What other explanation is there for a company that continues to create ad campaigns that depict women as 1. disposable 2. victims, sometimes disposable victims.
If you saw the ad round-up posted recently, you have seen the patterns, image after image reinforcing narrow and limiting themes of women in advertising. To see the images lined up next to one another takes on a remarkable quality and produces a powerful impact. I know it did for me when I saw all of the ads put together, even after 15 years of conscious and critical analysis.
With that said, I’ve seen scores and scores of ads as a consumer and even more through the lens of a media critic and, unsurprisingly, in that process I have become a bit desensitized. Oh, another super skinny model, another model posed passively, and on it goes. I’ve seen such awful ads that many have become less shocking because there are others that are so much worse.
Marc Jacobs continues to strike me with the blatant devaluing of women and the often brutal or degrading circumstances in which they are depicted. The two below are no expection.
Top: Marc Jacobs ad from the March 2010 issue of Harper’s Bazaar (Kate Moss is on the cover)
Bottom: Marc Jacobs ad from the March 2010 issue of W (Megan Fox on the cover).
They’re both disturbing (and entirely unnecessary to sell whatever they’re trying to sell: the bag? the shoes?) but the bottom is one is what really made me cringe. Do we need to draw on rape scenes of women assaulted in back alleys? It reminds me of the Marc Jacobs ad campaign circa 2005 when shoes were being sold by placing them on models whose feet would be attached to a lifeless body on the ground, legs poking out from behind a bush. Yup, more images of disposabe, victimized women. I’ll be rummaging through my collection of ads to post them if you’re in the least bit skeptical or doubt me.
So, not much has changed in 5 years. In fact, not much has changed in over 30 years. Check out the vintage ad for shoes from 1974 that Ms.Blog posted yesterday. The fact that these images have not changed drastically in several decades solidifies my commitment to remaining vigilant and using my media literacy skills to call out the misogynistic companies that use victimized, brutalized and disposable women as ways to make a profit. Shame on you.