Well, in my opinion.
< I want to mention that I am a feminist + that an important thing to keep in mind is that we are all in this together. Collaborate, don't fight. :) >
So last week, I put up my post "LOTD: Can I Work For American Apparel!? Please?" and Amber Love - who I have talked to on twitter before and immediately visited her blog because we were on the same wavelength - commented, replying to my love for American Apparel.
She says, "however American Apparel really objectify women in their adverts and show them wearing nothing but one item of clothing, when it's a unisex item, they then show the man wearing it as part of a normal ensemble! So clearly something is not right here. They might be trying to "shock" people but tbh there's nothing shocking about a woman wearing long socks and a shirt and nothing else. I wear it around the house every day. AA is NOT risque it objectifies women and how will we ever be treated like equals when there are brands that do this and people who support them?"
Thanks for your comment Amber! You've opened up a conversation that everyone should be aware of and comfortable talking about. You made some great points. Some I agree with and some that I'd like to clarify. I currently study the Sociology of Pop Culture so it gives me a chance to share some of the interesting things I've learned!
So I only partly agree with you. Some history about American Apparel. The man - yes a man - who created American Apparel and, more importantly, the look/vibe of their ads was Dov Charney. He was fired. Now Brian Sozzi is in charge. He says, "All the scandalous ads, they're very much reflective of that founder's vision," said Sozzi, "Which was great when the company launched, because there wasn't anything in the market like that. But now people have had enough." It seems as if change is on the rise and I have noticed big changes in recent ad campaigns. Yup, I'm a little bit obsessed. I go through the galleries.
The part that I agree with. Yes, they have objectified women and you probably see it in today's ads! The thing is, in modern times, ALMOST ALL companies do it. That is the issue. But you see, I don't think that it is entirely the fault of the brand, in some cases. The fault is seen in the fact that it is currently the nature of advertising. Does that make it right? Absolutely not. I'm against it. But the objectification of women in advertising is something so deeply rooted that advertising agencies do it because that was what they learned. Going by the books of their predecessors. Not just one brand. But all. Even in brands that aren't fashion.
Tweet: The objectification of women in ads is so deeply rooted that we see the smallest details as normal. It is not just seeing a woman in a sexy pose. It is subconscious.
Some fun advertising tricks that objectify women so we accept it subconsciously...
- Women are often shown barely touching the objects they offer. Perfume bottles. Brushing cars with their fingertips. Men hold things firmly.
- Women's bodies are always zoomed in on in a page ad. Looking like their body parts are cut up. Men's faces are almost always shown.
And it all affects us. Even if we don't think about it. Advertisement is not made for you to say, "Oh! Well look at that. I want that!" Well maybe 10% of it is. But the rest of it is used to make you think of these things subconsciously.
SO HOW CAN WE ACTUALLY FIGHT THIS? IT'S SUBCONSCIOUS!
Let's be real. We're changing a big thing - the entire beast of advertisement. So this will take time. But each little thing matters. And you're probably already doing some things to change it! Here's my opinion on what WILL WORK and what WILL MAKE IT STAY.
Change from the inside out.
- Creating content that supports our movement. The ad giants created this content and it caught on. We can do the same. In a way, they're dying with so many bloggers, artists and writers creating non-objectifying content. But we need to make more!
- Working together. Not fighting. Growing up female meant growing up in a competitive atmosphere between us. Competition of beauty, clothing, partners, etc. Relinquishing that weight will not only free oneself from that burden but help us all succeed together.
- Social media. It is so powerful. In the words of Billy Eichner, twitter is a force. Yes bitch. Look at the NFL. They actually care about domestic violence now! Thanks to twitter! It's a bit sad that that is what it took but it worked. Use hashtags. Participate in movements. Call out companies for change. It all helps.
- Finally and most importantly, growth and filling those roles. I'm talking to you, content creators. Replacing the roles of the advertising giants. Taking those jobs! I think that is the best way to make change. Don't think it's possible? Look at what happened to Dov Charney. Our time will come soon.
So Amber, thank you for inspiring me for this post! I support American Apparel because I like their clothing, their support for biracial people and I think they're a canvas to paint on. I think that their objectification can and is changing and will continue to change with people creating. That's why I said I want to work for them. I want to create to help! < and if my tone isn't clear, I'm not fighting with you at all haha only helping awareness! >
This post isn't me just talking at you.
TALK BACK! I'd love to know your thoughts/retorts. Please share this post!
What are your views on the ad world? Did you learn anything from this post? What do you think we can do to change it?