Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I Think I Get it Now

I have enjoyed reading the varied discussions around the internets on the new Dove ads -- the ones with supposedly real-sized women standing in their underwear to sell some thigh cream or other.

One of them, not sure which one, mentioned that if you see a man who is posed in an advertisement in the same way that women often are, it looks pretty silly.

I'm kind of new to this subject, but I gather that this is because women are frequently posed in ads as sex objects, and backing up the ad is patriarchy, i.e. the fact that most people believe that this is the way women ought to look. Meanwhile, men are rarely if ever posed in ads as sex objects, and even if they are, (almost) no one thinks that this is really the way men ought to look.

And I got that concept in a sort of vague sense, recalling the Jay Leno joke (from long ago) about looking at a Playgirl magazine photo spread and understanding what Playboy might look like to women: "Here's Bob, working on his car...nude! Watch out for that hot exhaust manifold, Bob!"

But it wasn't until I saw this street ad from Nautica that I really got it:

Mid-way through the donning of his pants, the man pauses for a moment, distracted by something...

When my male friend and I saw this ad on the street near Fenway Park the other day, we mocked it immediately, speaking in a fake English accent as if we were the guy in the ad: "Oh dear! My pants have fallen to my knees! Whatever am I to do?" etc. But then we went on our merry way, certain that no one, least of all ourselves, would expect us to ever look like that guy. I believe this is what is known as male privilege.

So...how about a photo caption contest? What is the guy in this ad thinking right now?

Here's my entry:

"Here I am on the beach, pulling up my pants, hope no one sees me. Wait a second now -- did I forget to turn off the stove?"

8 comments:

Amanda said...

Heh. I have, on occasion, made fun of female models like that. Whice makes most people seize up and if very pissy, call me jealous.

Amanda said...

Also, for the caption contest:

Please dude, I stopped the car and dropped my pants for this. Please notice the cucumber in my shorts.

Raelene said...

Hey, look at that Dove ad with the real women in it. I can look like that!

Lap Doggy Dogg said...

"Wait a sec...if i put my surfing trunks on this way, my undies will get all wet. But if I take my tighty whities off here to change, i might get arrested. What's that thing women do with their bras...maybe that would work. Hey, are those two little girls with the sandcastle checking me out? I wish their mom would check me out...maybe i could just surf in these...did i leave the iron on at home? I wonder if i'll ever need to work for a living? Ooh, that breeze feels really nice on my thighs...."

Laura T. said...

"Whoever came up with this Gaza Strip evacuation uniform oughta be shot."

Chris Hartman said...

Thank you, Amanda, Lap Doggy Dogg, Raelene, and Laura, for entering our photo caption contest. The judges have conferred and we have a four-way tie for first place, with special mentions as follows:

For Best Use of a Vegetable in an Answer: Amanda.

For Best Reference to the Meta-Analysis of the Advertising Text in the Ideosphere: Raelene.

For Meritorious Service in the Production of Multiple Answers, All of Which Are Pretty Funny: Lap Doggy Dogg.

For Most Cold-Blooded Yet Devastatingly Funny Reference to Current Events: Laura T.

randydiv said...

It brings to mind an Adbusters parody. It's a visual joke, so rather than me describing it,

see it for yourself (postcard version)
-- look in 3rd row, first column (click on image to see larger size).

Chris Hartman said...

Thanks for the link, randydiv. I used to get Adbusters but let my sub lapse after the ratio of funny things like those fake ads dropped in favor of long navel-gazing treatises on semiotics.

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