Friday, August 5, 2011

Gucci sends gendered submissive messages to sell handbags!

High end fashion lines such as Gucci, Prada, Dolce and Gabbana, and designers such as Louis Vuitton have set the standards for what is beautiful for the past few decades.  Why, because money is beautiful in the eyes of so many Americans, and who doesn't want to be young beautiful, famous and successful?  These fashion designers bombard our lives with highly sexualized advertisements each month dictating harmful gender identities through provocative and offensive images.  By examining Gucci's advertisements it is clear that Gucci lures both women and men into wanting their expensive material commodities with glamorous advertisements that suggest in order to "have it all",  women must be beautiful, thin and submissive to men, while men appear superior and dominant. 

Nearly every Gucci add shows women bowing down to the power of men.  Many of the images portray women in sexually submissive positions, looking strung out and powerless.  The eyes of the women are always looking away or closed, suggesting their submission to males, who perhaps are providing their ability to possess these material desires.  As Kilbourne states there is a restless pressure upon women that "we can be successful as long as we stay "feminine", (i.e., powerless enough not to be truly threading)."(263)  The gender image that Gucci portrays for women, is that of gentle femininity taken to extremes.  By wearing Gucci, women are made to feel that they have achieved the ultimate in success, beauty and luxury.  Our society feels a "particu  In theses ads, the Gucci women have reached the status that many women strive to achieve, however only through the objectification of their bodies in regards to men, are they able to achieve such prestige. 

Now, on the other hand, while these women seemly give up the control and function of their bodies, men appear level headed, alert and authoritative.  Gucci reinforces masculinity in their advertisements by illustrating men being rewarded for exhibiting Gucci attire.  A clump of women surround these men with lust and desire, as the object of male pleasure. As the line between reality and image begins to blur, our society begins to emulate these advertisements as an obtainable and commendable goal.  Jhally, strong advocate for media literacy, says its not surprising that these ads are so popular, "these conventions of gender display are so easily recognized by the audience that they figure so prominently in the image system." (253)  Gucci is furthering detrimental gender identities for both men and women.  The advertisements seemly do not even promote clothing but a gendered lifestyle of bored beautiful strung out women, and their powerful male counterparts who like to flaunt and degrade them.

Works Cited:

Jhally, Sut. "Chapter 25, Image-Based Culture." Gender, Race, and Class in the Media: a Text-reader. Ed. Gail Dines and Jean McMahon Humez. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2003. 253. Print

Kilbourne, Jean. "Chapter 26, The More You Subtract The More You Add." Gender, Race, and Class in the Media: a Text-reader. Ed. Gail Dines and Jean McMahon Humez. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2003. 263. Print

Collage Photographs:

gucci ads. Web. 4 Aug 2011.
 Web. 4 Aug 2011.
 Gucci Ads:Dead Women are in. Web. 4 Aug 2011
 Web. 4 Aug 2011
 Gucci. Web. 4 Aug 2011.
 Chic Spring. Web. 4 Aug 2011.
 Raquel Zimmerman. Web. 4 Aug 2011.
 Web. 4 Aug 2011
 Gucci S/S 2010. Web. 4 Aug 2011
 Fashion Trend. Web. 4 Aug 2011
 Sex in Ads. Web. 4 Aug 2011.
 Controversial Ads 2010. Web. 4 Aug.
 Picture 8. Web. 4 Aug 2011
 Gucci Spring/Summer 2010. Web. 4 Aug 2011