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“Advertising operates predominantly by changing consumer tastes”[1]

How effective is aspirational advertising such as ‘Paco Rabanne: 1 Million’ and perfume
advertising in general, in influencing male consumer lifestyles, and why is this the
case?

The representations and ideologies of aspirational adverts allow consumers to identify with the
characters, as well as aspiring to be more like them. The "extreme protagonists"[2] show that
advertising has "extraordinary powers"[3]. This reinforces the idea that advertising is powerful and
effective enough to construct lifestyles as being more than they can be in reality. When audiences
see aspirational adverts, they “associate it with a whole desirable style of life, and to feel that not
owning the product would involve personal failure”[4]. As the copycat theory suggests, viewers
model themselves on the representations that they see in the hope that they will gain the idealistic
lifestyles that are created. Through recurring stereotypical representations of the young, white
male, as well as hegemonic values, the institutions behind perfume adverts represent their perfect
customer so they can shape the audiences lifestyles parallel to the lifestyles of the protagonist.
However, a pluralistic view would suggest that audiences are intelligent and would not passively
believe that imitating these representations is what they need in order to get the perfect lifestyle
so aspirational adverts may not be as influential as they may seem.

Media in modern society has established a widely accepted stereotype for males and masculinity.
The dominant representation of males that is most often seen in advertising shows them as being;
young, attractive and successful. In Paco Rabanne’s, 1 Million, the male protagonist possesses
these dominant characteristics. The majority of the advert is filmed in black and white, which
immediately connotes that he is classy and sophisticated. As Paco Rabanne is a well known
designer, the advert has to match the same level of sophistication to meet the expectations of this
brand. Within the first few seconds of the advert, the main stereotype is already shown, being the
attractiveness of the protagonist, and this gives him an increased sense of masculinity as “one of
the ways of determining whether a male character in an advertisement has the required authority
[...] is through visual appearance”[5]. There are many close up shots of his face to emphasise his
good looks, as well as low key lighting to highlight his model-like bone structure. This makes him
desirable, which is shown by the shot of the woman’s arms grabbing him. The woman’s face is
deliberately hidden which creates an anonymous character. This suggests that any woman would
want him. The ideology of the importance of wealth is evident throughout the advert. A lot of the
advert is filmed in a casino, which signifies money, and a full bag of money is dropped on the floor,
implying that money comes easily to the protagonist, showing that gender stereotypes do not only
exist “in terms of physique, but also in the suggestion of his affluence and business success.”[6]
Therefore, this shows that institutions such as Paco Rabanne reinforce the stereotypical view that
men have to conform to the set gender roles of a man.

The Marxist theory suggests that the dominant class groups in the hierarchy of society have power
and influence over the subordinate groups. In aspirational adverts, the elite are “often focused
upon, reinforcing their perceived importance”[7], which creates the ideology that they have
idealistic lives that people would aspire to, hence reinforcing the Marxist idea of institutions
representing the elite in leading roles, showing them as superior, which creates a social divide. In
Dolce & Gabbana, The One, the main character has been placed in a dominant group of society. He
owns an expensive car, and the long duration of the shot emphasises the value of it. Throughout
the advert, he is being followed by paparazzi, implying his importance and that people would want
to know about him. Also, he does not seem to take any notice of their cameras, which suggests
that it is part of his everyday life. Through the mise-en-scene, the glamorous setting of a classy
hotel reinforces his wealth and how it is only affordable to the higher socio-economic groups of A
and B. All of the people in the advert are males, as this is the dominant gender in our patriarchal
society, as “it is though patriarchy that power is attributed to males and withheld from females”[8].
The sophisticated music of the advert also helps to create this hegemonic character. As the
protagonist seems satisfied by his status, the advert helps to enforce the ideology that happiness
comes from the success that he has gained. This could make audiences strive to become like this
protagonist and influence them to fulfil their aspirations.

Over the years, males have become more androgynous, where they take on characteristics of the
opposite gender roles and expectations. In many perfume adverts, the males take more care in
their appearance, “passively inviting our gaze”[9]. This is apparent in Jean Paul Gaultier’s Le Male,
where all of the characters are men who are taking on feminine roles by showing a concern for
their appearance “because they love being looked at and because so many men and women love
to look at them”[10]. The non-diegetic music that is used is sung by a woman, which adds
femininity to the advert. The men in the advert are using the perfume in order to make themselves
smell nice through the scent, which shows their metrosexual characteristics. The passing of the
perfume to each other emphasises how men are becoming androgynous as it has become a part of
their routine. At the end of the advert, all of the men are wearing suits, which represents them as
being smart and presentable. Their pose invites the audience to look at them, which “contradicts
the basic premise of traditional heterosexuality – that only women are looked at and only men do
the looking”[11].

However, when this advert is compared to an older Jean Paul Gaultier perfume advert, Fleur Du
Male, the historical advert shows that although androgyny did exist, it needed to be balanced with
masculinity. Fleur Du Male consists of bright lighting as well as flowers which makes the advert
more feminine. This feminine undertone of the advert is mirrored by the text; ‘freshness’, ‘poetry’
and ‘smile’ as they are feminine characteristics which would have been unexpected in an advert
for males by an audience of that time. However, towards the end of the advert, a sense of
masculinity is regained by the text, ‘in 100% masculine style’, to uphold the heightened status of
masculinity in that patriarchal society as people at that time would have had “differing conceptions
of what is most desirable as masculine (or feminine) traits”[12].

It is believed that when audiences consume a media text, they are passively influenced by it and
they may even be oblivious to the changes that it creates in them. The cultivation theory can be
applied to aspirational adverts as they are viewed on a day to day basis and “many of these
images are idealised, representing life more as it is imagined than as it actually exists”[13].
Aspirational perfume adverts commonly use celebrities as actors, and this emphasises the
idealistic lifestyle that the institutions want to create in the hope that audiences believe that their
brand will mirror this lifestyle. The common iconographies of these perfume adverts consist of well
dressed actors, all of the attention being with the protagonists and a black and white filming style.
Because the protagonists are the main focus of the advert, the advert is not just about the product,
but it is primarily about what consumers can gain from the product. In addition, the black and
white filming and the well dressed actors give the advert class and elegance to make it more chic
than what other adverts may convey. This suggests that “advertising operates predominantly by
changing consumer tastes”[14] because when audiences view characters pursuing their needs and
wants, they aspire to be like the characters in the advert. The copycat theory is a way in which
consumers impersonate the roles that they see and aspire to. Hypothetically, when idealistic lives
are portrayed in aspirational adverts, society may change and “become accustomed to that
cultures values, and beliefs in their advertising”[15], thus making them unaware that their
lifestyles are being constructed in this way by media institutions.

Aspirational adverts aim to make audiences aspire to get the lifestyles that are represented in their
adverts by influencing them. However, they can sometimes influence audiences negatively. This is
seen through the censorship of many perfume adverts by Ofcom. It has become expected that
perfume adverts have sexual content but “ads that are indecent, sexist, sexy [...] present a
constant and even growing problem”[16]. The purpose of this sexual content should be to give
audiences sexual gratifications. However, some adverts can be harmful to audiences as it is
considered that there is over exposure to the amount of sexual images that we consume. Some of
these images are almost pornographic as institutions decide to exceed the boundaries of
acceptance to the mass audience. These adverts are sensationalising sex, raising political issues
because the sensationalism of sex is a moral panic in our society today.

Although it is widely believed that aspirational adverts influence audiences, a pluralistic view would
oppose this idea. The Marxist theory implies that aspirational adverts “brainwashes its audience
with base, deceptive promises and appeals, designed to promote materialism”[17], but this
requires passive audiences. Pluralists would disagree that audiences are so passive that they
would be affected by adverts without even realising, but believe that audiences are more
intelligent than what producers may think. Audiences are seen as being more active, therefore
being aware of the mediation involved in adverts, and although pluralists “agree that many ads
create wants without producing information, we do not agree that they change our tastes”[18]. The
repeated ideologies that perfume adverts present may not affect audiences to the point where it
would influence their tastes and lifestyles.

It is clear that advertisers aim to influence consumers and their lifestyles, and I would agree that
they are successful in doing so. They create such an idealistic lifestyle that audiences cannot help
but aspire to become like the characters that are portrayed. Aspirational perfume adverts focus
more on the benefits to consumers’ lives than their products, and “most economists and
intellectuals have not liked advertisements that provide little information”[19]. Rather than give
the audience information on the perfume, these adverts influence the male audience’s behaviour
as it shows them a way of life that they will strive to achieve. The institutions behind these adverts
are aware that modelling the audience into their perfect consumer will allow them to appeal to a
mass audience, so “the technological forces are then harnessed, or exploited, by economic forces,
the companies in the business of making profits”[20]. Although it is understandable that some
people may think that audiences are intelligent enough to not be influenced, it is clear that
aspirational adverts do have an effect on male consumer lifestyles.

Word Count – 2186

BibliographyWorks Cited

BooksBranston, G.,& Stafford, R. (1999). The media student's book (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.
pp.379

Coad, D. (2008). The metrosexual: gender, sexuality, and sport. Albany: SUNY Press.

MacKinnon, K. (2003). Representing men maleness and masculinity in the media. London: Arnold.

Magazines
Martin S-Rethel. (2003). An alternative model for analysing a particular moment of media
production. Media Magazine

Lucy Scott-Galloway. ( 2008).The theory behind the practices of news production. Newham: Media
Magazine. What is News.

Internet
Andrew S. C. Ehrenberg (2000). Repetitive Advertising and the Consumer. Journal of Advertising
Research, 40, pp 39-48

Branston, G.,& Stafford, R. (1999). The media student's book (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.pp.377

Contrast, w. o., relaxed, t., faggoty., Beckham, s. m., magazines, p. f., pathological, e. p., et al.
(n.d.). Marksimpson.com 'Meet the Metrosexual' Salon.com July 22 2002. Mark Simpson. Retrieved
January 29, 2011, from
http://www.marksimpson.com/pages/journalism/metrosexual_beckham.html

Gary S. Becker and Kevin M. Murphy. (1993) A Simple Theory of Advertising as a Good or Bad.
London: Oxford University Press.

Jean J. Boddewyn. (1991) “Controlling Sex and Decency in Advertising around the World” M.E
Sharpe, Inc.

Phillip, N. (1975). The Economic Consequences of Advertising. Chicago: The University of Chicago
Press.

Simpson, M. (n.d.). Marksimpson.com 'Here come the mirror men' by Mark Simpson - first usage of
the word 'metrosexual'. Mark Simpson. Retrieved January 29, 2011, from
http://www.marksimpson.com/pages/journalism/mirror_men.html

Social Comparison, Advertising, and Consumer Discontent â American Behavioral Scientist . (n.d.).
American Behavioral Scientist . Retrieved January 30, 2011, from
http://abs.sagepub.com/content/38/4/593.short

Yong. Z and Betsy D. Gelb. (1996) “Matching Advertising Appeals to Culture: The Influence of
Products' Use Conditions” Autumn: M.E Sharpe, Inc. pp. 29-46

Moving Image Texts


Jean Paul Gultier, Fleur Du Male

Works Consulted
Paco Rabanne, 1 MillionDolce & Gabbana, The One Jean Paul Gultier, Le MaleJean Paul Gultier, Fleur
Du Male
[1] Phillip, N. (1975). The Economic Consequences of Advertising. Chicago: The University of
Chicago Press.

[2] Andrew S. C. Ehrenberg (2000). Repetitive Advertising and the Consumer. Journal of
Advertising Research, 40, pp 39-48

[3] Andrew S. C. Ehrenberg (2000). Repetitive Advertising and the Consumer. Journal of
Advertising Research, 40, pp 39-48

[4] Branston, G.,& Stafford, R. (1999). The media student's book (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.
pp.379

[5] MacKinnon, K. (2003). Representing men maleness and masculinity in the media. London:
Arnold.

[6] MacKinnon, K. (2003). Representing men maleness and masculinity in the media. London:
Arnold.

[7] Martin S-Rethel. (2003). An alternative model for analysing a particular moment of media
production. Media Magazine

[8] Coad, D. (2008). The metrosexual: gender, sexuality, and sport. Albany: SUNY Press.

[9] Coad, D. (2008). The metrosexual: gender, sexuality, and sport. Albany: SUNY Press.

[10] Contrast, w. o., relaxed, t., faggoty., Beckham, s. m., magazines, p. f., pathological, e. p., et
al. (n.d.). Marksimpson.com 'Meet the Metrosexual' Salon.com July 22 2002. Mark Simpson.
Retrieved January 29, 2011, from
http://www.marksimpson.com/pages/journalism/metrosexual_beckham.html

[11] Simpson, M. (n.d.). Marksimpson.com 'Here come the mirror men' by Mark Simpson - first
usage of the word 'metrosexual'. Mark Simpson. Retrieved January 29, 2011, from
http://www.marksimpson.com/pages/journalism/mirror_men.html

[12] MacKinnon, K. (2003). Representing men maleness and masculinity in the media. London:
Arnold.

[13] Social Comparison, Advertising, and Consumer Discontent â American Behavioral Scientist .
(n.d.). American Behavioral Scientist . Retrieved January 30, 2011, from
http://abs.sagepub.com/content/38/4/593.short

[14] Phillip, N. (1975). The Economic Consequences of Advertising. Chicago: The University of
Chicago Press.

[15] Yong. Z and Betsy D. Gelb. (1996) “Matching Advertising Appeals to Culture: The Influence of
Products' Use Conditions” Autumn: M.E Sharpe, Inc. pp. 29-46

[16] Jean J. Boddewyn. (1991) “Controlling Sex and Decency in Advertising around the World” M.E
Sharpe, Inc.

[17] Branston, G.,& Stafford, R. (1999). The media student's book (2nd ed.). London:
Routledge.pp.377

[18] Gary S. Becker and Kevin M. Murphy. (1993) A Simple Theory of Advertising as a Good or Bad.
London: Oxford University Press.

[19] Gary S. Becker and Kevin M. Murphy. (1993) A Simple Theory of Advertising as a Good or Bad.
London: Oxford University Press.
[20] Lucy Scott-Galloway. ( 2008).The theory behind the practices of news production. Newham:
Media Magazine. What is News.

“ads that are indecent, sexist, sexy, exhibit violence to women or treat them as mere objects
present a constant and even growing problem” http://www.jstor.org/pss/4188813
Metrosexual Quotes

30 มกราคม 2554, 0:23:52 | noreply@blogger.com (Sonia Dhunna)

“because he loves being looked at and because so many men and women love to look at him” –
mark simpson, meet the metrosexual

http://www.marksimpson.com/pages/journalism/metrosexual_beckham.html

“the metrosexual man contradicts the basic premise of traditional heterosexuality – that only
women are looked at and only men do the looking” – mark simpson, here come the mirror men

http://www.marksimpson.com/pages/journalism/mirror_men.html

“passively inviting our gaze” – the metrosexual: gender, sexuality and sport by david coad

“he allies with the relative passivity and objectification of Kamen a new softness and sensuality
coded through his lips, eyes and skin tone” – representing men: maleness and masculinity in the
media, Kenneth MacKinnon, pg 92

“particular target audiences for advertisements may well have vastly differing conceptions of what
is most desirable as masculine (or feminine) traits” – representing men: maleness and masculinity
in the media, Kenneth MacKinnon, pg 93

MEST 4 Xmas Task #5

ESSAY PLAN

How effective is aspirational advertising such as '1 Million: Paco Rabanne' and perfume advertising
in general, in influencing male consumer lifestyles, and why is this the case?

1. Introduction – Brief description of my independent study


My critical investigation is going to focus on how males influence audience lifestyles within
advertisements eg. Lexus car advert etc. I will be investigating whether these adverts do/ don’t
influence male consumer lifestyles, and whether things such as cultivation theory are used to make
this possible.

Repetitive Advertising and the Consumer


“Advertising is in an odd position. Its extreme protagonists claim it has extraordinary powers and
its severest critics believe them. Advertising is often effective. But it is not as powerful as is
sometimes thought, nor is there any evidence that it actually works by any strong form of
persuasion or manipulation.” (R, I)

2. Media representation of male stereotypes & masculinity in aspiration advertising


How it’s always the same stereotypical representation – therefore audience always seeing same
thing.
"male charecters in an advertisment has the required authority & suggests the appropriate power
is through visual apperance"

"strength suggested not only in terms of physic. But also in the suggestion of his influence and
business sucess."

3. Marxism and Hegemony


There are hegemonic values – in way the mise en scene is used to represent higher class people
eg. 1 million Paco Rabanne the clothing is smart suits, and props such expensive cars shown. As a
result creating emphasis on how the elite are in power. I will also show evidence of how
stereotypes are in power. (S, P, M, I)

"Elite nations are often focused upon, reinforcing their perceived importance, whilst many smaller
and poorer countries and communities are ignored altogether. News is inherently ideological."

4. Metro sexual
In this paragraph I will look at how males in advertising and society are beginning to become more
androgynous (males with feminine characteristics). Therefore, making it easier to relate with the
audience especially aspirers who wish to be like the person in the advert. As there are similarities
and so gratifications are gained for the consumer.

"A male character in an advertisement has the required authority & suggests the appropriate
power is through visual appearance"

“strength suggested not only in terms of physic. But also in the suggestion of his influence and
business success."

5. Cultivation theories and Copy cat theory


“Consumers encounter countless advertising images during the course of everyday life. Many of
these images are idealized, representing life more as it is imagined than as it actually exists.”

Economics consequences of advertising


“advertising operates predominantly by changing consumer tastes” – when audiences view actors
perusing there needs or wants in the adverts they automatically aspire to be like the character in
the advert. Eg. 1 Million Paco Rabanne when he clicks his life gets better and better.
- make audiences copy what they see as they want it
- institutions are modelling actors into their perfect consumer – as they know audiences copy cat it
(because of things such as the hypodermic needle and the way they consume the text) – therefore
they know will copy the protagonist in the advert and make them want to become like that. (I, S)
“media images of celebrities teach kids to hate their bodies”
“entertainment specials focus on eating disorders, and celebrity plastic surgery... pressures mates
to look like models”
“reason is that consumers grow up in particular cultures and become accustomed to that cultures
values, belief in their advertising”

6. How aspirational adverts do not influence male consumer life styles – Pluralism
- Audiences are more intelligent that what producer may think, therefore repetition in what they
see and ideologies used which may be believed to be very convincing within an advert does not
mean everyone will interpret it in the way they wish.
- In this paragraph I will also be looking at ofcom and censorship of adverts which have affected
consumers in a negative way (I, R, P)
“Most economists and or intellectuals have not liked advertisements that provide little information”
“we agree that many ads create wants without producing information, we do not agree that they
change our tastes”

7. Conclusion
– Summary of my key points linking them back to the title of my independent study

Introduction - task 6

The representations and ideologies of aspirational adverts allow consumers to identify with the
characters, as well as aspiring to be more like them. The "extreme protagonists" show that
advertising has "extraordinary powers". This reinforces the idea that advertising is powerful and
effective enough to be able to construct lifestyles as being more than they can be in reality. As the
copycat theory suggests, viewers model themselves on the respresentations that they see in the
hope that they will gain the idealistic lifestyles that are created. Through recurring stereotypical
representations of the young, white male, as well as hegemonic values, the institutions behind
perfume adverts represent their perfect customer so they can shape the audiences lifestyles
parallel to the lifestyles of the protagonist. However, a pluralistic view would suggest that
audiences are intelligent and would not passively believe that imitating these respresentations is
what they need in order to get the perfect lifestyle so aspirational adverts may not be as influential
as they may seem
How effective is aspirational advertising such as '1 Million: Paco Rabanne' and perfume advertising
in general, in influencing male consumer lifestyles, and why is this the case?

Keywords

- Aspirers- Pluralism- Hegemony- Marxism- Psychographic- Demographics- Ideologies- SHEP, MIGRAIN-


Cultivation theory- Hypodermic needle Metro sexual- Mise en scene

MEST 4 Xmas Task #4Media Magazine


http://www.englishandmedia.co.uk/mm/subscribers/downloads/archive_mm/_mmagpast/4sets.html
“The technological forces are then harnessed, or exploited, by economic forces, the companies in
the business of making profits”

“technologies that make it possible to manufacture a certain media product at a certain time. For
example, highly miniaturised digital circuitry and broadband telecommunications for the so-called
3G (third generation) mobile phones, which are starting to hit markets this year”

http://www.englishandmedia.co.uk/mm/subscribers/downloads/archive_mm/_mmagpast/mm22_wh
at_is_news.html
"Elite nations are often focused upon, reinforcing their perceived importance, whilst many smaller
and poorer countries and communities are ignored altogether. News is inherently ideological."

Google Scholar

http://www.jstor.org/pss/2118455
Simple theory of advertising as good or bad
“most economists and or intellectuals have not liked advertisements that provide little
information”

“we agree that many ads create wants without producing information, we do not agree that they
change our tastes”

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=162717
Repetitive Advertising and the Consumer
“Advertising is in an odd position. Its extreme protagonists claim it has extraordinary powers and
its severest critics believe them. Advertising is often effective. But it is not as powerful as is
sometimes thought, nor is there any evidence that it actually works by any strong form of
persuasion or manipulation.”

http://abs.sagepub.com/content/38/4/593.short
Social Comparison, Advertising, and Consumer Discontent
“Consumers encounter countless advertising images during the course of everyday life. Many of
these images are idealized, representing life more as it is imagined than as it actually exists.”

http://www.jstor.org/pss/2352485
economics consequences of advertising
“advertising operates predominantly by changing consumer tastes”

Article Links

http://www.jstor.org/pss/2352485
economics consequences of advertising
“advertising operates predominantly by changing consumer tastes”

http://books.google.co.uk/books?
hl=en&lr=&id=Jpm4x1bNw7kC&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=how+advertising+influences+male+tastes&
ots=J4iQbn0CPo&sig=pKPrcxyVguWuSLsmMymylPK8aUw#v=onepage&q&f=false
“media images of celebrities teach kids to hate their bodies”

“entertainment specials focus on eating disorders, and celebrity plastic surgery... pressures mates
to look like models”

http://www.jstor.org/pss/4189010
“reason is that consumers grow up in particular cultures and become accustomed to that cultures
values, belief in their advertising”

HISTORICAL TEXT ANALYSIS & RESEARCH

Jean Paul Gauiltier advert – Historical text


30 second advert – for female and male perfume by Jean Paul Gaultier
whilst viewing this text there are many difference compared to a more current Jean Paul Gaultier
adverts.

Old advert+ New advert / Differences + Similarities

Old Jean Paul Gaultier advert Contemporary Jean Paul Gaultier advert

Narrative: Narrative:
a sailor “male” walking through what seem to split screen. One side a women and other side a
be a ship full of sailors- who draw attention to man – there both naked and are giving of sexual
the person walking. He goes into a room and gratifications as they as they are lured from their
kisses and man – however turns out the “male” body parts.
sailor was a female to all along.
Society influence:
Society influence: more about heterosexuals, and shows how sex is
Questions sexuality as the enigma codes were very contemporary. As the actors are naked and
hiding the true sexuality of the female sailor. from their facial expression it very apparent that
Therefore shows how sexuality was more of an they are being seduced by them self or the other
issue of debate at that time person

Similarities: Similarities:
there is a male and female, and both being there is a male and female, and both being
portrayed as being very seductive. Body is a big portrayed as being very seductive. Body is a big
factor which highlighted through use of high key factor which highlighted through use of high key
and top lighting also from the long shots of and top lighting also from the long shots of figures
figures and close ups of private parts of the and close ups of private parts of the body. This is
body. This is in relation to the shape of the in relation to the shape of the bottle (reflecting
bottle (reflecting what may seem the ‘perfect what may seem the ‘perfect male/female body’)
male/female body’)
Differences:
Differences: different ethnicities shown ; a white female, black
female, and Mediterranean male
-All the actors are white
-setting: ship and vibrant colours red and blue -Actors already naked, only clothing apparent
red being colour of female perfume and blue for within mise en scene is, gloves and sailor hat
the male perfume
-Much more sexual gratifications (orgasmic facial
-Females body is more shaped and curvy within expressions)
her corset – and she is taking her top of almost - new bottle shown 3 instead of two one for the
like a male fantasy black women (this separates the actors identities)

- one female and many males show how males - two females one male shows how females are
are more passive as there easily caught by more passive as they are both trying to seduce the
female charm male – whereas he seduces them on his own

Bibliographyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKEM2UpmNKE - old
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFkR3Q3zMLk&feature=related - contemporary

ADDITIONAL BOOK READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY (SO FAR)

MacKinnon, K. (2003). Representing men maleness and masculinity in the media.


London: Arnold.
Arthur Brittan - "biology and soicety are never seperate - they maturally consituate eachother,
hence the 'true facts' of biology & pristine and uninterpreted. The are always mediated, The 'facts'
of sexual differences are 'facts' by the virtue of ... generalized beliefs... "

"social rewards fir being 'real' men or 'real' women.... In society actual women and men present
themselves demand to be precieved as real"

"male sexuality involves alienatiomn under the gender system, a great deal of literature on
sexuality takes no account of such aspects of construction of gendered identity"

"'hypermasculinty'( the exaggerated display of what are culturally taken to be macho thaits)
overcompensates"

masculinity in advertising
"male charecters in an advertisment has the required authority & suggests the appropriate power
is through visual apperance"

"strength suggested not only in terms of physic. But also in the suggestion of his influence and
business sucess."

Gauntlett, D. (2008). Media, gender and identity: an introduction. (2. ed.). New York,
NY: Routledge.
Men's magazines
In the second edition, I discussed some of the most prominent themes in today’s men’s lifestyle
magazines, rather than going through particular magazine titles one by one. But, for those who
want it - although it is now necessarily dated - the more detailed discussion of particular men’s
magazines from the first edition appears here.

http://www.theoryhead.com/gender/MGI2008-extra1.pdf

Coad, D. (2008). The metrosexual: gender, sexuality, and sport. Albany: SUNY Press.
“It is through patriarchy that power is attributed to males and withheld from females”

“the gender categories of masculine and feminine are fundamental to the structure of patriarchal
power” (52)
Heteroeroticism is defined as an “erotic interest in gender different from one’s own” (64)

“It is commonly believed that sports helps produce men, there is a close connection between
athletic proficiency and masculine gender status”

Bibliography

Coad, D. (2008). The metrosexual: gender, sexuality, and sport. Albany: SUNY Press

MacKinnon, K. (2003). Representing men maleness and masculinity in the media. London: Arnold.

Gauntlett, D. (2008). Media, gender and identity: an introduction. (2. ed.). New York, NY:
Routledge.

Knoop, B. v. (2006). Metrosexuality: development and validation of the metrosexual scale.


Rotterdam: Erasmus Universiteit.

MEST 4 Xmas Task #11 มกราคม 2554, 19:34:10 | noreply@blogger.com (Sonia Dhunna)
TEXTUAL ANALYSIS

1 Million Paco Rabanne – is a 30 second perfume advert advertisement.

The lighting and angle Shots & Mise En Scene


the whole advert is in black and white this reinforces the class and high standards of text as colour
is not a factor to make it appealing. There is many uses of close up and medium shots – as the
audience views the first second of the text it is a close up shot on the protagonists face and it has
use of high key lighting to create emphasis on his highly defined bone structure, and top lighting to
show his power and importance.

Throughout the text there is recurring image of him clicking in different scenes this is used to
create a montage and show the sequence of his wealth, from the use of mise en scene; cameras,
roulette table, cars, money, alcohol, gambling chips, fireworks etc. All of these are shown in close
up shots and allows the audience to identify that this advert is aspirational and target at higher
demographics such band A, B as they can identify with the protagonist.

In the whole 30 seconds of this advert the only thing in colour is the Paco Rabanne perfume itself –
and it is shown in gold (this connotes that it’s rich) and its surrounding is black therefore creating
emphasis on its importance and making it stand out.

Issues and debates


Media affects - how an advert for a perfume makes it seem that the user can have such a
glamorous life, this would target more to aspirers as they wish to live this lifestyle and therefore
may purchase the product.

Regulation – from sue of shots we can see how some things have been regulated such as when
we see the women and her legs – this is sign of sexual gratification, however the audience only
sees a small section on her legs as it’s a medium shot rather than having a long shot – as we would
see in more lower demographic targeted adverts.

Media technology and the digital revolution – The Paco Rabanne advert comes in HD this
shows how emerging technology has affect advertising has they are trying to keep up with it. This
allows them to meet audience needs and wants as they have higher expectations because of
technology.

Theories
Hegemony – this advert shows how elite are in power, this is made apparent form the use of mise
en scene with props such as money, and cars. Also form the protagonist himself and his clothing
(dressed in smart suit) which represents his wealth.

Marxism- to some it may show aspects of Marxism and how it could make it seem that by
purchasing this perfume – you would have that status and style of living, this could be misleading
to psychographics such as aspirers; as it may give false hope.

Pluralism – it could be argued that, audiences have a choice of what they wish to view and
believe as there are many different types of adverts and if they are viewing one, the viewer has
the power to change channel of view another if they disagree with this Paco Rabanne Advert. A ls it
could just mean that this is the ethics of the manufacturer and what they wish to show – being an
aspirational advert, as it has a large target market.

Hypodermic needle – this advert uses aspects of this theory as it is injecting messages into the
minds of the viewers, it is trying to draw attention to the power the producer has. As it is making it
seems that having this perfume will make you rich.

MIGRAIN and SHEP

Media language – iconographies; shows, expensive cars, cameras, expensive suit, gambling
chips, stereotyping rich people as picture being taken, beautiful women etc.
Ideologies -
Genre – Aspirational perfume advert (1 Million Paco Rabanne)
Representation - powerful, rich, strong dominant person
Audience - it’s a male perfume advert and, because it has a car, and use of gambling in advert
this would mean that the primary audience would be males aged 30+
Institution – Paco Rabanne
Narrative – Advertisement for a male perfume; creates emphasis on how the 1 million perfume
shapes his lifestyle – making it seem glamorous and consists of lots of aspects of the mise en
scene, which represent wealth eg. Bag full of money

Social – how status can promote an object and influence consumers more when viewing the
advert
Historical - how people in adverts change according to society
Economic - how money and the 'free market' has influenced the way a consumer can live their life
Political -

Quotes from books13 ธันวาคม 2553, 7:41:09 | noreply@blogger.com (Sonia Dhunna) reputation
of men - Kenneth Mackinnon(maleness & masculinity in the media)

Arthur Brittan - "biology and soicety are never seperate - they maturally consituate eachother,
hence the 'true facts' of biology & pristine and uninterpreted. The are always mediated, The 'facts'
of sexual differences are 'facts' by the virtue of ... generalized beliefs... "

"social rewards fir being 'real' men or 'real' women.... In society actual women and men present
themselves demand to be precieved as real"

"male sexuality involves alienatiomn under the gender system, a great deal of literature on
sexuality takes no account of such aspects of construction of gendered identity"

"'hypermasculinty'( the exaggerated display of what are culturally taken to be macho thaits)
overcompensates"

masculinity in advertising

"male charecters in an advertisment has the required authority & suggests the appropriate power
is through visual apperance"

"strength suggested not only in terms of physic. But also in the suggestion of his influence and
business sucess."

13 ธันวาคม 2553, 7:14:12 | noreply@blogger.com (Sonia Dhunna)


Hyperdermic Needle Theory

- just like a syrenge used to inject drugs in body


- mas the media injects messages directly into the minds of viewers/ listeners/ readers
- This draws attention to the power of the media producers over its audiences.
- It makes audiences seem 'passive' and 'powerless'

- as my critical investigation is about how males are influenced form adverts, this theory fits in
becuase what they see is what they consume and the output is the influenc eon their life style

"One such theorist stated that the new found media was manipulating the mainstream masses and
deliberately causing crime and violence for financial gain. Although this argument has been cast
aside man times it always returns in modern society when there is a severe outbreak of violence
on TV."

“it is the process of creating shared meaning.”(J.Baran, Introduction to mass communication).

“It views audience as the passive receptors of virulent viruses produce by the media” (Starker, Evil
influences: crusades against the mass media).

"It can be argued that the mass media is used as “an instrument”, both more powerful and more
flexible than anything in previous existence, for influencing people into certain modes of belief and
understanding within society."

Cultivation Thoery

- As audiences watch more and more TV and films they gain more opinions and views on the world.
They follow the status quo and Hegemony.

Hegemony - a theory of ideologies and beleives that reiterate dominant ideologies.


- It draws attention to the fact that audiences gain a lot of thier knowledge from the media.
Although it does encourage false measures.

"Cultivation theory is a social theory designed in the 1950s and '70s to examine the role of
television on Americans. Another kind of cultivation effect is Computer Mediated Communication or
(CMC) this kind of communication is done by email, list servers, use net groups and chat rooms"

"The mass media are controlled by people who are in power in society, and therefore tend to
provide representations which uphold the status quo."

"television is a cultural arm of the established industrial order and as such serves primarily to
maintain, stabilize and reinforce rather than to alter, threaten or weaken conventional beliefs and
behaviours"
Media Magazine - links and quotes29 พฤศจิกายน 2553, 5:03:12 |

noreply@blogger.com(SoniaDhunna) http://www.englishandmedia.co.uk/mm/subscribers/down
loads/archive_mm/_mmagpast/mm22_DVD_extra.html

"These audiences now enjoy the similar access provided by television extras, which can also be
seen to provide access to wider on-screen audiences, whether they be in the studio or
communicating with the programme via phone or computer"

http://www.englishandmedia.co.uk/mm/subscribers/downloads/archive_mm/_mmagpast/mm27_glo
bal_marxism.html

" Marxism can inform our understanding of the political and economic relationships underpinning
global media."

"Marxism can inform our understanding of the political and economic relationships underpinning
global media."

http://www.englishandmedia.co.uk/mm/subscribers/downloads/archive_mm/_mmagpast/mm22_wh
at_is_news.html

"Elite nations are often focused upon, reinforcing their perceived importance, whilst many smaller
and poorer countries and communities are ignored altogether. News is inherently ideological."

http://www.englishandmedia.co.uk/mm/subscribers/downloads/archive_mm/_mmagpast/reading
%20charity.pdf

http://www.englishandmedia.co.uk/mm/subscribers/downloads/archive_mm/_mmagpast/Buffalo_Sol
d.html

An ideology is a collection of ideas that form a larger system of beliefs. Typically these are the
‘isms’ that you will have heard of, many associated with political beliefs – communism, Marxism,
capitalism – together with other ideologies like feminism, Christianity and environmentalism

http://www.englishandmedia.co.uk/mm/subscribers/downloads/archive_mm/_mmagpast/4sets.html

The technological forces are then harnessed, or exploited, by economic forces, the companies in
the business of making profits technologies that make it possible to manufacture a certain media
product at a certain time. For example, highly miniaturised digital circuitry and broadband
telecommunications for the so-called 3G (third generation) mobile phones, which are starting to hit
markets this year.

http://www.englishandmedia.co.uk/mm/subscribers/downloads/archive_mm/_mmagpast/Ofcom.htm
l

Since its launch at the end of 2003, the ‘unified regulator’ the Office of Communications (Ofcom)
has been happily banning advertisements.
It takes only a single member of the public to complain about an ad, for a ban to be considered.
The largest number of complaints that has prompted a response from Ofcom to date is 797 – very
high only in comparison with the others

Google Scholar Articles25 พฤศจิกายน 2553, 5:00:26 | noreply@blogger.com (Sonia Dhunna)


http://www.jstor.org/pss/2489083Product class advertising, effect on first time buyrs'
decision stratergies

http://www.jstor.org/pss/4189027consumer eye movement patterns on yellow page


advetrising

' how charecteristics influence consumer infomation processing behavior'

' 93% of conusmers are attractedto te colourthen writing'

http://www.jstor.org/pss/2118455Simple thery of advetrising as good or bad

' most economists and otr interlectualls have not liked advertismnts that provide little infrmation'
'we agree that many ads create wants witout producing informaion, we do nto agree that they
change our tastes'

http://www.jstor.org/pss/2297881Advertising and Coordination

' sellers foten fnd it difficul to submit reevent information in thier advertising'
' price advetisin may even be illegal'
' sellers seect lowers prices and soperae at larger scales'

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=162717
Repetitive Advertising and the Consumer

Advertising is in an odd position. Its extreme protagonists claim it has extraordinary powers and its
severest critics believe them. Advertising is often effective. But it is not as powerful as is
sometimes thought, nor is there any evidence that it actually works by any strong form of
persuasion or manipulation.

http://abs.sagepub.com/content/38/4/593.short
Social Comparison, Advertising, and Consumer Discontent

Consumers encounter countless advertising images during the course of everyday life. Many of
these images are idealized, representing life more as it is imagined than as it actually exists. This
article uses theories originating in social psychology to examine the impact these idealized
advertising images have on consumers' perceptions of their lives, particularly with respect to their
material possessions. Using social comparison theory as a basis, the author argues that exposure
to idealized images leads consumers to compare, often unconsciously, their own lives with those
represented in idealized advertising images. In addition, information integration frameworks are
used to explain how repeated exposure to idealized images raises consumers' expectations and
influences their perceptions of how their lives ought to be, particularly in terms of their material
possessions. The result of both these processes, for some consumers, is consumer discontent and
an increased desire for more.

http://www.jstor.org/pss/2352485economics consequences of advertising

' advertising opperates predominantly by changing consumer tastes'

'advertising changes tastes interlecually unsatisfactory'

http://www.jstor.org/pss/1061355Perduasive advertising and product diffrentiation

http://www.jstor.org/pss/1251108Impact of advertising and price of consumer products

Gardian Links 23 พฤศจิกายน 2553, 23:45:11 | noreply@blogger.com (Sonia Dhunna)


http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2010/sep/15/soft-drinks-hard-men

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/15/green-consumers-more-likely-steal

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2003/nov/11/marketingandpr.advertising

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2003/nov/11/marketingandpr.advertising

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gamesblog/2006/jun/09/advertisingto
Critical Investigation23 พฤศจิกายน 2553, 23:38:52 | noreply@blogger.com (Sonia Dhunna)
Critical investigation
How effective is aspirational advertising such as '1 Million:Paco Rabane' and car advertising in
general, in influencing male consumer lifestyles, and why is this the case?

Linked production
An advertising campaign for a lifestyle product targetting the 18-34 male demographic, to consist
of a 30 second TV advertisment and a series of print adverts.

Keywords
Tastes, Fashion, Masculinity, Modern, New, Style, Contempary, Real, Fit, Body, Money, Power,
Women, Class, Wealth

Article Links

http://www.springerlink.com/content/f7pthn2p59e12bat/

- 'femine gender roles encourage women to please themselves'


- ' maculine gender roles emphasis power, wheather in a boardroom, bedroom or on the playing
field'

http://books.google.co.uk/books?
hl=en&lr=&id=Jpm4x1bNw7kC&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=how+advertising+influences+male+tastes&
ots=J4iQbn0CPo&sig=pKPrcxyVguWuSLsmMymylPK8aUw#v=onepage&q&f=false

- ' media images of celebrities tecah kids to hate their bodies'


- entertainment specials focus on eating disorders, and celbrity plastic surgery... pressures mates
to look like models'

http://biomedgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/content/60/1/109.abstract

-'Results. The recognition thresholds of all four basic tastes of elderly participants were significantly
higher than those of young participants'

http://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=40-
0ksQARtoC&oi=fnd&pg=PR10&dq=how+advertising+influences+male+tastes&ots=muicFkuHoo&
sig=Vfs4MrGmiy0OIB7nGiA9t0HwgDw#v=onepage&q&f=false

http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?
collection=journals&handle=hein.journals/worts22&div=11&id=&page=

-' most americans view more than 3000 ads a day in one day'
- ' danger of advertising is especially how it effects women and girls'

http://www.jstor.org/pss/4189010

- ' ' reason is that consumers grow up in particular cultures and become accustomed to that
cultures values, belief in their advertising'

http://www.jstor.org/pss/3151194

http://books.google.co.uk/books?
hl=en&lr=&id=bloy3pwa_7YC&oi=fnd&pg=PA3&dq=how+advertising+influences+male+tastes&o
ts=R0e_IDAkDm&sig=1CPNL1A2reBK6LbWUuB0wYj4WfA#v=onepage&q&f=false

http://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=tCFxM82-
w10C&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=how+advertising+influences+male+tastes&ots=zzIPfdXF6x&sig=E-
2BKv3lVEyLn4j2-YJjOvXGc9s#v=onepage&q&f=false

- effects pf advertising looks at consumers cultural tastes'

MEST4 COURSEWORK IDEAS

1 พฤศจิกายน 2553, 4:43:21 | noreply@blogger.com (Sonia Dhunna)


Three Critical Investigation Titles & Linked Production Ideas:

1. How adverts influence consumer lifestyles?


- Car advert, which embraces the personas lifestyle

2. How adverts influence male tastes?


- Perfume advert, which shows the personas taste in choice

3. How adverts stereotype genders


- advert on typical stereotypes by a typical product targeted at them

How adverts influence consumer lifestyles?


- Car adver, which embraces the personas lifestyle

Migrain
Media Language- Iconographies- Lots of gold jewellery,expensive cars, stereotyping rich people

Institution- Car model eg. Aston Martin

Genre- Advert

Representation- powerful, rich, strong dominant person

Audience- if its a male in the advert and its for a car then main audience would be males aged 30+

Ideologies-

Narrative- advertising a tangable object however within it you can see the males life, form its use
of mise en scene eg. setting

Shep
Social -

Historical - how people in adverts change according to society

Economic - how money and the 'free market' has influenced the way a consumer can live their life

Political -

Media theories that link


Hypodermic Needle Theory - Do audiences believe everything they see?

Uses and Gratifications - Escapism, identification..

Issues and Debates


- Social influences
- media and advertising < global issue
This fits into the contempary media landscape becuase... it shows how consumers are so
youst to immatating their lives to what they see on TV.

Possible links for my research

http://www.krepublishers.com/02-Journals/JSS/JSS-10-0-000-000-2005-Web/JSS-10-1-001-076-2005-
Abst-PDF/JSS-10-1-009-016-2005-164-Ayanwale-A-B/JSS-10-1-009-016-2005-164-Ayanwale-A-B.pdf

http://www.globalissues.org/article/160/media-and-advertising

http://www.warc.com/ConferenceBlogs/WAAC-072008.asp

Qu.6 - Laura Mulvey

19 ตุลาคม 2553, 4:02:50 | noreply@blogger.com (Sonia Dhunna)

A beginners’ guide to...Laura Mulvey

Frequently quoted but often misunderstood, the work of Laura Mulvey on ‘the Gaze’ is at the heart
of feminist film theory, and has been hugely influential since the mid-1970s. Lucy Scott-Galloway
offers you a beginners’ guide, using a case study of Y Tu Mamá También. But be warned: this is
difficult stuff.

Essentials

• Laura Mulvey is a Professor of Media and Film at Birkbeck, University of London. She is also a
successful screenwriter, producer and director, and has written and edited many books and articles
on the subject of contemporary film and feminist theory and practice.

• Her most famous work to date is her seminal essay ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’,
written in 1973 and first published in 1975 in the British film theory journal Screen.

• At a simple level, this work, based on her own conceptual analysis of classical Hollywood film
texts, rather than empirical audience research, argued the feminist position that the typical
audience member is assumed to be male.

• Furthermore, the typical audience member becomes aligned with the film’s male protagonist, by
identification, admiration or aspiration.

• According to the theory, which really assesses the representation of gender and the relationship
between the text and the audience from a solely feminist perspective, women in film are simply
objects for ‘the gaze’ of the protagonist/male audience.

Influences

Mulvey’s essay ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ borrowed from popular psychoanalytical
frameworks of the time, specifically Sigmund Freud’s concept of scopophilia during child
development, and Jaques Lacan’s reinterpretation of this by his explanation of the child’s ‘mirror
stage’. (See glossary on page 67)

What is ‘feminist film theory’?

Feminist film theory studies the way films make meaning for their audiences from the perspective
of feminist politics.
Studies may include, for example, the roles and functions of female characters in the context of
narratives and genres, exploring how far representations reinforce dominant patriarchal ideology.

The theory

FREUD AND SCOPOPHILIA

Put simply, scopophilia is the pleasure of watching. The concept as it is used by Mulvey is borrowed
from the ‘anal stage’ of child development as suggested by Freud. Freud argued that an individual
moves through the stages of oral and anal fixation before reaching the genital stage in adult
maturity.

Whilst in the ‘oral stage’ the child is fixated on activities to do with the mouth: biting, sucking,
feeding etc.; in the anal stage the child is toilet training, and learns how to keep itself clean, and
that certain bodily functions should be kept private. Theoretically, these childhood obsessions can
pass into adulthood to cause personality complexes.

Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) has been widely associated with Freud’s theories. With respect to oral
and anal fixation, it is often suggested that Norman Bates’ constant sucking on sweets is
illustrative of his oral fixation, and Hitchcock’s decision to include a shot of a toilet bowl for the first
time in fifty years in mainstream American films challenged the culture’s collective anal fixation.

Scopophilia then, refers to the mature adult’s desire to see things that are culturally forbidden or
taboo.

JAQUES LACAN AND THE MIRROR STAGE

In essence, the Mirror Stage, according to Lacan, refers to the moment in early childhood when the
child perceives itself as an independent being.

In early infancy, the child has an imaginary identity with the mother, and forms their only sense of
self as part of her. At some stage, generally between six and eighteen months, the child looks in
the mirror and recognises itself. It feels a sense of jubilation at its own independent existence, and
this feeds into its ego and a sense of narcissistic pleasure.

When children first perceive themselves as independent of their mother by way of their mirror
reflection, it is at a stage of frustration in their personal development; as their physical desires are
greater than their physiological ability. They then consider their mirror reflection to be more able,
more perfect, and more complete than they currently feel.

Mulvey believes that this stage leads into the process of film viewing in adulthood, as the mirror is
replaced by the screen. The typical audience member gains a sense of narcissistic pleasure from
identifying with the film’s protagonist, and following fascination with their filmic counterpart.

LAURA MULVEY AND THE GAZE

Applying these ideas to Hollywood film viewing, Mulvey suggested that women in film are
represented as ‘objects’, images with visual and erotic impact, which she termed their ‘to-be-
looked-at-ness’. Classical Hollywood films positioned the audience as male, and through
identification with the male protagonist (Lacan) gave him an active role in viewing the female
subject and gaining pleasure from doing so (Freud). This look, from audience to actress, is termed
‘the look’ or ‘the gaze’. According to Mulvey the look could be ‘voyeuristic’ (women are viewed as
virtuous and beautiful) or ‘fetishistic’ (women are viewed as excessively sexual beings).

DEVELOPMENTS OF THE GAZE

Throughout the decades following Mulvey’s essay, the concept of the gaze was developed to
incorporate a number of different viewer-positions. For example:

• The spectator’s gaze: the audience looking at the subject on the screen.
• The male gaze: in keeping with Mulvey’s theory describes the male viewing the female, either
voyeuristically or fetishistically.

• The female gaze: accepts that women can also gain voyeuristic pleasure from looking at a
subject, and that film techniques can sometimes be used to position the female audience to do so.

• The intra-diegetic gaze: when one character in the text looks/gazes at another character in the
text. Through the process of identification, this may lead to the spectator’s gaze also.

• The extra-diegetic gaze: when a character in the text looks out of the text at the audience,
breaking the imaginary ‘fourth wall’.

The gaze is inextricably linked to power relationships – the bearer of the gaze has the power. In
most cases, the subject of the gaze doesn’t even know they are being looked at (we assume); thus
the bearer of the gaze has more knowledge than the subject, and therefore, more power. In
Mulvey’s original essay, it is the male who holds this power, and the male film-maker who gives it
to him. In developments of the theory, the bearer of the gaze may be female, and the subject may
challenge the bearer’s power by gazing right back.

UPDATING THE GAZE

Mulvey’s essay was much discussed in the decades following its publication; she herself re-
assessed it in 1981, when she pointed out that she had written the original essay as a starting
point for further study and debate, rather than a reasoned academic study.

• The original essay assumes that the film audience is a heterosexual male. This denies the
possibility that women can enjoy films as much as men and considerably dates her argument. We
now consider that an individual makes their reading from a highly subjective personal standpoint:
male, female or transgender, straight, gay or bisexual, as well as influences from class and age
and region.

• It also assumes the protagonist is male, which may be the case for much of the classical
Hollywood output (1910s-1960s, approx.), but is no longer always the case.

• It is also generally accepted now that the male audience can enjoy, or even identify, with a
female character’s point of view, and vice versa. Richard Dyer, for example, has written about the
complex relationship created by many gay males with female stars.

How it works – Y Tu Mamá También

In practice, Mulvey’s work is often misunderstood or at least grossly over-simplified. Vaguely


referring to ‘the gaze’ as the way every male audience member objectifies every female character
into a sexual entity fails fully to explain how this process takes place, and ignores the all-important
issue of identification with the protagonist.

Mulvey originally used texts from around the 30s to the 60s to illustrate her argument. But since
her theories have been updated by various theorists to include different types of gaze and different
gendered audience readings, it is interesting to apply the principles to a film outside her field of
investigation.

Y Tu Mamá También (Alfonso Cuarón, 2001) is a Mexican film with Spanish dialogue. Translating
into English as ‘And Your Mother Too’, the title refers to the point in the comedy/coming-of-age film
when a teenage boy tells his friend he has had sex with his friend’s mother. This is typical for the
themes of the film, which represent the interests of teenage boys as sex, drugs, alcohol and
friendships.

The plot is simple and has been likened to other well-known examples of national cinema; Godard’s
Bande À Part (1964) and Truffaut’s Jules et Jim (1962). Despite being a product of Mexico whilst the
Godard and Truffaut’s productions were French, Y Tu Mamá También appears to be informed by
the Nouvelle Vague (French New Wave) politic of the former films. Rejecting established
conventions such as classical narrative in favour of experimental camera technique, editing and
storytelling, Y Tu Mamá También features a constantly fluid and shaky camera, long takes with no
edits and narrative asides and digressions provided by a narrator. However, in its use of the gaze,
the film remains very conventional.

THE NARRATIVE

In Y Tu Mamá También, two teenage boys, Tenoch and Julio, go on a road trip taking along an older
woman, Luisa, for the ride. Both are attracted to her, and rivalry arises between the boys not only
in relation to Luisa, but also incorporating most other aspects of their lives.

THE OPENING

The film is sexually explicit, and opens with a sex scene involving full nudity of both the characters,
Tenoch and his girlfriend Ana. The camera work positions the audience as a voyeur, almost in a
point-of-view shot, beginning with half the frame hidden by a door, and then moving fluidly with a
hand-held shake onto the bed with the characters, and then moving back out again. This scene is
juxtaposed with shots of Julio and his girlfriend, Cecilia, having sex, the first of a number of
juxtapositions that represent the boys’ rivalry. It is an unusual opening for a film as it is particularly
graphic, and the audience may receive scopophilic pleasure from viewing such a private and
intimate act. The film emphasises the process of looking throughout: the audience looking at the
characters, characters looking at each other, characters looking at passing scenery of Mexico in
long takes of the characters’ POV from the car. The constantly fluid and hand-held camera
positions the audience as voyeur. The spectator’s gaze puts the audience in a position of power;
we are watching the scenes unfold by seeing but not being seen.

Whilst the film doesn’t assume that the audience is male, the opening of the film is constructed to
encourage identification with one of the male protagonists. The audience may employ the male
gaze or the female gaze in their reading of the scene; both characters are represented as sexual
objects, both have similar amounts of nudity. However, the male voiceover is all-knowing, and
makes references to what has happened in the past to these characters, and what will happen in
the future. In his telling of the story, he anchors meaning that sex is the male, rather than the
female, endeavour, although the female characters are sexually proactive. He refers to what the
male characters ‘do to’ their girlfriends, and how the girls’ parents feel about it. Having served
their narrative purpose, the girls are flown off abroad as part of the narrative.

THE POWER OF THE GAZE

The boys lack power in their lives, as most teenagers do, and this may help us identify with the
male protagonists. Both have to follow instructions from their parents, live by their parents rules,
and are put down by a successful relative. What the boys do have is their sexuality, and this is
signified in the film by their use of the intra-diegetic gaze. Their ability, and ‘right’, to look is their
power. The first time we see Luisa, the boys are at a family wedding. Whilst the audience are
focused on a figure in an extra long deep focus shot, Luisa ambushes the audience’s gaze by
walking through the foreground of the shot in shallow focus. She is then a recognisable visual sign
when Julio first sees her. He stares at her for a full five seconds, and the camera, still fluid, moves
closer to his face to emphasise his gaze, suggesting his objectification of her. As much of the story
has been told from the male protagonist’s point of view, the audience then objectifies Luisa
similarly. But this process is not necessarily solely male; the female audience is literate enough to
be able to occupy the position of a male character. The voiceover reinforces this objectification,
encouraging initially a voyeuristic gaze, rather than fetishistic, by representing her in relation to
her domestic role, a wife. Her dialogue supports this, as she suggests that salt will take a stain out
of her husband’s shirt.

When Tenoch approaches Luisa and makes conversation, he offers her a cigarette, which she
accepts. A psychoanalytic interpretation would see this a phallic symbol of masculinity, and her
acceptance of the cigarette is Tenoch’s first penetration of Luisa’s life, if not her body. The ensuing
conversation takes place in a medium long 3-shot, of Tenoch and Julio closing Luisa in to the far
left of the frame.

The boys’ fetishistic attraction to Luisa is however confirmed by a following scene, in which the two
boys masturbate and both ejaculate at the mention of Luisa’s name. However, their attraction to
Luisa gives her no real power over the boys; her role remains functional to their story. The
transience of their affections is illustrated by the dialogue when Tenoch tells Julio Luisa wants to
come on the trip, and Julio asks, ‘Luisa who?’ Shots of the boys from different forms of gaze are
usually set up in terms of their rivalry, either by juxtaposing their sex lives, by their teasing
assessments of each others’ bodies, or when they competitively swim naked. The masturbation
scene is immediately followed by a shot of Luisa; her bare legs occupying at least three quarters of
the frame, and thus inviting a fetishistic gaze. She discovers her husband is cheating; with her
sobs, her body rises and falls slightly, in a classic sexual pose. Until now she has lacked any overt
sexuality. But her husband’s infidelity serves to ‘allow’ her to express sexuality in terms of the
film’s moral code, and following scenes represent Luisa as bearer of the intra-diegetic gaze, and
sometimes, a willing receiver.

At a hotel on the trip, Luisa bears the intra-diegetic female gaze, as she asks Tenoch to take off his
towel and he complies. Tenoch has his back to the camera and deep in the frame, Luisa moves
around so that she can get a better look. The audience see her seeing, rather than seeing what she
sees. But, when the boys look, the audience tend to see what they see, such as when they spy on
Luisa crying in her room, encouraging the audience to identify with the male protagonists. Mulvey
may argue that this assumes that the audience is male, especially as the ensuing scene of them
having sex plays on the typical male fantasy of having sex with an older, experienced woman.
However, the scene is about much more than sex, and when the audience sees Julio watching
Tenoch and Luisa having sex, they may identify with Julia’s feelings about his friendship with
Tenoch. He feels betrayed by Tenoch, rather than Luisa; these are feelings that a female audience
can relate to as well as a male. Equally when Luisa tries to restore the balance between the boys
by having sex with Julio, Tenoch tries to climb a tree to watch, but fails. Both boys experience the
feeling of wanting to see what is culturally taboo, but then wishing they hadn’t.

Towards the end of the film, the three get drunk together, tell each other secrets, and eventually
dance. The scene is shot in an extra-long take with very little technical direction. Luisa looks into
the camera as she dances, almost ‘seeing’ the audience with an extra-diegetic gaze. Breaking the
convention of the ‘fourth wall’, it is as if she knows she is being watched, and she regains a certain
amount of power. Following this scene, she chooses to stay at the beach and not return with the
boys, and the audience never see her cry again but only hear about her strengths.

Different audiences may make different readings of these scenes, based on their own gender,
sexuality and experience. I don’t think the film assumes the audience is male, or even
heterosexual, and a great number of readings of the film question the boys’, especially Julio’s
heterosexuality, basing their arguments on Julio’s intra-diegetic gaze of Tenoch in the closing shots
of the film. However, the film does make use of the gaze to make meaning throughout. The final
scenes of the film include an extra long take of Luisa’s point of view, as she watches the boys clear
up the beach. It becomes clear at this point that the film is not about sex, or nudity, or male
objectification of women, but about friendship, and coming-of-age. Luisa’s intra-diegetic gaze, for
me, anchors the meaning of the film.

Glossary

Mirror Stage

Lacan’s term used to describe the stage at which a child realises they are a person
independent of their mother.

Narcissism

Excessive or erotic interest in the self.

Scopophilia

The pleasure of watching what shouldn’t be seen.

Voyeuristic gaze

A gaze which objectifies the recipient of the gaze in a non-sexual manner, rather
through admiration.

Fetishistic gaze
A gaze which objectifies the recipient of the gaze in a sexual manner.

To-be-looked-at-ness

The way in which a character is constructed, using media language (through the
framing of shots and position of the camera) to be objectified by another character or
the audience’s gaze.

Intra-diegetic gaze

The gaze of one character of another within the narrative world of the film.

Extra-diegetic gaze

The gaze of a character out of the narrative to the audience, generally making eye
contact and connoting their awareness of being watched.

Nouvelle Vague

French New Wave. A movement in French national cinema which rejected the
established way of doing things by employing experimental film making techniques.

Quotable Quote

‘The paradox of phallocentrism in all of its manifestations is that it depends on the image of the
castrated woman to give order and meaning to its world.’

Simplified: ‘Isn’t it funny that a culture obsessed with masculinity needs images of women, and
their absence of masculine characteristics, to give it meaning?’

Worth a visit to the library...

Laura Mulvey, 1989: Visual and Other Pleasures: Collected Writings

A collection of essays collated over a period of time, exploring film from a feminist perspective.

Laura Mulvey, 1996: Fetishism and Curiosity

Investigations into Hollywood cinema of the studio system, in the contexts of work by Marx and
Freud.

Lucy Scott-Galloway teaches Media Studies at Newham Sixth Form Centre.

from MediaMagazine 21, September 2008.

5. Post-Feminism Reading/Reserach18 ตุลาคม 2553, 22:39:08 | noreply@blogger.com (Sonia


Dhunna) http://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/site/human/women/students/biblio/historiog/McRobbie%20-
%20postfeminism.pdf

popular culture in Bridget Jones dairy


"This is a movement detectable across popular culture, a site where “power … is remade at various
junctures within everyday life"

"the shrill championing of young women as a “metaphor for social change” on the pages of the
right wing press in the UK, in particular the Daily Mail."

My argument is that post-feminism positively draws on and invokes feminism as that which can be
taken into account, to suggest that equality is achieved..."

popular culture in car adverts

"This advert appears to suggest that yes, this is a self-consciously “sexist ad,” feminist critiques of
it are deliberately evoked."

"Once again, the shadow of disapproval is introduced (the striptease as site of female exploitation),
only instantly to be dismissed as belonging to the past, to a time when feminists used to object to
such imagery. "

"Feminism is “taken into account,” but only to be shown to be no longer necessary. Why? Because
there is no exploitation here, there is nothing remotely naıve about this striptease. She seems to
be doing it out of choice, and for her own enjoyment; the advert works on the basis of its audience
knowing Claudia to be one of the world’s most famous and highly paid supermodels."
Wonder Bra advert

"The Wonderbra advert showing the model Eva Herzigova looking down admiringly at her
substantial cleavage enhanced by the lacy pyrotechnics of the Wonderbra, was through the mid-
1990s positioned in major high street locations in the UK on full size billboards."

"The composition of the image had such a textbook “sexist ad” dimension that one could be
forgiven for supposing some familiarity with both cultural studies and with feministcritiques of
advertising (Judith Williamson 1987)."

"It was, in a sense, taking feminism into account by showing it to be a thing of the past, by
provocatively “enacting sexism” while at the same time playing with those debates in film theory
about women as the object of the gaze (Laura Mulvey 1975) and even with female desire (Rosalind
Coward 1984;Teresa de Lauretis 1988)."

sex in the city trailer

"...capable of earning their own living, and the degree of suffering or shame they anticipate in the
absence of finding a husband is countered by sexual self-confidence. Being without a husband
does not mean they will go without men".
"Individuals must now choose the kind of life they want to live. Girls must have a lifeplan. They
must become more reflexive in regard to every aspect of their lives, from making the right choice
in marriage, to taking responsibility for their own working lives,and not being dependent on a job
for life or on the stable and reliable operations of a large-scale bureaucracy which in the past would
have allocated its employees specific,and possibly unchanging, roles".

4. understanding post feminism


18 ตุลาคม 2553, 22:19:01 | noreply@blogger.com (Sonia Dhunna) Clarifying Concepts:

A more positive look at post-feminism:


In raising these questions, I am only at the beginning of figuring out what a more positive kind of
post-feminist account of religion and family might look like, and so have no compelling summary to
offer, let alone a call to a specific research agenda. In my own work, I do want to take some
feminist insights for granted. But I explicitly reject the idea that strong feminist critiques have had
their day and must now give way gracefully to approaches that favor a consensual and functional,
or even communitarian, interpretation of the good society. I am feeling more combative, or at least
constructively critical, about theories that neatly divide society into a “public” and a “private”
realm, while systematically devaluing those feminine things (religion, family) assigned to the
private (cf., Warner 1999). I am not sure where it will lead, but it feels right to begin pushing back
the boundaries of post-feminism by asking a different set of questions.

Post-feminism as backlash to feminism:


What the hell is postfeminism, anyway? I would think it would refer to a time when complete
gender equality has been achieved. That hasn’t happened, of course, but we (especially young
women) are supposed to think it has. Postfeminism, as a term, suggests that women have made
plenty of progress because of feminism, but that feminism is now irrelevant and even undesirable
because it has made millions of women unhappy, unfeminine, childless, lonely, and bitter,
prompting them to fill their closets with combat boots and really bad India print skirts.

i feel this is the best concept on post feminism

Post-feminism as a colloquialism:
It’s about deeply held political convictions, not to mention strategy. If there’s a wad of people out
there extolling postfeminism and meaning “I think feminism is flawed and I’d like to see some goal-
shifting, fresh tactics, and revisiting of contentious topics,” this isn’t just an issue of what’s going
on in a speech group that doesn’t overlap with mine. It’s about defending feminism’s ground.
Feminism is already doing the work that these (as I have come to think of them) non-evil
postfeminists think comes with their prefix. And it’s beyond obvious that feminism suffers from its
terrible reputation and from the vast misunderstandings that stunning numbers of people still have
about it (no matter how many times it happens, I will never, ever get used to being asked if I hate
men). I can’t help but see even the non-evil usage of “postfeminism” as a rejection of and attack
on feminism, and an implication that the movement is finished. And that means I need to challenge
it at every turn.

The ambiguity of the prefix “post”:


I’ve come accross the term used in the way Lurker describes, similarly, in academic circles, and for
academic reasons I don’t think anyone should use it. The problem lies in the ambiguity of the prefix
“post”, because post can mean since something commenced OR since something concluded. So,
while technically a “post-feminist society” could mean a society since feminism began to be an
influence, there will always be people who think you mean since feminism ended. Stella Artois
advert - negative representation