views on motherhood.
The writers of the show undoubtedly knew what they were doing by putting Charlotte’s character into the group. By portraying her as a woman whose main goal in life was marriage and children and constantly talking about it, she makes Miranda’s choice that much harder when she learns of her pregnancy (Tropp 863). Charlotte some what gives Miranda an ultimatum: Either have the baby, quit work, and stay at home, or do not have it (which really was not an option in her eyes) and keep working (864). With this plot line Judy Kutulas comments:
Baby-yearning plots emphasize the implicit
Backlash threat; pursue your career at your own risk if you are female
Because the day will come when you will want children and everything
Else you have achieved will pale by comparison (26).
It is ironic that right as Miranda finds out she is pregnant, Charlotte reveals that she, on the other hand, has fertility issues, and in fact may not be able to have children of her own. This revelation makes Miranda’s decision that much harder, because unlike her best friend, she does not want to be pregnant, but is scared she may never have the chance again. Most women are well aware of the fact that after turning thirty five, if pregnant, they are considered to be in a high risk pregnancy (Wallace). Miranda is aware that her opportunities to conceive again are slimming with each day, making her really ponder over the issue.
Quite on the opposite side are the feelings of Samantha. She, unlike Charlotte, is completely content with her promiscuous ways, and in fact has no interest in children. She is dominating and comfortable in her ways. Samantha is so convinced that children are not the answer to what is missing in life that she throws herself a “I Don’t Have a Baby Shower;” dismissing the biological discourse as well as the saying of the “have-it-all” discourse (Tropp 864). She is perfectly fine with only her friends and occasional sexual partners, and does not want to give up her luxury lifestyle. According to Laura Tropp, “Samantha is the hardest for Miranda to communicate and bond with because of her thoughts on the whole situation.” (864)
These contrasting viewpoints on motherhood leave Miranda with a choice at hand. Does she keep the baby or have the abortion? Does she “give up her life” as society tells her she will have to, or keep everything the same? It is through this that the viewer sees Miranda neither fully reject motherhood, nor fully embrace it (Tropp 865). Because of the societal beliefs that a woman can not manage both a child and a job, this raises confusion in her life-changing decision. She realizes that the expectations of motherhood and of herself to be a good mother and a good attorney, would be hard for her to balance; However, because of her worries that she will never again have an opportunity to conceive, Miranda decides not to abort the child, but at the same time refuses to give up her professional career.
Her pregnancy throughout the Season is not idolized or romantic in the least, which contradicts Charlotte’s views on motherhood. The writers de-romanticize it by showing the character in real-life situations that occur during pregnancy, instead of making her glowing and happy (Tropp 867). The program is showing a “realistic view of motherhood,” which undoubtedly addresses the feminist issue of de-romanticizing motherhood. Furthermore the program attributes to theories of third-wave feminism on single parenting. Miranda refuses Steve’s first proposal, and learns to be a mother on her own. The viewer sees her grow into a good hard-working mother, who has managed some how to juggle all her worries and stresses she accumulates in the last three seasons.
According to Laura Tropp, Miranda is the balance between the two opposite viewpoints on motherhood. She states that, “Sex and the City does not assign any one feminist perspective on the subject of motherhood but uses its characters to reflect differing viewpoints.” Through out this course I have learned that feminism is about a woman making her own choice and not following what society expects of her. In the first article we read in class entitled “What is Women’s Studies?” it states, “Feminism is continually developing a more multicultural and inclusive perspective, reflecting the lives of women of all races, ethnic groups, and classes” (12). After acquiring knowledge on the Third-Wave Feminist Movement, I believe that Miranda displays many of the Third Wave qualities. She disregards society’s beliefs and expectations and tackles motherhood and her career in her own unique way. I believe that because the show Sex and the City illustrates both viewpoints of feminist and motherhood and finds the medium that so many women look for in today’s society, Miranda is a unique character that embodies Feminism to its fullest, and displays that a woman does not have to choose but can instead do it all.
"2007 Best Law Firms for Women." Working Mother. 2008. Working Mother Media Inc.
22 Apr. 2008
Akass, Kim. “Throwing the Baby Out with the Bath Water: Miranda and the Myth of Maternal Instinct on Sex and the City”. The Scholar and Feminist Online. Ed. Lisa Johnson. The Barnard Center for Research on Women. 10 November 2007. <>
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Women Images and Realities. McGraw Hill: Higher Education. 180-184.
Douglas, Susan J. and Michaels, Meredith W. The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of
Motherhood and How It Has Undermined Women. New York: Free Press, 2004.
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Babies on Sitcom Maternity Stories.’’ American Studies 39.2 (1998):
Tropp, Laura. “Faking a Sonogram : Representations of Motherhood and Sex and the City”. The Journal of Popular Culture, Vol. 39, No. 5 (2006) 861 – 877.
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Within One Year.” M. Witwer Family Planning Perspectives. 1990. Guttmacher Institute.
Wallace, Olivia. "What is High Risk Pregnancy." Pregnancy ETC. 2005. 21 Apr. 2008
"What is Women's Studies?" Women Images and Realities. McGraw Hill Higher
by email@example.com (Mariah's Blog) @ Campaign Analysis Blog
Tue Sep 28 12:46:00 PDT 2010
by firstname.lastname@example.org (Desi) @ RETOUCHING: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
Wed Dec 15 07:51:00 PST 2010
The Inspiration Room
The Gruen Transfer is back for a third series. The Australian television series, aired on ABC, explores the world of advertising, dissecting television commercials, challenging local agencies to respond to creative briefs, and inviting the public in to online conversation. Comedian Wil Anderson is joined by a panel of Australian and New Zealand creatives, Todd …
Details on the media plan behind it.
by email@example.com (BCarter25) @ WMST 2010 A: Feminist Analysis
Sun Apr 27 22:29:00 PDT 2008
April 27, 2008
The movie Love and Basketball is one of the most popular movies among teenagers and young adults in the twenty-first century. Love and Basketball is about a young girl and boy who grow up together as next door neighbors and both share the same passion and love for the game of basketball. They also share love and passion for one another. As they undergo high school and college they both go through different trials and experiences that break them apart to eventually bring them back together in the end. The leading male in the movie, Quincy McCall, whose father is a professional basketball player, finds out that his father has been lying to him and his mother for years about his whereabouts. While the leading female character, Monica Wright, struggles at home with her mother thinking she is a lesbian because she “would rather wear a jersey than an apron.” Monica struggles with the idea that her mother assumes she is a lesbian just because she grew up as a “tomboy”, and as a result, she and her mother do not have a strong relationship throughout Monica’s childhood. Love and Basketball shows a spotlight onto the contrast between men's and women's basketball. While Quincy plays college ball on huge courts to cheering, sold-out crowds, Monica sweats, tears, and endures sheer physical dedication in front of tiny audiences in small gyms and second-rate auditoriums because of gender differences. Although this is a fictional movie, the issues taken place happen in real life. A lot of people make the assumption that female athletes, especially basketball players, are lesbians. All genders make this assumption and it is assumed for all races as well. This paper argues that the assumptions that are made about women who play sports or just try to advance in this world by fulfilling their dreams are lesbians or homosexuals. Although there is a great amount of women who are athletes and there are women who do not follow the “norm” in gender roles are lesbians, those assumptions are not always true.
Gender expectations and roles is what keep things being “normal” in society. People are afraid of change as well as things that are different. There is a traditional role of gender. When a baby is born, the world treats that baby a certain way according to what sex organ the baby is born with until the day that baby dies. The only way to change the way the world views you is to become a transsexual and play the gender role that is expected with being a male or female. Gender is a choice. An example of that is Lincoln May Scott who was born a hermaphrodite and was not given the chance to choose her sex. The doctors simply did what society at the time said was the right thing and made Lincoln a male. Fifty years later, Lincoln made the choice to live his life as a woman. From the beginning time gender rules where set. Men work and make the money while the women stay home to cook, clean, and watch the children. Women are supposed to wear dresses and high heels with makeup and nail polish according to gender expectations and roles. Women are to act “ladylike” which includes the crossing of legs, not speaking in a loud tone of voice, and making sure their dresses are tucked neatly under her buttocks before sitting down. Women are to act and be feminine. Traditionally the rules are for the women to submit to their men and do what they say. The gender expectations and roles for men include working the jobs, fighting the wars, bringing home the money and being “the boss”. The rules for them are that they sit with their legs wide open, act tough and macho, and most of all act and be masculine in everything they do. God forbid if a man were to cry, he would then look as though he is less of a man. These are just some of the gender roles and expectations of how men and women are supposed to act according to society.
To me, the gender roles and expectations are more like rules. Rules are made to be broken right? What happens when you break a rule? You face consequences. The same thing applies when rules are broken when dealing with gender roles and expectations. People are treated differently when others find out they are different or not “normal”. When people are different and don’t stick to the so-called system they are put through things and they are tested whether they are right or wrong. I believe that whether they are right or wrong is nonrelevant; it’s just the fact that they are testing the system (the system in this case being society). When they test the system they are putting out the possibility that the system is wrong. People then begin to look at their own lives and ask questions, and soon more people begin to think on their own. What follows next is the system falling apart and what used to be the “norm” is merely a thing of the past. I believe this because of personal experiences that do not have anything to do with gender roles and expectations but has the same reasoning, outcomes, and sadly, the same consequences. In the movie North Country, a situation dealing with gender roles was one of the main issues. When women were being mistreated, one woman stepped up and took a stand. She paid consequences for her actions but at the end more women followed her and took action as well. In this movie men did not want women to work in the mine with them. Although legally they had to allow women to work with them, they did not welcome them and make their jobs any less difficult than it already was. The women in North Country were seen as not performing a women’s job and referred to as playing a man’s role by working at the mine.
When women step out of their expected and normal gender role they are often called lesbians. What is a lesbian? According to the Radicalesbians, a lesbian is “the rage of all women condensed to the point of explosion. She is the women who, often beginning at an extremely early age, acts in accordance with her inner compulsion to be a more complete and freer human being than her society.” I have found that the word lesbian is associated very strongly with female athletes. I am a heterosexual female athlete so the assumption that all female athletes are homosexuals is not true. One reason that a lot of people think female basketball players specifically live a homosexual lifestyle is because of the resent “coming out” of WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes. Swoopes told NBC Sports that she “quit pretending” and stated “I feel like I’ve been living a lie,” in October of 2005. Because Swoopes was the face of the WNBA at one time she is very popular. I personally don’t think that it is anyone’s business that she chooses to have a relationship with. I also don’t see the point in her coming out and letting the world know that she is a lesbian.
In Love and Basketball Monica grew up differently than most girls her age. She was able to beat all the boys in the neighborhood in basketball. She hung with the guys growing up and she played rough and tough. Through it all she still remained heterosexual. She was forced to wear dresses, even though she hid them in the garage under a box of rags. She dressed comfortably in a pair of jeans and t-shirt daily and she carried a basketball wherever she went. She even made the mistake of sitting with her legs wide open while wearing a dress at the school dance in high school. Monica and her mother were total opposite, as well as her sister. Her mother and sister were really prissy and feminine. Although Monica and her mother did not get along very well, she and her sister were like best friends. Monica may not have fit the “norm” or followed all the rules on how to be a girl but she still remained heterosexual and over time fell in love with her childhood friend and neighbor, Quincy.
In conclusion, I would like to state that assumptions are not very reliable. I believe that all people should be able to pursue their dreams and be what they would like to be in life. Because time has changed more women have become more independent and stepped out of the “norm”. This doesn’t mean that all women or any of them want to be involved in a homosexual relationship. This simply means that women have talents, goals, and aspirations just like men do and would like to have the opportunity to pursue those things and not worry about being called a lesbian.
by firstname.lastname@example.org (Giulia Carando) @ Public Relations Problems and Cases
Wed Dec 03 18:05:00 PST 2008
As we push further into the new millennium, the concept of green living has gotten a makeover. Environmental issues are no longer isolated to special interest groups such as Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Adirondack Mountain Club, to name a few, but have rather become an issue staring every man, woman, and child straight in the face. This issue does not, per se, affect our generation, but more so, future generations. As green living no longer finds itself as an alternative lifestyle, marketers are capitalizing on an opportunity to tap into a new segment of the market: the eco-friendly consumer.
As green living has become more prevalent in the United States, it has not only become acceptable, but at times a fashion statement, especially among youth consumers. In this analysis, we will take a look at how three companies, Toyota, Honda and Whole Foods Markets, have positioned themselves as green initiators and cemented their place as eco-friendly companies. These three companies, along with many others, are at the forefront of noveau-green resurgence. In an effort to expand their market share and boost the bottom line, they were able to effectively bring green living back to life.
In 1997, Toyota began production of the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, the Prius. After success in Japan where it was sold exclusively, the Prius made its way to the U.S. in 2001. The original American Prius model ran on a 1.5 liter, 4 cylinder engine, along with a permanent magnet A/C electric motor with MSRP under $20,000.
In 2004 the Prius was completely redesigned into a slightly larger, sleeker and sexier automobile. As its popularity grows, many have found the Prius to be harder to come by with many potential buyers finding themselves on wait-lists to purchase the vehicle.
NATIONAL TREE DAY PARTNERSHIP
In 2005, Toyota undertook the challenge of finding Australia’s “Greenest” celebrity in order to leverage them as environmentally credible and generate positive publicity of the Prius.
Using National Tree Day as a launching pad, they were able to create media opportunities using celebrities and Toyota ambassadors including world renowned environmentalist David Suzuzki, to participate in a photo shoot demonstrating how driving a Prius for a week could reduce CO2 emissions as effectively as planting 21 trees.
Australian debutante and Miss Universe 2004, Jennifer Hawkins was commissioned to plant trees creating buzz leading to National Tree Day. Prius’ were also loaned to media personalities to secure substantial endorsement.
Toyota was able to position themselves as the vehicle of choice for environmentally conscious drivers through a feature on the eco-friendly show, The Great Outdoors on Australia’s Channel Seven.
Through their strategy, Toyota achieved coverage through many different outlets including radio, national and local TV as well as a number of placements in consumer publications with a positive image for Toyota.
Toyota has also reached out into the social marketing realm to address criticism from environmental advocacy groups claiming Toyota is “two-faced on fuel economy”. The company has made numerous online and offline efforts in support of their green initiatives. Toyota is in a position to balance their green products versus their not-so-eco-friendly products. However, any consumer interested in Toyota’s green initiatives can visit their Open Road blog to read “Being Green”.
Toyota has revamped their Web site to showcase their Hybrid Synergy Drive technology and have added a hybrid filter to their online showroom. In addition, they have initiated a community site for Toyota Hybrid owners enabling them to create a profile based on their reasons for purchase.
Through their initiatives, positioning themselves as a green leader, Toyota has been named one of the top ten “Greenest Brands” and as of 2007 has sold over one million Hybrid vehicles.
Although Honda Motor Company is relatively small compared to other Japanese car manufacturers, Honda is the largest engine maker in the world. Honda also had the first engine to pass the 1970 U.S. Clean Air Act. The Civic, Accord and Prelude were the only Honda vehicles sold in the U.S. up until the 1990s when Honda decided to expand their model lineup. In particular, the Honda Civic is the second-longest continually running nameplate from a Japanese manufacturer.
Since its premiere, the Civic has undergone several generational changes, making it attractive to a younger, hipper customer, ranging in ages 18-34. To reach out to this audience, Honda launched the Honda Civic Live Tour, a six-city tour featuring live concerts by leading bands such as the Black-Eyed Peas, John Legend and 311 combined with a festival and test drives of the Civic.
This event was a first for Honda, allowing them to team with The Powell Group to leverage the car to “tuners”, predominately young car enthusiasts who customize their vehicles to increase performance, personalize appearance, and enhance the volume of their engines and audio equipment. This market segment was exactly what Honda was after to align the car as a hip, urban trend. They were also able to create successful radio partnerships with local stations to promote the tour.
The Honda Civic Live Tour generated a total of 6.4 million impressions with an estimated $250,000 in publicity value. Not only was Honda able to generate strong traffic into the showrooms, but they were able to reach out to their target audience, providing this hip and upcoming audience with the notion that Honda is the “it” car of our time. Their ability to leverage themselves as the cool car for this younger audience has ultimately led them to align their “cool” factor with their green cars as well.
The Civic Hybrid is the most economic and environmentally responsible gasoline-powered Civic ever. The 2006 Civic Hybrid was so well received by consumers, that it has won the 2006 World Car of the Year Award for greenest car.
Akin to Toyota, Honda is able to promote their green initiatives through interactive and educational online marketing. The site, http://www.world.honda.com/green offers consumers a visually appealing and informative site. Honda was also named one of the top ten “Greenest Brands”
WHOLE FOODS MARKET
Another leader in the eco-friendly marketplace is Whole Foods Market, based in Austin, TX. Whole Foods Market’s mission—Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet; reflects its care and concern for the environment. A key component of the Whole Foods mission is to be a leader in comprehensive environmental stewardship and the company has made an ongoing commitment to green power.
To many, Whole Foods has become a vested part of green living. Consumers say shopping at WFM has become a part of their lifestyle, as the company is noted for having high prices but historically, it has also been a leader in community outreach. In order to position itself as the leading natural food retailer and the go-to marketplace for the eco-friendly shoppers, Whole Foods Market focused on the “Whole Foods Experience” creating unique shopping environments catering specifically to each distinct season utilizing seasonal products and unique items within the stores. Outside the store, Whole Foods Market media outreach emphasized their community support and environmental stewardship practices as well as positioning the company as an industry leader in topical issues in terms of agriculture, food production and consumption.
To further cement their place as a hub of environmental friendliness, many Whole Foods Markets have begun holding seminars on green lifestyle, in and out of the kitchen including seminars on renewable wind energy. Whole Food’s has also publicized itself as a green leader through its Green Power standing. WFM is recognized by the EPA for running on 100% Green Power and has used this standing as leverage to differentiate from competitors.
Whole Foods is still making progress to maintain standing as the greenest brand. As of January 2008, Whole Foods eliminated all plastic shopping bags and now offer only 100% recyclable paper bags. WFM also offers stylish grocery sacks for a low cost.
A unique trait of Whole Foods Market’s CSR initiative is their community dedication. Whole Foods Market has consistently focused on supporting local agriculture, and community citizenship. Each year, WFM allocates a minimum of 5% of their profit into the local communities, generally dispersed throughout the year to a number of groups.
Ultimately, by keeping itself in the local media through community initiatives as well as creating store loyalty, Whole Foods Market has maintained itself as the top green brand in the U.S. and is a staple of green living.
The three companies presented above have done an exceptional job at keeping the youth market involved with green initiatives through the use of hip and “cool” tactics. This effort positioned the green lifestyle in a fashionable light, building a platform for future green initiatives. It has also diminished pre-existing notions toward environmental-friendly living. Each of these companies has made it a priority to show the exact impact of customers’ loyalty to the business in terms of green lifestyle. Whether reducing your emissions by purchasing a hybrid car or supporting green power through Whole Foods Green Power initiatives, consumers know their brand loyalty makes the difference.
These companies are exceptionally successful because they are not making sacrifices when it comes to the bottom line. In fact, they are the pioneers in green marketing. Their marketing efforts have proven to be successful from both a consumer standpoint as well as a business perspective. Honda was able to reach out to a young audience with their music tour by incorporating Honda’s green values with prominent celebrities and musicians. Toyota was able to accelerate the Hybrid from the drawing board to a reality. They were able to effectively and cost-efficiently partner with green campaigns such as National Tree Day to align themselves as a green company. Whole Foods was able to position themselves as the retailer of the green lifestyle by extensive community support and an ongoing commitment to green initiatives.
These companies have created a solid foundation for the future of green marketing. Now that marketing has taken this course, the green issue will always be in play. Consumers will start to question whether or not businesses are doing their part to practice environmental responsibility, whether at consumer level or at the executive level. This movement has created a mutually beneficial relationship for three distinct parties: the companies, the public and the environment. In the foreseeable future, there seems to be no end to the trend. Until environmental issues begin to resolve, campaigns like these will be commonplace amongst everyone else.
Public relations professionals agree that green lifestyle coming to the mainstream is not just a passing phenomenon. Monica Del Rosario, an account executive with Hill & Knowlton's New York office has worked extensively with Green Cross International, specifically with their global solar report card efforts. "Stories about sustainability have been getting picked up more frequently than ever". said Del Rosario. "Everybody wants to see where they stand in comparison with others. The bar is definitely in the process of being set as to the standard of what it means to be green."
Del Rosario also noted that living green has become sexier in the media. "You may have noticed this recently, but driving an Escalade is much less sexy now a days. Green is profitable. Leo DiCaprio drives a Prius and Brad Pitt is trying to rebuild New Orleans with all green materials." said Del Rosario. "Being green has caught on big time and this is proof that it is most definitely cool."
by email@example.com (Susie) @ WMST 2010 A: Feminist Analysis
Fri Apr 25 07:02:00 PDT 2008
Memorializing a Woman is Not Evidence
Throughout the long years of fighting for women’s rights, there has consistently been a quieter voice questioning society’s norms from the opposite side—What about the men? Some issues men (and women are sometimes in agreement too) claim to experience discrimination with include certain occupations, the military, the justice system, and even, at times, politics. My media analysis focuses on one particular essay, authored by a man, which argues that men have historically been valued less in society than women. The piece was written by a sociologist named David Loewen in his book Lies Across America. The book examines the historical background of a large number of monuments/memorials located across the United States. The essay I found most interesting was one entitled “Killing a Man is Not News.” It is the story of a marker found in Downieville, California that commemorates the unlawful lynching of a woman there in the mid-1800s. Loewen states that the existence of this monument, along with other observations of his own, supports his claim that men’s lives are valued less in our society than women’s. His reasoning, when inspected through a feminist lens, seems very flawed. Here I will discuss why Loewen’s ideas of gender differences in the United States, based on assessments of occupation and crime, are ungrounded, illogical, and quite simply erroneous.
A more detailed description of the background information in “Killing a Man is Not News” is certainly in order before I really begin. The woman who was lynched in 1851 was a Mexican immigrant named Juanita. She was, by many accounts, a very attractive female who lived with her lover in a house in Downieville. After the Independence Day celebration of 1851, some drunken revelers were making their way through the town. One man, Jack Cannon, apparently stopped at Juanita’s house and broke down the door. He allegedly made some inappropriate comments about Juanita and her lover; they yelled at him and he left. The next events of the story are somewhat ambiguous. Cannon returned to Juanita’s house at some point hours later and tried to speak with them. It is unknown whether he went back to try to make amends or continue his harassment. At any rate, the conversation again became heated and Juanita stabbed Cannon in the heart, swiftly killing him. When the townspeople realized this, there were immediate cries to lynch Juanita. She was dragged to the town square, given a “trial,” and almost immediately condemned to death. As the story goes, Juanita then put the rope around her own neck and declared she would have done nothing different. The townspeople then hung her off the bridge in Downieville. The historical marker was put in place in 1996. The marker gives a brief description of the events of that day in 1851 and showcases Juanita’s bravery.
Loewen’s main argument centers around the fact that the very existence of this marker shows how much more society cares about women than men—he states that there have been a much larger number of men lynched than women in our history. The fact that this woman, Juanita, had a whole marker dedicated to her while thousands of lynched men have not been given this honor is evidence to Loewen that women’s lives are more valued by society. One point I think Loewen is grossly overlooking here is the fact that Juanita was lynched because she killed a man. Certainly a society that holds such less value for a man’s life than a woman’s would not react so violently and hatefully towards a woman who was defending herself from assault. The very title of the piece shows the contradiction here: if ‘killing a man is not news,’ then why is everyone so outraged? Granted, murder in any form is hardly glorified in a society. However, I think this detail is a very significant part of the story to remember. Loewen’s complete omission of this relevant piece of information weakens his argument severely.
Loewen cites many other reasons for his view that men are valued less in society than women. One point he focuses on as a disadvantage for men is the greater risk for men to be killed in their jobs than women. Loewen attributes this to the fact that men are the ones who perform the more dangerous types of work—truck driving, telephone lineman, etc. I would agree that statistics do support this statement. Loewen argues that the reason men are performing the more dangerous jobs is because society gives these types of occupations the masculine ‘seal of approval.’ Again, I would agree that this is true. However, is this because society does not want women to be at risk in the workplace, because their lives are felt to be so valuable? Loewen thinks so—I disagree. Women have always been taught that their place is in the home. As Betty Friedan discusses in her chapter of The Feminine Mystique, “The Problem That Has No Name,” it was always assumed that women would not enter the workforce after they were married and began having children. She notes that:
“A number of educators suggested seriously that women no longer be admitted to the four-year colleges and universities: in the growing college crisis, the education which girls could not use as housewives was more urgently needed than ever by boys to do the work of the atomic age.”
This excerpt highlights problems with Loewen’s logic. If women’s lives are so vital to society, why does society want to shut them away indoors and only have men doing the important work of our time? Why does society not consider it ‘worth it’ to educate women? These are the questions that came to my mind as I read Loewen’s essay. To me, these ideas cannot coexist, and I think the constant battling of feminists is direct testament to the fact that women have historically been undervalued.
Another topic that Loewen harps on for much of his essay is violent crime. Loewen offers the statistic that men are four times more likely to be murdered than women. Again, he argues that this is because men’s lives are less sacred, and again, I feel that Loewen is omitting some major facts about these murders. Although I do not have actual numbers on this issue, I would postulate that the overwhelming majority of murders involve a man killing a man. Yes, women kill too—this essay would obviously have never been written if that were not true. However, I am confident that just as the murder of a man is almost always performed by another man, the murder of a woman is almost always performed by a man as well. Here, I feel as though Loewen is “grabbing at straws.” I do not believe he has much of an argument on this point. If the overwhelming majority of “man-killers” were women, and they were still not given as much press coverage as when females were murdered, then I would suppose that Loewen could argue his point. As it stands though, if men are killing men—and women—then how does this show that their lives are valued less than women’s? If anything, I would say that this point only reinforces another problem with gender—the idea that to be masculine means to be aggressive and often violent if so provoked.
As ungrounded as Loewen’s argument about violent crime appears to be, he is not alone in feeling this way. As stated before, there has always been a quiet but constant flow of male assertions of disadvantage. The vulnerability of men to violent crime is one facet that has drawn much criticism. In 1990, Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware introduced federal legislation designed to “combat violent crime against women” (Ryan). There was no such legislation to help protect men from violent crime. Loewen would most likely interpret this, as did the author of this particular article, as evidence that women are more valued and thus more earnestly protected from harm. His entire text of “Killing a Man is Not News” supports that feeling, even though the initial outrage is because of violence towards a man. Another article, by Jeff Seeman, deals with this issue as well. A direct quote from his piece, “Why I’m Still Not a Feminist,” follows:
“Men comprise over eighty percent of the victims of violent crime, and the rates of spousal murder are roughly equal between men and women. Yet the press is much more likely to cover a story if the victim is a woman; violence against men is therefore frequently invisible.”
Seeman’s use of the word ‘invisible’ to describe the impact of crime against men in the United States is very similar to how Loewen describes murders of men in his essay—as “common and more morally acceptable.” As a whole, this country is relatively unfazed when it comes to murder. This can be attributed to the carelessness with which Hollywood portrays the loss of life, the accessibility to violent video games, and any number of other issues. Here I state that while this ubiquitous indifference towards violence is a serious matter in this nation, it is in no way gender-biased against men.
Overall, Loewen’s essay serves two purposes well: It brings attention to the heartbreaking story of Juanita and lauds the state of California for erecting a marker in her honor. Unfortunately, Loewen then commences to take this symbol of a state’s regret for a terrible injustice and turn it into a shaky and ill-supported assertion of male disadvantage—in a patriarchal society no less. I do agree that the whole idea of masculinity is harmful to men and women alike, although as a whole I do not believe it can ever be successfully argued that women are more valued than men in this society. I challenge anyone who happens upon any rhetoric of this nature to always be critical when discerning its meaning.
by firstname.lastname@example.org (Adrienne) @ WMST 2010 A: Feminist Analysis
Fri Apr 25 11:48:00 PDT 2008
For millions of American women, Oprah Winfrey is the go-to source for advice on everything from literature to fashion to spirituality. In fact, “live your best life” is her mantra and her mission. Oprah transmits her message from nearly every possible form of public media--television, books, magazines, radio, and the internet. According to her mission statement, the goal of O Magazine, for example, is “to speak and connect to women in a way no other publication ever has. To help women see every experience and challenge as an opportunity to grow and discover their best self. To convince women that the real goal is becoming more of who they really are. To embrace their life” (Oprah.com). There is no doubt that Oprah has been a positive influence in the lives of many women, but I will argue that her stated goals are sometimes inconsistent with the image she portrays to the public. Specifically, her treatment of fashionable footwear, which in contemporary times applies almost exclusively to high heels, is paradoxical at best. Oprah is celebrated for her very real struggles with living up to an unrealistic standard of beauty, but by wearing high heels in nearly every public setting--shoes she freely admits to being unable to walk in--she is indirectly supporting the same patriarchal notions of beauty and femininity that have been used against women in the past. As someone regarded as the preeminent role model for young girls today, Oprah’s endorsement of high heels is harmful to both individual females and to the feminist movement at large. Although Oprah is now omnipresent in the media, she initially found her success as a talk show host in the 1980s. According to Elayne Rapping, positions of power have been more accessible to women in the television industry than in film. She says, “the lower on the ladder of artistic respectability a cultural form is deemed, the more open it is likely to be to women, racial minorities, and gays” (20). In her article she argues that television programming, including talk shows and soap operas, has always been first to present gender issues in an enlightened way, but since the 1970s we have seen a disturbing reversal of the trend. Shows with a feminist spin like Roseanne and Murphy Brown have been replaced with sentimental nostalgia in Judging Amy and Providence (Rapping 21). “We can’t overlook,” Rapping writes, “the bizarre transformation of Oprah Winfrey, who once led the pack in treating serious issues of race, class and gender in a relatively progressive way, but has suddenly transformed herself into an almost equally sappy purveyor of fashion make-overs” (21). Postfeminism and backlash are at least partially to blame for this transition; the consensus that the feminist struggle has already been won and the demonization of the f-word have given many young females the impression that the prevalence of beauty fluff in the media is simply the nature of the culture in which we live. Obsession with hair, clothes, makeup, shoes? “That’s what you have to do to be successful,” one of Rapping’s students said (21). Few would allege that Oprah is not a feminist. Although I find no record of her explicitly identifying herself as such, her mission statement, the political candidates she endorses, the causes she supports, and the image she exudes all seem to imply that she is a confident self-sufficient female activist who champions women’s rights. However, Oprah also prompts many questions about beauty and appearance. The widely-publicized issues with her weight have motivated many women to reconsider their fitness and their self esteem; in all media outlets, Oprah stresses the importance of loving one’s body. Rarely, however, does she discuss the role of artificiality in this exercise. She says she wants to promote the ability of women become more of who they really are, but for herself that includes Spanx, hours of hair and makeup before each television appearance, and high heels. If we are to follow Oprah’s example, self esteem can only be achieved by meeting the conventional standards of attractiveness in our society, standards that I contend exist for the pleasure of the males who occupy most positions of power. So when did fashion triumph over function? Bipedality is arguably the most important adaptation in the history of human evolution; walking on two feet preceded the enormous brain growth we enjoy today, and our feet now contain one-third of the bones in our bodies (Smith 251). From all the evidence, it seems clear that mobility was vital for our ancestors. The first shoe, crude sandals, did not appear until about nine thousand years ago, but the need for specialized footwear increased as humans migrated into more hostile climates (Smith 253). Without going too in-depth in the history of high heels, it is estimated that they were invented by the Greek tragedian Aeschylus for his hero actors and were later popularized by male members of the French aristocracy (253-255). Soon, however, men would leave the fashion to the ladies and return to more sensible footwear. In his article, “High Heels and Evolution,” E. O. Smith describes in detail the harmful effects of high heels on a woman’s body. I will note here that the information he provides is reinforced by podiatrists and can be easily obtained on the internet, including Oprah’s website. Besides the pain and discomfort caused by forcing the foot into an unnatural position, high heels can cause fractures, bunions, back and neck pain, postural changes, reduced mobility, increased energetic demands, a shortened Achilles tendon, and a reduced arch that, over time, will prevent one from ever wearing flats again (Smith 257-266). Smith says that high heels, in the classic Darwinian sense, can be considered detrimental to survival because of the problems they cause. Indeed, there is a case in which two young women, both wearing high heels, were killed in a freak train accident, possibly because their shoes prevented them from moving away from the car on a gravel surface (“Train Accident”). On the other hand, Smith admits there are long-term evolutionary benefits to wearing high heels; in the great tradition of sexual selection, high heels are an example of a cultural adaptation designed to make the wearer more attractive to the opposite sex, not dissimilar from the plumes of peacocks or the use of non-essential decorative nesting materials in other birds (247-248). What Smith does not emphasize is that these flamboyant displays typically appear only in males (outside the human species) as adaptations to meet the demands of choosy females rather than the other way around. According to Sheila Jeffreys, the unnatural position caused by wearing high heels, with buttocks thrust outward, the back arched, and the full weight of the woman’s body resting on the ball of the foot, creates the illusion of a longer leg (and to many men, a sexier image). In her book, Beauty and Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices in the West, Jeffreys devotes an entire chapter to men’s shoe fetishism and persuasively argues for an end to cultural traditions that are based on controlling female sexuality. Isn’t that allegation a little extreme for shoes? Judging from the message boards on Oprah’s website, that is exactly what many women seem to think. Although there are a few ardent fans of stability, most regard heels as a necessary evil, refusing to sacrifice style or allure in favor of comfort. Several attest to wearing heels until they are out of sight and can slip them off with great relief. Overall, however, I was struck by how flippant most of the remarks were; one individual wrote, “indeed its[sic] a disciplin[sic]...some women are more willing to put up with the torture than others. I on occasion have suffered my poor feet in the name of looking good lol” (Oprah.com). For such people, Oprah has conveniently archived information on how to avoid high heel-related pain, including preventative tips and calf exercises. Oprah herself certainly has no plans to fight the trend, even though when discussing her footwear she says, “I have to tell you, no exaggeration. I complain about it every day” (Oprah.com). She has gone to great lengths to advertise the Cole Haan Nike Air line of “comfortable” three and four-inch pumps on television and online as well as in her magazine. Designed by a former architect, Gordon Thompson, the shoes contain an “air bag” that cushions the foot in the shoe, but they fail to address the problems with bending the foot into the extreme position that high heels demand in the first place. “Today is a new day,” raved Oprah as she interviewed Thompson on her show, “this is life changing!” Jeffreys would probably have a different interpretation. Accommodating such a harmful cultural practice is hardly a revolution. According to Jeffreys, there are several ways in which high heels fulfill the dictates of patriarchy: heels clarify gendered difference, evidence female fragility by providing a contrast to sturdy male shoes, and create a visual symbol of what is attractive or feminine as determined by males in power (128). Although American women may believe they are making a choice when they strap on the stilettos, the positive feedback they receive is merely the male approval awarded for complying with systemic standards of gendered beauty already in place. The system of rewards and punishments is not confined to the American subconscious alone, though. For example, a 2001 court ruling upheld the legality of a newly-implemented Harrah’s Casino policy that requires female employees to wear makeup and heels while on the job. Darlene Jesperson, a loyal employee of over twenty years, was fired because she refused to comply with the new “Personal Best” policy (Grams). Those in power are officially mandating misogyny. The prevalence of high heels in fashion indicates that many women do feel as though the shoes are an enhancement, that they do bring out something of one’s personal best. Women claim that they feel more attractive and confident when wearing heels, but few stop to consider how this display is received. In addition to addressing the unnatural posture caused by wearing high heels, Jeffreys discusses the accompanying gait that men seem to find so attractive. When walking in heels, it is nearly impossible to run, jump, or do anything other than taking short steps--this, like the effect of wearing a tight skirt, creates a “mincing gait” that is appealing to many men (140). Foot fetishist William Rossi says that this sort of step evokes the historic concept of female bondage, which suggests, as Jeffreys remarks with grim profundity, that “men get excited, then, at seeing women walking like slaves in shackles” (140). As if this were not distressing enough, patriarchal society employs “womanblaming” as a tactic to obscure the male sense of accountability; that is, high heels could be said to be a tradition passed down from mother to daughter rather than a demand directly imposed by a male authority figure (145-144). Within this context, Oprah is not responsible for the physical and metaphorical crippling of millions of American women, but her approval of high heels reduces her to a tool in the hands of our male-dominated society. At least some of Jeffreys’ motivation for writing the book must stem from our lack of cultural objectivity, and she draws some alarming parallels to Chinese footbinding in her chapter about foot fetishism. The original purpose of the practice was to prevent young women from running away from home before they could be married off, and thus existed as a method of controlling female sexuality (146). Like heels, footbinding “creates stereotyped roles for men and women, it emerges from the subordination of women and is for the benefit of men, it is justified by tradition, and it clearly harms the health of women and girl children” (147-148). Jeffreys goes on to cite some who argue that the practice can only only be understood within its cultural context; despite its misogynistic origins, footbinding lies at the center of a rich array of rituals that celebrate female skill and identity. One could, of course, make the same argument for daughters playing dress-up with Mom’s makeup and shoes. Many western men also believe that wearing high heels somehow stimulates a woman’s genital area and increases her libido, which resembles the Chinese foot fetishist assumption that footbinding creates layers in the vagina that make intercourse more exciting (Jeffreys 140). Such beliefs have had no merit in the past, though recent research done by Italian urologist Dr. Maria Cerruto suggests that wearing high heels of greater than two inches strengthens the pelvic floor muscles, which can assist in sexual performance and satisfaction (“Improve Sex Life”). Few podiatrists would agree, however, that the potential benefits of wearing high heels outweigh the physical damage that they cause. The comparison to footbinding may seem dramatic, but the similarities between the two cultural practices make it clear that patriarchy is relatively uniform no matter how surprising its manifestations might be. It is important to remember how thoroughly we are conditioned by our culture and its traditions. High heels do not seem strange to Americans because they have been integral to female fashion for as long as anyone can remember; the trend is reinforced by celebrities like Oprah who desire or feel a responsibility to project a specific image that has been developed over the years. It is also very possible that Oprah has considered all of these issues and has other reasons for perpetuating the high heel standard. We are, however, still living in a time where physical appearance is valued over quality and substance, and that is the education we provide to each successive generation. Even with a relatively trivial thing like footwear, Oprah has a tremendous opportunity to counter the beauty standard currently in place. Just as she forced the public to accept her body no matter how much her weight fluctuated, she has the power to demand that women be accepted in their natural state without being hobbled for the sake of fashion. Oprah is already an excellent role model, but consider what she could get done if she could only walk around.
For millions of American women, Oprah Winfrey is the go-to source for advice on everything from literature to fashion to spirituality. In fact, “live your best life” is her mantra and her mission. Oprah transmits her message from nearly every possible form of public media--television, books, magazines, radio, and the internet. According to her mission statement, the goal of O Magazine, for example, is “to speak and connect to women in a way no other publication ever has. To help women see every experience and challenge as an opportunity to grow and discover their best self. To convince women that the real goal is becoming more of who they really are. To embrace their life” (Oprah.com). There is no doubt that Oprah has been a positive influence in the lives of many women, but I will argue that her stated goals are sometimes inconsistent with the image she portrays to the public. Specifically, her treatment of fashionable footwear, which in contemporary times applies almost exclusively to high heels, is paradoxical at best. Oprah is celebrated for her very real struggles with living up to an unrealistic standard of beauty, but by wearing high heels in nearly every public setting--shoes she freely admits to being unable to walk in--she is indirectly supporting the same patriarchal notions of beauty and femininity that have been used against women in the past. As someone regarded as the preeminent role model for young girls today, Oprah’s endorsement of high heels is harmful to both individual females and to the feminist movement at large.
Although Oprah is now omnipresent in the media, she initially found her success as a talk show host in the 1980s. According to Elayne Rapping, positions of power have been more accessible to women in the television industry than in film. She says, “the lower on the ladder of artistic respectability a cultural form is deemed, the more open it is likely to be to women, racial minorities, and gays” (20). In her article she argues that television programming, including talk shows and soap operas, has always been first to present gender issues in an enlightened way, but since the 1970s we have seen a disturbing reversal of the trend. Shows with a feminist spin like Roseanne and Murphy Brown have been replaced with sentimental nostalgia in Judging Amy and Providence (Rapping 21). “We can’t overlook,” Rapping writes, “the bizarre transformation of Oprah Winfrey, who once led the pack in treating serious issues of race, class and gender in a relatively progressive way, but has suddenly transformed herself into an almost equally sappy purveyor of fashion make-overs” (21). Postfeminism and backlash are at least partially to blame for this transition; the consensus that the feminist struggle has already been won and the demonization of the f-word have given many young females the impression that the prevalence of beauty fluff in the media is simply the nature of the culture in which we live. Obsession with hair, clothes, makeup, shoes? “That’s what you have to do to be successful,” one of Rapping’s students said (21).
Few would allege that Oprah is not a feminist. Although I find no record of her explicitly identifying herself as such, her mission statement, the political candidates she endorses, the causes she supports, and the image she exudes all seem to imply that she is a confident self-sufficient female activist who champions women’s rights. However, Oprah also prompts many questions about beauty and appearance. The widely-publicized issues with her weight have motivated many women to reconsider their fitness and their self esteem; in all media outlets, Oprah stresses the importance of loving one’s body. Rarely, however, does she discuss the role of artificiality in this exercise. She says she wants to promote the ability of women become more of who they really are, but for herself that includes Spanx, hours of hair and makeup before each television appearance, and high heels. If we are to follow Oprah’s example, self esteem can only be achieved by meeting the conventional standards of attractiveness in our society, standards that I contend exist for the pleasure of the males who occupy most positions of power.
So when did fashion triumph over function? Bipedality is arguably the most important adaptation in the history of human evolution; walking on two feet preceded the enormous brain growth we enjoy today, and our feet now contain one-third of the bones in our bodies (Smith 251). From all the evidence, it seems clear that mobility was vital for our ancestors. The first shoe, crude sandals, did not appear until about nine thousand years ago, but the need for specialized footwear increased as humans migrated into more hostile climates (Smith 253). Without going too in-depth in the history of high heels, it is estimated that they were invented by the Greek tragedian Aeschylus for his hero actors and were later popularized by male members of the French aristocracy (253-255). Soon, however, men would leave the fashion to the ladies and return to more sensible footwear.
In his article, “High Heels and Evolution,” E. O. Smith describes in detail the harmful effects of high heels on a woman’s body. I will note here that the information he provides is reinforced by podiatrists and can be easily obtained on the internet, including Oprah’s website. Besides the pain and discomfort caused by forcing the foot into an unnatural position, high heels can cause fractures, bunions, back and neck pain, postural changes, reduced mobility, increased energetic demands, a shortened Achilles tendon, and a reduced arch that, over time, will prevent one from ever wearing flats again (Smith 257-266). Smith says that high heels, in the classic Darwinian sense, can be considered detrimental to survival because of the problems they cause. Indeed, there is a case in which two young women, both wearing high heels, were killed in a freak train accident, possibly because their shoes prevented them from moving away from the car on a gravel surface (“Train Accident”). On the other hand, Smith admits there are long-term evolutionary benefits to wearing high heels; in the great tradition of sexual selection, high heels are an example of a cultural adaptation designed to make the wearer more attractive to the opposite sex, not dissimilar from the plumes of peacocks or the use of non-essential decorative nesting materials in other birds (247-248). What Smith does not emphasize is that these flamboyant displays typically appear only in males (outside the human species) as adaptations to meet the demands of choosy females rather than the other way around.
According to Sheila Jeffreys, the unnatural position caused by wearing high heels, with buttocks thrust outward, the back arched, and the full weight of the woman’s body resting on the ball of the foot, creates the illusion of a longer leg (and to many men, a sexier image). In her book, Beauty and Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices in the West, Jeffreys devotes an entire chapter to men’s shoe fetishism and persuasively argues for an end to cultural traditions that are based on controlling female sexuality. Isn’t that allegation a little extreme for shoes? Judging from the message boards on Oprah’s website, that is exactly what many women seem to think. Although there are a few ardent fans of stability, most regard heels as a necessary evil, refusing to sacrifice style or allure in favor of comfort. Several attest to wearing heels until they are out of sight and can slip them off with great relief. Overall, however, I was struck by how flippant most of the remarks were; one individual wrote, “indeed its[sic] a disciplin[sic]...some women are more willing to put up with the torture than others. I on occasion have suffered my poor feet in the name of looking good lol” (Oprah.com).
For such people, Oprah has conveniently archived information on how to avoid high heel-related pain, including preventative tips and calf exercises. Oprah herself certainly has no plans to fight the trend, even though when discussing her footwear she says, “I have to tell you, no exaggeration. I complain about it every day” (Oprah.com). She has gone to great lengths to advertise the Cole Haan Nike Air line of “comfortable” three and four-inch pumps on television and online as well as in her magazine. Designed by a former architect, Gordon Thompson, the shoes contain an “air bag” that cushions the foot in the shoe, but they fail to address the problems with bending the foot into the extreme position that high heels demand in the first place. “Today is a new day,” raved Oprah as she interviewed Thompson on her show, “this is life changing!”
Jeffreys would probably have a different interpretation. Accommodating such a harmful cultural practice is hardly a revolution. According to Jeffreys, there are several ways in which high heels fulfill the dictates of patriarchy: heels clarify gendered difference, evidence female fragility by providing a contrast to sturdy male shoes, and create a visual symbol of what is attractive or feminine as determined by males in power (128). Although American women may believe they are making a choice when they strap on the stilettos, the positive feedback they receive is merely the male approval awarded for complying with systemic standards of gendered beauty already in place. The system of rewards and punishments is not confined to the American subconscious alone, though. For example, a 2001 court ruling upheld the legality of a newly-implemented Harrah’s Casino policy that requires female employees to wear makeup and heels while on the job. Darlene Jesperson, a loyal employee of over twenty years, was fired because she refused to comply with the new “Personal Best” policy (Grams). Those in power are officially mandating misogyny.
The prevalence of high heels in fashion indicates that many women do feel as though the shoes are an enhancement, that they do bring out something of one’s personal best. Women claim that they feel more attractive and confident when wearing heels, but few stop to consider how this display is received. In addition to addressing the unnatural posture caused by wearing high heels, Jeffreys discusses the accompanying gait that men seem to find so attractive. When walking in heels, it is nearly impossible to run, jump, or do anything other than taking short steps--this, like the effect of wearing a tight skirt, creates a “mincing gait” that is appealing to many men (140). Foot fetishist William Rossi says that this sort of step evokes the historic concept of female bondage, which suggests, as Jeffreys remarks with grim profundity, that “men get excited, then, at seeing women walking like slaves in shackles” (140). As if this were not distressing enough, patriarchal society employs “womanblaming” as a tactic to obscure the male sense of accountability; that is, high heels could be said to be a tradition passed down from mother to daughter rather than a demand directly imposed by a male authority figure (145-144). Within this context, Oprah is not responsible for the physical and metaphorical crippling of millions of American women, but her approval of high heels reduces her to a tool in the hands of our male-dominated society.
At least some of Jeffreys’ motivation for writing the book must stem from our lack of cultural objectivity, and she draws some alarming parallels to Chinese footbinding in her chapter about foot fetishism. The original purpose of the practice was to prevent young women from running away from home before they could be married off, and thus existed as a method of controlling female sexuality (146). Like heels, footbinding “creates stereotyped roles for men and women, it emerges from the subordination of women and is for the benefit of men, it is justified by tradition, and it clearly harms the health of women and girl children” (147-148). Jeffreys goes on to cite some who argue that the practice can only only be understood within its cultural context; despite its misogynistic origins, footbinding lies at the center of a rich array of rituals that celebrate female skill and identity. One could, of course, make the same argument for daughters playing dress-up with Mom’s makeup and shoes. Many western men also believe that wearing high heels somehow stimulates a woman’s genital area and increases her libido, which resembles the Chinese foot fetishist assumption that footbinding creates layers in the vagina that make intercourse more exciting (Jeffreys 140). Such beliefs have had no merit in the past, though recent research done by Italian urologist Dr. Maria Cerruto suggests that wearing high heels of greater than two inches strengthens the pelvic floor muscles, which can assist in sexual performance and satisfaction (“Improve Sex Life”). Few podiatrists would agree, however, that the potential benefits of wearing high heels outweigh the physical damage that they cause.
The comparison to footbinding may seem dramatic, but the similarities between the two cultural practices make it clear that patriarchy is relatively uniform no matter how surprising its manifestations might be. It is important to remember how thoroughly we are conditioned by our culture and its traditions. High heels do not seem strange to Americans because they have been integral to female fashion for as long as anyone can remember; the trend is reinforced by celebrities like Oprah who desire or feel a responsibility to project a specific image that has been developed over the years. It is also very possible that Oprah has considered all of these issues and has other reasons for perpetuating the high heel standard. We are, however, still living in a time where physical appearance is valued over quality and substance, and that is the education we provide to each successive generation. Even with a relatively trivial thing like footwear, Oprah has a tremendous opportunity to counter the beauty standard currently in place. Just as she forced the public to accept her body no matter how much her weight fluctuated, she has the power to demand that women be accepted in their natural state without being hobbled for the sake of fashion. Oprah is already an excellent role model, but consider what she could get done if she could only walk around.
by Admin @ On Target Research
Tue Mar 28 16:54:17 PDT 2017
There is marketing magic in harnessing the power of a negative mindset. It was just such a mindset that Unilever (owner of the Dove brand) found when they conducted an enormous survey of 3,000 women in 10 countries and discovered that only 4% of those surveyed considered themselves beautiful. Those survey results became the basis […]
by Duncan Macleod @ The Inspiration Room
Sun Sep 17 01:01:01 PDT 2017
GE has launched “Meet Molly, the Kid Who Never Stops Inventing”, a commercial celebrating the engineering solutions developed at GE. We’re introduced to Molly, a young girl who comes up with brilliant solutions to problems in the home, including taking out the trash, selling Girl Guide cookies, making her bed, sweeping the floor and mowing […]
by email@example.com (Giulia Carando) @ Public Relations Problems and Cases
Wed Dec 10 06:22:00 PST 2008
A CASE STUDY:
BAD GIRLS OF HOLLYWOOD
Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan
and Nicole Richie
Comm 473, Fall 2008
A CASE STUDY:BAD GIRLS OF HOLLYWOOD
America is obsessed with celebrities and celebrity news. There is an entire market for celeb news, with such media outlets as People, OK!, TMZ, E!, etc. Even regular news outlets like FOX and CNN have begun to follow stars personal lives. Today, it seems that talent and hard work are less concentrated on, and more attention is paid to the private lives of celebrities. This comes in handy for a few stars who might have more in the “drama” department than the “talent” one.
Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, and Lindsay Lohan are all considered “Bad Girls of Hollywood.” The media, tabloids, and the American public have followed their careers and personal lives. While each of them has had legal problems resulting in jail time and rehab, they continue to be seen in celebrity news, making a name for themselves, holding onto and growing their fame, and, of course, making money.
The purpose of this case study is to find the similarities between each of these stars behavior, and figure out what made them able to “bounce back” from their legal problems, by rebranding themselves. Seeing as each of these girls have had plenty of other “drama,” including sex scandals, homemade pornographic tapes, relationship dramas, pregnancies, family issues, etc, this case study will concentrate specifically on their legal problems and rehabilitation.
Paris HiltonParis Hilton, of the Hilton family, is a famous socialite, who has gained attention for acting, singing, modeling and other business ventures. Paris is known for her role on the television series “The Simple Life,” modeling, her own clothing line, a sex tape titled “One Night in Paris,” minor film roles (including “House of Wax,” 2005). She put out her first CD, self-entitled “Paris” in 2006. (wikipedia.org)
Paris’s Rap Sheet:· September 2006- Paris was arrested for driving under the influence with a 0.08% blood alcohol level, which is illegal in California. · November 206- License suspended.· January 2007 she pleaded “no contest to the alcohol-related reckless driving charge. Sentenced to 36 months' probation and fines of approximately$1,500.· January 15, 2007- caught driving with a suspended license. Acknowledged the offence.
· February 27, 2007- Paris pulled over driving 70 mph in a 35 mph zone, with a still suspended license. She also did not have her headlights on even though it was after dark. Prosecutors in the office of the Los Angeles City Attorney charged that those actions, along with the failure to enroll in a court-ordered alcohol education program, constituted a violation of the terms of her probation.
· May 4, 2007- sentenced to 45 days in jail for violating her probation. Initially, Hilton planned to appeal the sentence, and supported an online petition asking California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for a pardon. Opponents started a counter-petition supporting the sentence. Both petitions attracted tens of thousands of signatures. Hilton eventually switched lawyers and dropped her appeal.
· June 3, 2007- Paris attended the 2007 MTV Movie Awards. She entered the Century Regional Detention Facility two days later. With credit for good behavior, it was anticipated that Hilton would only serve 23 days of her 45-day sentence.
· June 7, 2007- Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca reassigned Hilton to 40 days of home confinement with an electronic monitoring device due to an unspecified medical condition. Baca commented on the release saying, "My message to those who don't like celebrities is that punishing celebrities more than the average American is not justice," contesting that under normal circumstances, Hilton would not have served any time in jail, and he added that "The special treatment, in a sense, appears to be because of her celebrity status ... She got more time in jail". (She later told Larry King her medical condition was claustrophobia, and not wanting to be alone.”
· Judge Michael Sauer summoned her to reappear in court the following morning (June 8) as the sentencing statement had explicitly said she would serve time in jail with "No work furlough. No work release. No electronic monitoring." At the hearing he declined to be briefed by Hilton's attorney in private chambers on the nature of her condition and sent her back to jail to serve out her original 45-day sentence. Paris was moved to the medical wing of the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles
· June 13- Removed from the medical wing.
· June 26, 2007- After serving 22 days, Paris was released. She announced she would visit Rwanda, but later moved he trip from November 2007 to “some time” in 2008.
· June 28, 2007- Two days after her release Paris was interviewed on Larry King. Spoke about the influenced prison minister Marty Angelo had on her and starting a “new beginning.” (wikipedia.org)
After getting her start as a child model, Lindsay Lohan began acting at age 10 in a soap opera, and at 11 starred in the Disney remake of “The Parent Trap.” Lindsay she gained fame staring in films including “Mean Girls,” “Freaky Friday,” “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen,” “Herbie: Fully Loaded.” Lindsay began a singing career as well. Lohan is well known in the Hollywood party scene. (wikipedia.org)
Lindsay’s Rap Sheet:
· August 2004, October 2005, November 2006- Lohan had series of car accidents. In the final one, there was suspicion of intent on the side of the paperatizo to attack her car.
·2006- During the filming of Georgia Rule that was later made public, James G. Robinson, CEO of the film's production company, Morgan Creek Productions, wrote:
“You and your representatives have told us that your various late arrivals and absences from the set have been the result of illness; today we were told it was 'heat exhaustion'. We are well aware that your ongoing all night heavy partying is the real reason for your so-called 'exhaustion'.”
· January 18, 2007- Lohan checked herself in to the Wonderland Center rehabilitation facility. "I have made a proactive decision to take care of my personal health,” she stated.
· May 26, 2007, Lohan lost control of her car. Lindsay had cocaine in her car and it was further detected in her blood. She was charged with driving under the influence.
· May 28, 2008- entered a rehab for a 45-day treatment at the Promises Treatment Center.
· July 24, 2007- Lindsay failed a sobriety test after being caught drunkenly fighting with a recently fired assistant in a parking lot. Cocaine was found in her pocket. She was arrested with a felony charge of possession of cocaine, a misdemeanor for driving under the influence, and for driving with a suspended license.
· August 23, 2007- She pleaded guilty to cocaine use and driving under the influence. She was sentenced to one day in jail and then 10 days of community service. She was further ordered to pay fines and complete an alcohol education program, and 3 years probation. “It is clear to me that my life has become completely unmanageable because I am addicted to alcohol and drugs,” Lohan said in a statement.
· In August 2007, Lohan began her rehab at Cirque Lodge Treatment Center in Utah until October 2007. (wikipedia.org)
Nicole Camille Richie
Nicole is the adopted daughter of Lionel Richie. She is a known for partying, being friends with Paris Hilton, some acting and most notably her role in the reality television show The Simple Life. She now has a child with boyfriend Joel Madden of Good Charlotte. (wikipedia.org)
Nicole’s Rap Sheet:
· Richie herself has openly admitted that she smoked marijuana at the age of 13, and then progressed to cocaine a year later. At 19, she was injecting heroin (wikipedia)
· February 2003, Richie was arrested in Malibu, California. She was arrested and charged for possession heroin and driving without a license.
· December 11, 2006- Nicole was charged with driving under the influence. Eyewitnesses saw Nicole's car driving the wrong direction. She admitted to smoking marijuana and taking Vicodin before the incident.
· July 27, 2007- She was sentenced to four days in jail. After only 82 minutes of the sentence she was released from the Century Regional Detention Center in Lynwood, California on August 23, 2007. A sheriff's department spokesperson told People magazine that Richie "was released early due to overcrowding in the jail system. This is standard procedure for nonviolent offenders.” She then did an 18-month program for anti-drinking and driving. (wikipedia.org)
Celebrity Obsessed World:
An article in Associated Content covered the issue of American obsession with celebrities. “Our society is addicted to celebrities. There are thousands of citizens who can't wait to read about the personal and professional lives of stars like Beyonce, Madonna and the latest person on the radar. Publicity teams are set in place to help celebrities stay in the spotlight so that they can sell an album, movie or product.“ These stars need to stay in the spotlight to succeed, so a negative story about them is not necessarily bad, but they have to use the spotlight to eventually help their brand. (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/173562/addicted_to_celebrities.html?cat=49)
Whitney Houston- Though never arrested, Whitney has also had problems with drug abuse and has gone to rehab. While she was a prominent star in the 80’s and 90’s, she later was accused of drug abuse with husband Bobby Brown. In an interview with Diane Sawyer Huston admitted to drug use but said, "First of all, let's get one thing straight. Crack is cheap. I make too much money to ever smoke crack. Let's get that straight. Okay? We don't do crack. We don't do that. Crack is wack." Her attitude and unprofessionalism cost her dearly, and her “Crack is wack” quote became a joke. Audiences were not convinced, even momentarily that she was clean or that she was remorseful for her actions. ''My business is sex, drugs, rock and roll... I partied a lot,” she said in a report to E! News at age 39. (http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,396064,00.html) While “all news is good news” works for the other girls, it didn’t work for Houston, because there was never any redeeming factor. Unlike the other girls Houston failed to show her rehabilitation or charity work, which helped the other three to turn around their images in the media.
PLANNING: How the Bad Girls Maintain publicity and earnings
· All news is good news: With so many media outlets based primarily around celebrity news (TMZ, Access Hollywood, E!, People, etc) and even classic news outlets following celebrities and their every move, it is clear that these girls need to get their names out there. The fact is celebrities living quiet lives often get less press then others who are out in the nightlife, even those getting “bad press.” But that is how we have learned that no press is bad press. That is why even when it seems these girls aren’t working, they are still making money. No matter what they are actually doing, it has to be news worthy. And it is. So, each of these stars used their legal problems (because that’s what they had to use at the time) to capitalize and gain more fame.
“Jail bad? It’s just another way to get publicity” by Michael Ventre
· “However, it isn’t the day-to-day routine of confinement that is the attraction here for Paris Hilton, it’s the aftermath. When she finally finishes her stretch, she will have street cred, which is the one thing on Earth she can’t buy, although don’t think one of her minions hasn’t contacted Sotheby’s to inquire.”
· “Jail may turn out to be the best thing to ever happen to Paris Hilton.”
EXECUTION: How they executed a post-jail comeback.
· Focus on “rehabilitation”:
Each of these girls did a stint or two in rehab and jail, and used it to their benefit. Paris’s jail time was widely covered by all news outlets, as was Nicole’s and Lindsay’s. When ending rehab all the girls did interviews about how much they have changed.
On a Larry King interview Paris said, “it definitely -- it was a very traumatic experience, but I feel like God does make everything happen for a reason. And it gave me, you know, a time-out in life to really find out what's important and what I want to do, figuring out who I am. And I'm -- even though it was really hard, I took that time just to get to know myself.” (http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/TV/06/27/king.hilton.transcript/index.html)
Lindsay’s first interview after her third time in rehab was with OK! Magazine. She said to the magazine, "It was a sobering experience. It made me look at myself and all the people, places and things in my life in a different way.” She told the magazine she planned to avoid Hollywood and concentrate on her career and being clean instead. (http://www.okmagazine.com/news/view/1865)
In an interview with Diane Sawyer, Nicole Richie and her boyfriend talked about how Nicole had changed since her arrest and pregnancy. "Besides being responsible for myself, I'm now responsible for someone else. And I have to set the right examples. I have to really be someone that I would want my child to look up to,” she said. (http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=3444795&page=1)
Paris Hilton told E! News, "I'll be going (to Rwanda) in November, after I get back from filming my movie. There's so much need in that area, and I feel like if I go, it will bring more attention to what people can do to help." While her trip to Rwanda seems to be on permanent hold, Paris did go to South Africa with her boyfriend in March of 2008. After the trip she said, "I LOVE Africa in general, South Africa and West Africa. They are both great countries," she said, according to various reports.” While, there is no such country as West Africa, and her efforts may not be exactly well educated, she did do some volunteer work with children in South Africa. (FOXNews.com)
In November 2007, Richie and Joel Madden created The Richie Madden Children's Foundation. According to their website, the foundation supports programs that "provide immediate aid and seek out programs that are addressing the underlying causes of suffering and provide sustainable solutions. On her website Nicole wrote, “This past year, philanthropy has opened my eyes to so much need and so much beauty. I have also realized how easy it is to help, and how rewarding it feels to be able to make a positive difference in someone's life.” Her foundation says in the website that it is ‘currently raising money to build a playground for children living with their families in a homeless shelter. We’re pleased to announce the launch of ‘Text CHILD to 90999’, a new campaign to raise funds to help kids through a new kind of fundraising – with a simple text message. Each text message donates $5, billed to your phone bill. This is the first time a campaign is using popular culture mass media to raise funds with the new technology, so we’re excited to see how much we can raise.” (http://www.myspace.com/richiemadden)
Lohan has publicized her work with Hear the World, The One Campaign, Save the Children, and TRIAD. Her most publicized work is with Hear the World. According to their website, Hear the World “is an initiative by Phonak that aims to raise awareness of the topic of hearing and hearing loss and to promote good hearing all over the world. The goal of the Hear the World Initiative is to educate the general public about the importance of hearing, the social and emotional impacts and the benefits of available solutions for those with hearing loss. ” (http://www.hear-the-world.com/)
· Paris Hilton earned approximately $2 million in 2003–2004, $6.5 million in 2004–2005, and $7 million in 2005–2006.” (Forbes). She now stars in her own show, “Paris Hilton’s: My New BFF.” Her new single “My BFF,” from her yet to be released album, premiered September 30th of this year and is the theme song for her show. (wikipedia.org)
· Forbes has Lindsay Lohan listed with over $6 million in earnings. Her leggings line “6126” was launched October of 2008. She is working on a new album called “Spirit in the Dark.” (Forbes)
· Nicole Richie earned 1 million for posing nude with her man in People Magazine. She also earned $2.5 million from a spokesperson contract Jimmy Choo and the novel "The Truth About Diamonds." Rumors have her in a TV development deal with Fox. She also is working on her own pop album. (Forbes).
MY ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION
While I don’t think any of these stars make exactly good role models for young people, it is clear that Hollywood, the media, and we the public have an obsession with hearing about other peoples failings and legal problems. We thirst to hear about their failures, and we look forward to watching them claw their way out from the hole they got themselves into. Often, there is less “news” to report on a successful star who does not get in trouble, like for instance Scarlet Johansson. That does not take away Scarlet's fame, but the truth is that the stars with the “bad” publicity are still getting the publicity, and often more of it!
In making their comebacks, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Nicole Richie all concentrated on their rehabilitation and their charity work. They have made themselves into a brand. In some ways their jail time (however brief it may have been) has given them a form of street cred. It also makes them relatable and real. They are not merely fashionable people who do whatever they want; they are real people who (have learned that they too) have to abide by the same laws as we normal people.
While Paris, Nicole, and Lindsay all had great publicists and maybe did some thinking on their own too in order to come out of legal problems with success, their move is still not advisable. Truly talented actresses who stay out of legal problems can succeed more in the long run, where as the up and down road of drug and alcohol abuse is a dangerous one to take (or drive).
by KPPS @ Media and Cultural Analysis, Spring 2014
Mon May 12 18:15:18 PDT 2014
Watch Mountain Dew Commercial Here On April 2013, PepsiCo has released an ad for their brand, Mountain Dew. After its release on the internet, an ad quickly grabbed people’s attention by being “arguably the most racist commercial in history” (Kim). By employing critical race analysis, I argue that this commercial reinforces racial stereotypes against black […]
Help your child challenge the “perfect” body shape and stereotypes of women they see in music videos—and boost their body confidence in the process.
by Rohit @ Influential Marketing Blog
Thu Aug 10 03:25:54 PDT 2006
This is the original post that started the Social Media Optimization revolution and has been cited by thousands of blogs and media sources around the world. For a more updated view, read the 5 New Rules Of Social Media Optimization published by Rohit exactly 4 years after this post on 08/10/10. First Time Here? Read
by firstname.lastname@example.org (Jclark) @ WMST 2010 A: Feminist Analysis
Fri Apr 25 08:52:00 PDT 2008
Although she was born in 1959, Mattel’s Barbie is still recognized as the most successful doll ever created. Each week, 1.5 million dolls are sold. Currently, over a half a billion Barbies have been sold in 140 countries, and 90% of American girls have owned at least one Barbie doll in the last 40 years. A website, which has also created a book, of the 100 most influential people that never lived has listed Barbie as #43. One of the main reasons for the doll’s fame and popularity can be attributed to the heaving, not to mention creative, marketing strategies that Mattel Inc. has employed. For years the company has kept up on the most innovative ways to sell their product that has been controversial from the very beginning. Of the many criticisms that the doll faces, perhaps the most common is that the doll endorses a very unrealistic body image that is damaging, both physically and emotionally to teenagers and young girls. However, a factor that is just as alarming but often goes un-noticed is the sly marketing strategy and play on words that Mattel uses to market this doll in a “positive” and “user-friendly” way.
The media and others in society advance the notion that there is one standard of beauty. Although this is not true, this ideology is reinforced by Barbie’s perfection. As those millions of children all over the world play with a Barbie doll, they are subjected to society’s beauty standard at a very young age. What about the children that don’t live in the United States and have never seen someone with blonde hair before? When that mold of perfection is placed in their hand, their ideas of beauty are in some way affected.
Naomi Wolf, in her book The Beauty Myth, concludes that beauty is socially constructed and that the beauty myth only feeds society’s high beauty standard. The beauty standard in turn is used to establish heteronormativity, meaning that it’s deemed “normal” for a woman to try and make herself more beautiful in order to get a man. Wolf uses the term “iron maiden” as the unattainable standard that is used to punish women physically and psychologically for their failures to achieve this beauty standard, and Barbie promotes the beauty standard. Whether or not doll manufactures are willing to admit it, their product has a great effect on society, and even though there may be a positive spin on a toy, that toy still affects the self-image of every child who comes in contact with it.
With the advancement of technology, and new advertising techniques, more and more children are subjected to the beauty standard in the most innovative ways. I’m sure at least all of us at one point or another have seen a Barbie commercial or have been subjected to some form of advertisement by Mattel. It is no secret Mattel stays on top of the newest and unsurpassed ways to keep Barbie alive as competition among toys has increased. Thus, leading to the creation of their newest project; barbie.com where children can play Barbie games, shop in virtual malls, create their very own virtual Barbie characters, and even watch Barbie commercials…how convenient. Mattel has seemingly thought of everything as the website has it all from virtual dolls to real children’s testimonials. The site even has a “just for parents” section in addition to a place where parents can blog their opinions, but not so fast, also included is a happy section filled with Barbie’s positive and uplifting beliefs.
My knowledge of the controversy surrounding Barbie and the image she creates for young children first sparked my idea of doing a media analysis on Barbie. As a child, Barbie was my favorite toy. I owned practically every doll, article of clothing, and accessory ever made throughout my childhood. Now that I am older, more knowledgeable, and have had experience with feminist text, the thought of analyzing of my once favorite toy was intriguing. All it took was one visit to Barbie.com where I was able to view Barbie’s mission statement. I was taken aback at how different their mission statement is from some of the products they produce, and felt like it was an issue that I have heard little about therefore my film was created in hopes of raising awareness.
In my short media critique, my film is composed so that it will show the irony of Barbie’s beliefs in comparison with the products that Mattel sells. I began by using a short clip from a famous song “Barbie Girl” to create a bright and comical opening. Also included, are a couple random, but relevant facts. You will hear the audio from Barbie’s 1959 debut which emphasizes the fact that Barbie was originally created as a role model, and this role model embodies an unattainable perfection. Following is a sequence of clips combined with Barbie’s beliefs that are designed to be a stark contrast. I also included images from the Mac makeup line’s new Barbie campaign as well as a real life Barbie look-a-like to show the standard and skewed image Barbie creates. My intentions were for the film to be light and funny but at the same time, send a strong message revealing the unfeasible beauty standard and exposing the ironic advertising methods and statements made by Mattel. My favorite part of the film is actually in the beginning when the song lyrics say “life is your creation” as a clip of girls dressed as Barbie comes up. I hope that you will find this film both informative and enjoyable.
Category: FMCG Personal care & beauty – hair care, body care, deodorants Owner of the brand: Unilever Key competitors: L’Oréal, Garnier, Nivea, Olay, Avon
by email@example.com (Giulia Carando) @ Public Relations Problems and Cases
Sat Feb 28 08:04:00 PST 2009
Case Study by Lauren Rothbardt and Sara Oxfeld
“At least 43 colleges have gone smoke-free from California to New Jersey. Nearly 31 percent of full-time college students smoke compared with about 25 percent of the overall population, according to the federal government’s 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Smoking is being banned everywhere on these campuses, even in the main quads and sidewalks” (Cook, 2007).
The Tobacco-Related Disease Research program conducted a study in 2000 about understanding and preventing college smoking. According to the study, in 1981, it was estimated that only 8.2 percent of college students smoked. By 1998, it was estimated that 28.5 percent of college students were supporting tobacco use. This number continues to rise in both two-year and four-year universities. This is the underlying reason why more and more universities are taking the steps to become smoke-free.
According to the Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, “there are now at least 260 100 percent smoke-free campuses with no exemptions. Residential housing facilities are included, where they exist” (Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation). Tobacco free U is a Web site that outlines facts and figures about college students and tobacco use, sample smoke-free policies, tips for cessation, evaluation tips, and information by state. The Web site points out that half of current college smokers would like to quit, which is an important fact for universities to take into consideration when taking steps to become smoke-free.
On college campuses, certain subsets are more likely to use tobacco due to tobacco advertisements, sponsorships, and promotional events. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students, fraternity members, art students, and women are all classified as high-risk subgroups. It is important that universities tailor their messages for these groups.
First-year students are also considered a priority population because many of these students are away from home for the first time and are exploring their newly found freedom. This subset of students is vulnerable to the influence of tobacco advertisements. Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Maryland’s unpublished data found, “approximately 60 percent of sorority women smoke. We also know that smokeless tobacco companies have targeted fraternities with their promotions” (Tobacco Free U). Tobacco companies also target women because smoking is classified as an appetite suppressant and a way to maintain a lower weight.
College campuses are going smoke-free in rapidly growing numbers across the United States and we predict that many more universities will make the choice to go smoke-free in the near future.
University at Buffalo
On Nov. 20, 2008, in conjunction with the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, the University at Buffalo announced plans to implement a 100 percent smoke-free policy to take effect beginning with the 2009-2010 school year. UB also created the UBreathe Free Initiative to assist smokers in the process of quitting as the campus progresses to be smoke-free.
The initiative works in collaboration with Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the New York State Smokers Quitline, the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition, Tobacco Cessation Center North and the New York State Department of Health.
The vice president for health sciences, David L. Dunn, M.D, Ph.D., made the announcement. Under the plan, smoking will not be permitted in any UB owned building or space, including parking lots.
UB is the first SUNY campus in Western New York to implement a 100 percent smoke-free policy. The University of Wellness and Work/Life Balance within University Human Resources and Wellness Education Services within Student Affairs will be available to help students and faculty “kick the habit” (University at Buffalo). They will provide short cessation counseling and free nicotine patches and gum for smokers. “The Great American Smokeout is a great way for smokers to prove to themselves that they can quit for a day, in hopes of quitting for good” (ACS).
The decision to go smoke-free is consistent with the “Greener shades of Blue” initiatives. This campaign is committed to demonstrating environmental leadership by reducing energy costs, promoting alternative energy sources, and working to abate climate change. The decision to go smoke free was among those of a comprehensive recycling program and a rapid reorientation away from fossil fuel use, which is part of their Green Climate Action Initiative.
UB summoned a committee over a year ago to review their smoking policy and explore the options for strengthening it. The committee also brainstormed ways to help students and faculty quit smoking. The team was comprised of representatives from Human Resources, Student Affairs and UB’s Academic Health Center. This team created the UBreathe Free Initiative. In September 2008, UB ran an UBreathe Free Week where the university implemented a new smoking-cessation program.
University of Arkansas
The University of Arkansas’s smoke-free policy stemmed from a belief that they could improve the health of all Arkansans through changes in public policy. Representing health interests on campus and the recipient of many complaints about the use of tobacco on campus, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs Mary Alice Serafini discussed a tobacco free campus with the vice chancellor for student affairs, Dr. Johnetta Cross Brazzell in the fall of 2006. She in turn took the proposal to the chancellor’s executive committee who reviewed the issues about tobacco use for several months. Serafini was used as a resource for the review.
In spring 2007, the chancellor’s executives decided that the campus needed at least 12 months to allow tobacco users to prepare for a tobacco free campus through participation in cessation programs. The plan was announced and the last academic year was used to inform governance groups, to hold town hall meetings, and to meet with anyone with any interest. Many classes used the policy as class projects.
In June, the tobacco-free policy is being marketed through a comprehensive campaign known as “Fresh” was announced.The director of communications and outreach for the Division of Student Affairs, Scott Flanagin, has headed up the marketing efforts for the policy, and worked with an award-winning student group, known as UA Productions, to create the concepts and the materials, right down to the Web site: http://fresh.uark.edu” (The University of Arkansas). On July 1, 2008, University of Arkansas went tobacco free
The Fresh Campaign has the YouTube account freshua to display their smoke-free Public Service Announcements.
In fall 2008, Miami University went 100 percent smoke-free. In 1993, Miami first banned smoking in all public areas of buildings except in certain designated spaces. Thisban included smoking in residence halls, and in 2002 the ban was extended to restrict smoking within 25 feet of the halls. In December 2007, in conjunction with the state law banning smoking in public places of employment, smoking was also banned on the university’s campus within 25 feet of other buildings and in university owned vehicles.
Following the new bans in 2007, Provost Jeffrey Herbst formed an ad hoc committee to in effort to gather data to inform a decision. Surveys became available in print and online. Out of the 6,157 responses, 52 percent were in favor of a full smoking ban, with 62 percent favoring a ban if it meant support for smokers who were trying to quit (The Miami University). The committee took into account personal freedom issues, enforcement, grounds keeping, economic impact on a conference/hospitality level and economic impact on donations.
After reviewing all of these factors, the committee made the recommendation that Miami go smoke-free with a few exceptions such as hotels and conference centers. The committee also recommended offering multiple cessation options for its employee and student smokers. Herbest said, "We are banning smoking and offering cessation resources because nothing is more important than the health and welfare of Miami's people" (The Miami University).
On Aug. 27, 2007, at the Miami University Board of Trustees meeting, the board discussed the importance of maintaining a healthy living and learning environment for its staff and students. After reviewing the information brought to them by the ad hoc committee President David Hodge endorsed the recommendation for all four of Miami’s campus to become smoke-free beginning in the 2008-2009 academic year.
As of Aug. 1, 2008, Miami’s smoking ban was amended to be 100 percent smoke-free. Their new policy is as follows,
In order to promote the health of our students, faculty, staff and visitors, all Miami University campuses are designated Smoke-Free Environments. Smoking is defined as the burning of tobacco or any other material in any type of smoking equipment, including, but not restricted to, cigarettes, cigars, or pipes.
Smoking is prohibited in all Miami University-owned facilities and on the grounds of any university-owned property. This includes all buildings owned or controlled by Miami University, shelters, indoor and outdoor athletic facilities, indoor and outdoor theatres,bridges, walkways, sidewalks, residence halls, parking lots and garages. Smoking is prohibited on sidewalks that adjoin University property. Smoking is also prohibited in any vehicle or equipment owned, leased or operated by Miami University.
Faculty, staff, and students violating this policy are subject to University disciplinary action. Violators may also be subject to prosecution for violation of Ohio’s Smoking Ban (Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 3794). Visitors who violate this policy may be denied access to Miami University campuses and may ultimately be subject to arrest for criminal trespass,” (The Miami University).
The University of Arkansas
According to the vice chancellor of student affairs, Mary Alice Serafini, “now that Arkansas’ smoke-free policy has been implemented, there are two major issues. First, the university did not have enough signage and are now making up for lost time on signage and posters. Secondly, people want enforcement and the policy is based on compliance and mutual respect.” The latest initiatives have been a resolution by the Residents Interhall Congress to set up designated smoking areas with a response from the Associated Student Government not to support designated smoking areas, but to enforce littering rules and implement enforcement of tobacco use away from buildings. The Tobacco Free Committee believes this will all be a three to four year process with bumps in the road. This is hard for those who really want a pure tobacco free campus and want punishment to achieve it. The university believes compliance will work in the end.
On Sept. 12, 2008, a group referred to as “Hodge’s Smokers” gathered to protest the university’s campus smoking ban. The group lit up cigarettes and carried them, burning, all across Miami’s campus in protest of the newly enforced smoking ban that went into effect in August. While this protest was not the first negative reaction to the new policy, it was one of the largest. Students are not the only ones upset by this ban; staff members aren’t too thrilled either. However, the staff is doing a better job at adhering to the rules than the students(Reinbolt, 2008).
Months later, the university is still struggling with enforcing the ban. Students and staff are frequently spotted light up on university property. While some find the ban to be effective, others completely ignore it. As of December 2008, “According to the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution, 33 students have been disciplined for violating the campus-wide smoking ban. Claire Wagner, director of news and public information, said no staff members have been reprimanded for smoking on campus” (Stenback, 2008). Wagner believes the purpose of the ban is being fulfilled.
We interviewed director of communications for Miami University, Perry Richardson. Richardson has held his position for many years.
According to Richardson, Miami University joined the campus initiative to become completely smoke-free in the 2008-2009 academic year. Jeffrey Herbst was the first to form an ad hoc committee to petition to the University for the smoking ban. According to Richardson, “After credible research was conducted, the university complied and agreed to become 100 percent smoke-free.”
Miami is one of the few universities who have decided to treat the ban with an enforcement policy. Richardson said, “We believe enforcement will insure the greatest success of the ban.”
“While at first the ban may have caused some commotion on campus, we believe the students and staff have seen an improvement on campus, and therefore support the new policy,” said Richardson. However, Richardson believes that it may be too soon to determine if the new policy has caused smoking rates to decrease among students and faculty but he continues to remain hopeful.
Since the ban is still in its’ earlier stages, Richardson, deems that in time the university will develop better methods for enforcing the ban, hence keeping their students and staff healthier and their campus cleaner.
Upon conducting this interview we realized this is an issue many are not comfortable discussing. Whereas Richardson agreed to answer our questions, despite the fact that he only answered a couple of them and was very vague in his answers, the other professionals we contacted from the other universities chose not to comment at all on the topic. We believe this lack of cooperation may be due to the fact that the policy may not be functioning to its’ fullest potential just yet.
However, Richardson’s interview did provide us with some insight into the minds behind the smoke-free policy. We believe all three of the universities are acting in good faith in their attempts to rid the campus of cigarette trash and litter, and in an attempt to provide their students and staff with the learning and living environment they deserve.
by firstname.lastname@example.org (Imran) @ WMST 2010 A: Feminist Analysis
Fri Apr 25 11:59:00 PDT 2008
Third- wave feminism exists due to apparent failures and backlash against initiatives and movements created by the second-wave. Susan Faludi wrote a book, Backlash, which discusses the spread of negative stereotypes against career-minded women. Faludi states that people who believe that “a woman’s place is in the home, looking after the kids” are hypocrites because they are exactly like the women they condemn. Hillary is chastised for being a woman of power, and her struggle for success is being diminished by ignorant people. While campaigning in
In Jennifer Baumgardner’s and Amy Richards’, Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future, Hillary exemplifies certain parts of the Manifesta. The 11th part of the Manifesta discusses how equalizing pay for jobs with worth, and how the workplace should be responsive to individual’s wants, needs and talents (Baumgardner & Richards, 628). The Manifesta is a call to action in a sense, and she takes advantage of the opportunities that were presented to her. Another aspect that relates to Hillary is in the 12 part of the Manifesta. It states that women share the same goal of equality, and support other women in order to gain power so they are able to make their own choices. This is relative to Hillary because she repeatedly denied Bill Clinton’s marriage proposal because she wanted to assume a career in
Growing up in the second- wave molded Hillary in to the person she is today.
Hillary was born in the baby boom generation. That particular generation grew up being told to stay at home with their children and instead of venturing into the workplace. This caused a rebellion of traditional thought. Those who thought for themselves were thought to be rebels of sort. They continued to question the “choice” they made. This led to boomer women constantly questioning the choices they were making, thus leading to more and more women thinking about filling a void in their lives. This void caused women to become more educated, more career driven, and especially more successful. Second-wave feminists claim that the efforts that helped revolutionize
Patricia Ireland of the National Organization for Women, states Hillary Clinton, has made most of the money in her family, and she knows what she is doing. Also she exemplifies woman who in a way symbolizes the mature understanding of all '60s activists (Mundy, 7).
The fourth-wave of feminism can be seen as the final and most important push for equality. Having a woman in the White House would steer our society as a whole in that direction. With the possibility of a woman leading the most powerful nation in the world, it is not absurd to think that there will be an even keel for men and women. Hillary’s possible presidency will cause a chain reaction for women in all parts of the world. Women will try to succeed in all ways that they can, and they will feel that there are no impediments that will obstruct their path to success. Women have commented on a possible fourth- wave. One woman stated that there will be defined in many ways and not just one. A woman and man can finds ways to coexist rather than find separate vices in one another (Maria). With Hillary’s impact this far into the election, women all over the world are beginning to believe that societal norms are beginning to dwindle. Younger generations understand that sex is not a justifiable way to judge leadership. However, there are problems seen with the third- wave, motioning the fact that there will be a fourth-wave.
One common issue raised by critics is that there is no single cause for third-wave feminism. The first-wave fought for the women’s right to vote. The second-wave obtained the right for women to have equal opportunity in the workforce and ended legal sex discrimination (Fortini). However, the third-wave of feminism lacks a unified goal, and it is often seen as a branch of the second-wave. The problem is also seen in that third-wave feminism does not have a clear distinction from second-wave feminism. The biggest goal for third-wave feminists is to try to unify all feminists towards one common goal. This is quite difficult, which has led to the subsequent waves. Hillary has done this successfully. She has found a way to create an unusual alliance that belies the pre- and post-boomer generational divide propounded by the media (Fortini). If Hillary wins the presidency, the post-Hillary shift in consciousness, can be dubbed the Hillary-movement because of its impact. This will give solutions to the problems the third-wave has generated, and possibly augment the third- wave or start a fourth-wave. There has been pressure towards
People say that Hillary is running for office for selfish reasons. They have a point in a sense, if they are looking at one side of the spectrum. With everything against her, Hillary has found a way to quell negativity and achieve great things in her life. Getting married did not stop her, having a child did not stop her, and attempting to become the first female president in
by thelaurentai @ Media and Cultural Analysis, Spring 2014
Mon May 12 14:49:15 PDT 2014
Google recently uploaded a short video segment under its Google Glass channel in celebration of Mother’s Day. This two and a half minute video clip, titled “Seeds,” was shot entirely using Google Glass and created by students of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. The video documents a man’s surprise journey to […]
Dove's ad campaigns have been celebrated for featuring women instead of professional models, but also accused of exploiting insecurities to sell products.
by Nex @ Media and Cultural Analysis, Spring 2014
Mon May 12 14:12:18 PDT 2014
In 2013, PepsiCo released a commercial for Mountain Dew as part of a series developed by African American rapper Tyler, the Creator. The ad immediately felt backfire as it was criticized for portraying racial stereotypes and making light of violence toward women. Using critical race analysis, I argue that the Mountain Dew commercial perpetuates african-american […]
Longitudinal analysis of quality of life in patients with undifferentiated connective tissue diseases
PubMed Central (PMC)
To prospectively assess the quality of life (QoL) of patients affected by undifferentiated connective tissue diseases (UCTDs) and to identify factors associated with changes over time.A total of 46 consecutive UCTD patients completed the Short-Form 36 ...
by Duncan Macleod @ The Inspiration Room
Mon Jul 17 15:57:31 PDT 2017
The Ad Council’s “We Are America” commercial, part of the Love has no labels campaign, is one of the nominations for Most Outstanding Commercial at this year’s Emmy Awards. Launched for Independence Day 2016, the We Are America ad featured American professional wrestler, rapper, actor and reality television show host John Cena reflecting on patriotism […]
More About Advertising
It seems there have always been difficult categories for creative advertising: over the years that ...
by email@example.com (gambleworld50) @ WMST 2010 A: Feminist Analysis
Fri Apr 25 14:16:00 PDT 2008
April 24, 2008
An Ideal Woman
An ideal woman of the 21st century would be about 5’7”, 127 lbs, blue eyes, and blonde hair, holding a mirror to show her all of her flaws. Women strive to be thinner and look younger; they are often dissatisfied with their bodies as a result of today’s advertising and media imagery. “Women today see themselves as less attractive than women of past generations did. A recent meta-analysis by Yale researchers Alan Feingold and Ronald Mazzella found that, prior to 1970, women were no more likely than men to voice dissatisfaction with their appearance. After 1970, however, a gender gap arose in self-perception, with women tending to rate themselves as less attractive than men rated themselves” (Anonymous). Modern media has developed an image of what a beautiful woman looks like. I believe that Dove’s Campaign For Real Women is arguably a reaction to the modern media’s portrayal of women and the effects of it on the consumer. In this analysis I will argue the definition of real beauty by pointing out how the media influences us into believing stereotypes about beauty, and how Dove’s Campaign For Real Women is trying to change the standard and propose a more improved aspect of beauty in its place.
Why are women dissatisfied with their bodies? I believe the media is responsible for this ongoing question about women’s beauty. For example, many diet product commercials have female actors that fit society’s stereotype, though they aren’t the ones who use these products. The women who actually use them are seen as unfit to be in those types of commercials such as Trim Spa. In “Teen Mags: How to get a Guy, Drop 20 Pounds, and Lose Your Self-Esteem,” Anastasia Higginbotham writes about the attack of media image that show thin models who are dissatisfied with their bodies. The constant stream of images, along with “the sophistication of modern media, which constantly exposes us to impossibly thin, computer-adjusted images, creates ever more elusive physical targets, especially for women” (Lewis). Numbers give us proof of women’s growing dissatisfaction with their bodies: “the proportion of women calling themselves ‘moderately unhappy’ with their figures has risen from 31% in 1984 to 35% in 1998. The percentage who say they are ‘very unhappy’ with their bodies has jumped even higher in this time period, from 11% to 18%” (Anonymous) and in the United Kingdom “more than 50% of women questioned – compared with less than 25% of men - said they would consider plastic surgery, according to a survey of around 25,000 people aged between 17 and 35.” (Lewis) Women seem to always find something that’s wrong with their image. For example, when a woman asks multiple questions about their size when trying on clothes like “Does this make my butt look big?” when actually the clothes fit perfectly. With all the stereotypes surround this subject; I believe Dove is making an important effort to bring the stereotypes to a halt.
The Dove Campaign is the frontrunner in portrayal of glamorized “real women.” The campaign supports the Dove mission: “to make women feel more beautiful every day by challenging today’s stereotypical view of beauty and inspiring women to take great care of themselves” (Dove). The campaign commits to real women of various ages, shapes and sizes to encourage discussion about beauty and share their views on real beauty around the world. According to The Dove Campaign, they also:
The Campaign for Real Beauty appeals to women on the national and local levels with outreach including national television and magazine advertising as well as interactive billboards, transit station signage and city bus ads. The campaign is intended to challenge women’s notions of beauty with communication in high-profile downtown locations and along high-traffic roads in major cities: Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, New York and San Francisco.
Dove also takes part in Real Women Bare Their Real Curves which consist on, “six brave women – two students, a kindergarten teacher, a manicurist, an administrative assistant and a café barista” (Dove) who all are different sized women and pass along their message to “stand firm and celebrate your curve!” (Dove), Dove not only advertises in its Campaign For Real Beauty, but they also influence the consumer’s common perceptions. When I say influence, I mean that they try to sell an image that you don’t have to be 5’7”, 127 lbs, blue eyes, and blonde hair to be beautiful.
I believe Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty’s attempt to change the standard of beauty is gradually changing for the best. Also, when it comes to body figures, teen magazines send a elaborate message: “Girls are encouraged to love their bodies, no matter what they look like, by magazines with fashion spreads featuring only stick-thin, flawless-faced white models in expensive outfits” (Higginbotham). Change should start from within; the woman needs to realize that she doesn’t have to change her appearance to become beautiful and they should feel comfortable the way they look. Other than your inner feelings about yourself, most pressure comes from your surroundings, peers, and even your culture. For example, “only 3% of Caucasian-American women rated their own beauty a 10 on a scale of 1-10, a full third of African-American women did so” (Anonymous). Thus; the common perception amongst African-American women is that “the thicker the better” or at least that’s what I hear, but as for Caucasian-American women there also is a perception that being very thin is the way to be. “Beauty is visual, but in most media images, it is the same visual – the eye popping features and stunning proportions of a few hand-picked beauty icons. When only a minority of women is satisfied with their body weight and shape in a society captivated by diet and makeover programs, it is time for a change” (Dove).
by aufeminin @ Womenology
Tue Mar 18 07:10:13 PDT 2014
In 2004 Dove launched a ground breaking worldwide advertising campaign in the beauty industry. The brand created a new way to address their public which aimed to be “real” by getting rid of the complexes that beauty product consumers suffer from. …
Continuer la lecture
by firstname.lastname@example.org (madams) @ WMST 2010 A: Feminist Analysis
Fri Apr 25 10:49:00 PDT 2008
Many Americans extra time today consists of sitting in front of a television and entertaining themselves with public media that society deems as an enjoyable past time. The mass media – including televisions, commercials, and printed material – today is giving women a false sense of what beauty should be. Many times the mass media portrays women in a way that seems unreachable by many. Sunsilk Shampoo came out with a new advertisement campaign that challenges women and those who use the shampoo with the slogan that “Life Can’t Wait!” The commercial presents famous female icons including Marilyn Monroe, Shakira, and Madonna all singing their individual songs while the advertisement pops in the little saying of “Life Can’t Wait.” Sunsilk also had a contest running along with this advertisement for women who have taken charge of their life and done something about it, whether it is a single mom raising children to unintentionally fighting breast cancer. Through this commercial and contest, Sunsilk has encouraged women to question and realize the typical beauty persona of today in order to better their own lives and also encourage women to do something for themselves because “Life Can’t Wait.” In this paper I will discuss what the “ideal” beauty image of a woman is, what women can do to go against the norm, and how this Sunsilk ad has helped open women’s eyes to the above and also maybe how they also contributed to the “ideal women” image.
The ideal women, who is she? As much of the mainstream media puts it she is tall, skinny, and beautiful. According to Hitchon, Park, and Yun in You Can Never Be too Thin – or Can You? today’s standards are starting to say that “notions of beauty involve beauty shape, skin color, and even the length of legs.” The same article also stated that with the preoccupation of unrealistic expectations of women’s weight, researchers also saw an increasing change in eating disorders. The idea of “merely being a woman in society means feeling too fat” (Hitchon, Park, and Yun). Sunsilk’s use of women typically known as common sex symbols plays into the ideal woman for society and that they need to change in order to become successful like these women. As many know though, in advertising and publications of women, many times the image is digitally enhanced to “beautify” women. This used to only be used when the woman in the photo was too large and flaws, now days it sometimes seems to be used to give a healthier appearance to those in the image. This is a step in a positive direction in trying to change the ideal woman’s image. Feministing.com has had posts on the topic of “photo-shopping up” and how many of today’s famous role models have “spoken about the concept that the media essentially commits ‘visual violence against women’ by often airbrushing against an actress’s will.” Some feminist and I will agree that the use of Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, and Shakira in the Sunsilk advertisement helps to promote the ideal woman image. Because all of these women were and are known for their beauty and sex appeal, Sunsilk is falling back on the social norm of beauty sells. The societal norm of enhancing images and using “sex symbols” makes it hard for feminists to express the positive message of being yourself without trying to change your image really is the true beautiful woman.
“Life Can’t Wait,” the slogan of the current campaign, to me means to take life by the horns and do something that does not conform to the social norm. Upon reading the Sunsilk’s MySpace page and the stories of the women that contributed to the contest they were holding, I came across one excerpt that caught my eye. There was a post by a thirty-seven year old woman who has had a family history involving breast cancer. This woman decided to take control of her life because of her history and have a preventive double mastectomy. She was not fazed by the societal norm of beauty. She was more inspired by the chance of living a longer and healthier life even if it meant altering her image in the opposite way than the normal. This woman actually had breast cancer, and unknowingly her decision that life can’t wait and not worrying about how she would look in society’s eye saved her life. According to Mathieson in her article Women with cancer and the meaning of body talk, “any inter change with the social world we inhabit can remind us that being ill carries a certain stigma and that body image seems to have been cast as a woman's issue,” which is problematic. I think that the contest that Sunsilk held helped women all over either share their stories of overcoming issues and also helped many to be inspired by the stories shared. The idea of women being proud of whom they are and the idea to take charge of their life with the slogan “Life Can’t Wait,” I feel was the main goal in the Sunsilk campaign.
As Naomi Wolf states in an excerpt of The Beauty Myth, “’Beauty’ is a currency system. Like any economy, it is determined by politics and is a belief system that keeps male dominance intact.” Wolf does a very good job in summing up the beauty problem we have today. If we keep portraying women the same way we have been without a significant change, then all the hard work that women and feminist up until this period in time is a waste. If numerous amounts of women come together to try and change something it is easier than fighting the battle solo. That is why even though Sunsilk has fallen back on the typical beauty image featured in their advertisement, they are at least trying and take a stand and get people motivated to make a change. “Life Can’t Wait,” stated by beautiful and successful women, gives other women hope that one day they feel the urge that they need to take control of their life and make a change.
Here is one of the advertisment:http://youtube.com/watch?v=0bvSQRTN8HY&feature=related
Here is a second one: http://youtube.com/watch?v=IHyaM7g8Ld4
And Here is Sunsilk's MySpace page address: http://www.myspace.com/lifecantwait