Is J.Crew a Crew?
This J.Crew advertisement portrays gender through the use of color, clothing, models, body placement, body language, and diversity. The advertising reinforces traditional gender norms.
By utilizing color, the woman in the ad is positioned in the center of the frame, with four men beside her, two on each side. The men are facing the opposite way as her, dressed in suits. They are all wearing suits which suggests the traditional gender norm that the figures are males in suits. Meanwhile not only does she stand out in the middle, but the bright yellow outfit she is wearing grabs the viewer’s attention compared to the other grey suits. The bright yellow outfit reinforces confidence and power to the woman. Like author Susan B Kaiser writes, “through style-fashion-dress, individuals have the opportunities to articulate-visually and materially-what might be too challenging to express in words.” The company has the opportunity to portray the woman as a powerful, fun, and confident figure through the specific style, fashion, and dress in the advertisement.
With the variance in clothing, there is an extreme difference between the woman in the middle and the men on the sides. I noticed she is not wearing a pant suit, but a skirt. Wearing a skirt reinforces the gender norm that women are feminine and don’t wear pant suits like men.
The woman’s body language is confident, with her arms resting on the mens’ shoulders, in a more relaxed pose compared to the mens’ structured pose. J.Crew positioned the male models to pose in the most traditional poses, juxtaposed with the women in the skirt in a relaxed, fun manner.
Due to the choice in the models’ ethnicities, it reinforces the intended gender norms displayed. In the advertisement, there are various skin colors of men, but all in the same pant suit. Although they may have different ethnic backgrounds, their common clothing is meant to be a uniting factor among them.
- Kaiser, Susan B. 2012. Fashion and cultural studies. London: Berg.