-Submitted by Maegan Hunt
In our society we are bombarded by advertisements everywhere we go. They’re on buses, bathroom stalls, benches, and billboards. Because we are exposed to so many ads we hardly ever take the time to think about the messages these ads are sending us. I looked at an e-cig ad to show how harmful some of these messages may be.
This is an advertisement for Blu Electronic Cigarettes. The text on the bottom reads “Slim. Charged. Ready To Go.” This phrase is short and simple. The text relates to the product because e-cigs are skinny and once you charge them they are ready to be used. However, the words are placed more closely to the woman in the ad then the product, so it seems like the phrase also aims to describe the woman above. Yes, she is skinny and this phrase gives the illusion she is also charged and ready to go sexually.
The woman from the ad has an ideal body. Her waist is very small and gives way to a little bit of curviness. Her stomach is completely flat and even complemented with a belly button ring. Her thighs provide the perfect example of the most recently-lauded look of “the thigh gap.” The way her hands cover the majority of her upper thighs make them look even slimmer. Not only is her shape flawless but also her skin. Her skin appears to have no pores or imperfections. The natural hair growth in that area is gone. Which causes problems, for when men go seeking for a woman they’ll never find a look alike to the model because women like that don’t exist.
The woman’s body is being used to promote the product, dehumanizing and objectifying her.
In this advertisement the woman’s human elements such as her face, eyes, and mouth are cut from the photo. Doing this eliminates the model as a woman and turns her stomach, and lower region into objects.
Questions to Consider:
- Would this advertisement have the same meaning if a man’s body was used instead?
- Would you consider this an e-cigarette ad if the words were taken out of the image?