Fashion Studies Post#2: Advertisement & Gender Norms

This advertisement is from the Dolce & Gabbana Advertisement Campaign during Spring/Summer 2012. The advertisement clearly reinforces traditional gender norms because of the male gazes on the woman, who is the center of attention. According to Susan Kaiser, the male gaze “involves an active, masculine positioning that has subjectivity, whereas the observed fashion model…lacks subjectivity…she is the passive object of the masculine gaze”(Kaiser 2012, 128). Men look at women, and women watch themselves being looked at. 

The woman in the advertisement is a “hegemonic female representation…a narrow view of beauty(e.g.,young, white, thin)”(Kaiser 2012, 128). Her skin is clear and shaven, while most of the men have groomed beards. This advertisement targets women by placing the female model at the center of attention, being admired by handsome men dressed in tuxedoes. The female model is carefree and happy, suggesting that by wearing Dolce & Gabbana, the consumer can also be happy, be the center of attention, and be admired by all men.

Traditional gender norms are portrayed through the mens’ grooming versus the woman’s shaven body, the male’s gaze versus the gazed woman, and the woman’s dress versus the men’s polished suits. The woman slightly lifts up her dress as the men cheer. In a way, the advertisement dehumanizes and demeans the woman: as Kaiser said, “Clearly, sex sells, and it is usually women’s bodies that are represented and ‘consumed”(Kaiser 2012, 129). Although the woman is being cheered upon and celebrated, she is also objectified. The advertisement also does not show any acknowledgment for gay and lesbian identities. The woman is only admired by men rather than other women.

1 Comment

  1. macij106 · February 21, 2017 Reply

    Excellent, Helena!

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