Nov 10, 2008

Sex, Mugglewumps, and Whoopi

I love advertisements, even the horribly sexist and objectifying ones. I think they can be interesting and funny. Plus, I believe advertisements reflect society and not the other way around, so while some are incredibly offensive I don't believe they are the real issue, only symptoms. Pretty much I just feel people should chill. In some ways I see a correlation between advertising and the veil/hijab/burqa/headscarf. Some people believe they are symbols of oppression, others as liberating. Either way, the only way anything big will get done is if all the women side together to change opinions or situations. This is not going to happen. There are just too many perspectives to make any single one right. The same is true with advertising. While many see the sexual objectification of women as this great detriment to women's rights, most of these ads are geared towards women. They give the power of the "male gaze" to the woman to observe herself and her peers. Women objectify themselves just as much as men and judge each other. The idea of "body chopping" in ads is also highly controversial but women do that every day ("I want her legs," "She has great arms but skeleton hands," "Total butterface"). Women want to feel sexy. Advertisements may take advantage of these desires and habits but they are not the real issue. We all are. I know I'm more than just a sexual object, but I like to be looked at, admired, desired. I can't help it. That's not because I'm surrounded by waif models and oversexed media, it's because everyone wants to be wanted, to be better than someone else.

That was totally not the point of what I wanted to talk about. The kind of advertisements I wanted to post about are actually completely different. My favorite kind of ad or spread (which is just a more artsy way of selling something) is the kind with some theme that I relate to. I don't like them when they try to tell a story about some random girl and her wild adventures. My favorite is when they draw from things I already love because then I automatically like the produts because they are linked to something I already cherish. Vogue UK just came out with a Roald Dahl inspired spread so of course I freaked. I was really hoping for at least one Twit's shot. Luckily for me, Vogue never disappoints.
I do wish they had done one with the birds and the sticky stuff all over the tree, but this pretty much made my day. Then the site I was on had a link to one of my favorite ads from last year.

How amazing is that? Oh, and I must correct myself. Earlier I said Vogue never disappoints. Not true. Their Wizard of Oz shoot was a total letdown and not even because Keira Knightly was Dorothy. I grew up on Oz so I hold very high standards, so it's no surprise that was a let down. Speaking of things I grew up on, I think they should do an Eloise spread or ad, couture kleenex box hat and all.