Fashion Appearance and Social Identities Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Essay:

A study conducted in 1995 found that 70% of women felt depressed after looking at fashion magazines for three minutes. Around half the female population at one time or another attempt weight loss, leading to greater smoking and eating disorder among women (Women and Body Image, 2009). These images, of course, influence men as well, as, finding the idealized images of women more appealing and sexy, men expect their girlfriends and female partners look similar. Expecting something unattainable obviously leads to cracks in their relationships. The images also influence women and men's formation of their gender identities.

While there are many factors that influence advertising of women's bodies today, Jean Kilbourne argues that modern technology also plays an important role in it. The way software programs such as Adobe Photoshop allows advertisers of women's images to change their appearances is a perfect example. But the technology influences the relationship between images and culture in many other ways. For example, as Kilbourne (2010) points out, "the Internet has made pornography not only accessible, but really inescapable; so that what used to be part of a kind of adult world . . . is now everywhere" (Have We Come a Long Way? 2010). As a result, fashion magazines and other commercial ads featuring women increasingly toe to pornographic expectations. Women in commercial ads and fashion magazines are not only ideal and flawlessly beautiful, but are also highly sexualized, showing off their breasts, buttocks, and posing in such a way that they are ready to be conquered.

Looking at some examples may help us better understand this phenomenon. The image #2 is an advertisement for men's underwear. But the ad does not feature a man; it features a woman in a highly sexualized position. The suggestion is that with this underwear, men are going to easily subdue and conquer women who would be willing to satisfy men's sexual needs. These images are graphically designed for "masculine' sphere, re-enforcing notions of a subordinate 'feminine' area of interest (Breward, 1998, pp. 302-303). There is a similar feature in image #3, which advertises men's suits. "A custom-tailored suit is a natural aphrodisiac," says the caption. or, see the image #4, which advertises men's perfume. It shows a bottle of perfume placed between breasts of a naked woman whose mouth is wide open. While images #5 and #6 are other typical examples of sexualized ads -- advertising lady's bag and a toilet paper, respectively -- image #7 is particularly interesting. It is an ad by Red Cross, which for the purpose of raising money for water projects in Africa, hired two fashion models -- a man and a woman -- who posed almost naked for the ad. In other words, even international humanitarian organizations today are exploiting sexualized images of women and men to promote their projects.

While the purpose of these ads is selling material products such as underwear, suits, perfume, bags, toilet paper, or raising money for humanitarian goals, these ads also sell nonmaterial products, particular kind of images that shape society's understandings of culture, human relationships, and social identities. Fashion and body images are commercialized and sexualized more than ever. And their influence on society and how we form our social identities likewise are more powerful today than ever before. In other words, our values and identities are now being shaped by images which are not real but constructed designed to promote commercial products.

References

Breward, C., 1998. Cultures, Identities, Histories: Fashioning a Cultural Approach to Dress. Fashion Theory, 2(4), pp. 301-313.

Boden, S., 2006. Dedicated Followers of Fashion? The Influence of Popular Culture on Children's Social Identities. Media, Culture & Society, 28(2), pp. 289-298.

Have We Come a Long Way? Interview with Jean Kilbourne, 2010. Bitch Magazine. Retrieved on 22 February 2011, from http://www.insidebeauty.org/admin/cutenews/data/upimages/cosmocover.jpg

Women and Body Image: Ten Disturbing Facts, 2009. Retrieved on 22 February 2011, from http://momgrind.com/2009/01/28/women-body-image/

Image #1, source: http://www.insidebeauty.org/admin/cutenews/data/upimages/cosmocover.jpg

Image #2, source: http://my.opera.com/Zaphira/blog/sex-and-advertising

Image #3, source: http://my.opera.com/Zaphira/blog/sex-and-advertising

Image #4, source: http://my.opera.com/Zaphira/blog/sex-and-advertising

Image #5, source: http://my.opera.com/Zaphira/blog/sex-and-advertising

Image #6, source: http://my.opera.com/Zaphira/blog/sex-and-advertising

Image #7, source: http://my.opera.com/Zaphira/blog/sex-and-advertising[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Fashion Appearance And Social Identities" (2011, February 22) Retrieved December 8, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/fashion-appearance-and-social-identities-4569

"Fashion Appearance And Social Identities" 22 February 2011. Web.8 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/fashion-appearance-and-social-identities-4569>

"Fashion Appearance And Social Identities", 22 February 2011, Accessed.8 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/fashion-appearance-and-social-identities-4569

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Effects of Luxury Fashion From Swarovski Toward Social Identity

    Swarovski & Luxury Fashion Experiential Marketing Use of 360 Degree Marketing by Swarovski Merits of Experiential Marketing Three Ds of Experiential Marketing Strategic Experience Swarovski: A Transition from Traditional Marketing to Experiential Marketing Emotional Brand Attachment Brand Identity Self-concept Brand Luxury Brand Attachment Brand experience Brand Prestige Importance of Social Media for Luxury Brand Translation of Unique Brand Elements to Social Platforms Adapt Business Practices to the Online Business Model Swarovski is a leading name when it comes to global luxury brands. It has managed to rise

  • Fashion When a Woman Walks Down the

    Fashion When a woman walks down the street carrying a Louis Vuitton handbag and strutting in her Jimmy Choos, what does she say about herself? Her lifestyle? Where she is from? When a man walks down the street carrying a fake Louis Vuitton handbag and strutting in her cheap plastic pumps, what is he saying about himself? When Trayvon Martin walked through his neighborhood wearing a hoodie, George Zimmerman instantly thought

  • Fashion and Its Influence on Identities

    Fashion Lifestyle&Consumption and it's influence on identities Fashion, lifestyle, and consumption and their influence on identities Fashion plays a huge role in presenting visual images of a person and some even relate to fashionable objects such as garments as though they were humans able to represent them. Direct contact and intimacy with fashionable objects such as garments influences how a person's image is presented and especially the intimacy of the garment with

  • Fashion as a Means of Expressing Identity

    Fashion and Identity The following statement is indeed true: "Fashion provides one of the most ready means through which individuals can make expressive visual statements about their identities" (Bennett, 2005: 96) as we have studied time and again throughout this class. Because fashion is in a sense one's experiential art: fashion distinguishes itself from all other art forms because one truly does live one's life in one's clothes. In this sense

  • Fashion and Identity Fashion Culture

    The four illustrations from the earliest decades of the twentieth century illustrate the importance of fashion in the formation of identity just as much as Twiggy's outfit does, and in fact are possibly even more telling given their distance from current styles. Regardless of what people of the time though regarding the sexuality of certain of these gown, all of them give the female figure an incredibly sculpted look, whether

  • Fashion Designers in Turkey Emerging

    First there is the economic aspect. In order for a business to prosper (and fashion is a business), the efficiency principle must be satisfied and the investments must be covered allowing room for profit. Secondly, it is known that the elite is sooner or later imitated by the masses. Therefore, winning the hearts of the educated and rich elite is the key for long-term success. Such is the case

  • Fashion and Appearance Central to

    SOCIAL IDENTITY & TODAY'S FASHION Crane holds that the fashion of today "has several diverse and inconsistent agendas, ranging from representations that echo sadomasochism and pornography to portrayals of women as empowered and androgynous." (2001) According to Crane "...the manner in which people perceive the social structure and conceptualize their identities within it has changed in the course of the twentieth century." (2001) The social identity was perceived by the individual


Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved