Blog Post 3
Advertising has a strong impact on the way the female gender views itself based on the images used to sell certain products and the underlying messages they convey. In terms of Victoria’s Secret lingerie, it is marketed to women which advertisements use women to sell this product through sexuality. The images that are used are thin and beautiful women who are wearing the lingerie, and therefore, the marketing strategies utilized are to express to women that by buying this product, they can be just as sexy as the Victoria’s Secret models. Although, these images give the female gender messages that influence their sense of self regarding how they must exist in the world. This product is marketed and sold on the basis of gender in terms of the notion that women have sex appeal. The gendered marketing of Victoria’s Secret lingerie illustrates how our culture is infatuated with sex, giving women and girls the idea that they must look a certain way to be accepted which can be detrimental to their health.
From the images, it is evident to see how Victoria’s Secret lingerie is marketed on the basis of gender regarding the tactic of female sexuality to sell this product. Each of the women is seductive, in a sexy position, thin, and gorgeous which reflects how our culture places a strong emphasis on sex appeal to reach out to consumers. In “Image-Based Culture: Advertising and Popular Culture,” Sut Jhally states, “The end result is that the commodity is part of an increasingly eroticized world—that we live in a culture that is more and more defined erotically through commodities” (253). It is apparent through the Victoria’s Secret lingerie advertisements that this product is gendered marketed based on women’s eroticism being used, confirming how our world is defined by sex. This company as well as the rest of our culture prides itself on utilizing sex to sell a product, which the goal of the advertisements is to make women believe that they will feel sexy by buying the lingerie. Yet, it is because of this gendered marketing strategy that young women are unhappy with who they are, since they are surrounded by images and messages that convey how they must look like the women shown in the ads.
The way Victoria’s Secret lingerie advertisements emphasize beauty and thinness causes young women looking at the images used to sell this product to view their bodies from the wrong perspective and therefore detrimental effects come about. In “‘The More You Subtract, the More You Add’: Cutting Girls Down to Size,” Jean Kilbourne states, “This tendency to view one’s body from the outside in—regarding physical attractiveness, sex appeal, … and weight as more central to one’s physical identity than health, … —has many harmful effects, including … the development of eating disorders….” (260). Since this product is marketed and sold based on the female gender, women are influenced by the underlying messages that the sexy model images express which are to be sexy is to be thin and flawless. Young women are lead to only consider their physical appearance as most important rather than what is on the inside due to the stress placed on women’s bodies and sexuality. By constantly being surrounded by advertisements such as those marketing Victoria’s Secret lingerie, which never utilize any other images except women who are thin and attractive, it impacts the female gender’s sense of self, causing women to take drastic and harmful measures to alter their bodies according to our culture’s ideals as well as obsessions.
Jhally, Sut. “Image-Based Culture: Advertising and Popular Culture.” Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Text-Reader. 2nd ed. Ed. Gail Dines and Jean M. Humez. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, 2003. 249-57.
Kilbourne, Jean. “‘The More You Subtract, the More You Add’: Cutting Girls Down to Size.” Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Text-Reader. 2nd ed. Ed. Gail Dines and Jean M. Humez. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, 2003. 258-67.
Victoria’s Secret Advanced Bra. Advertisement. 18 May 2010
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