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As a whole, people tend to not focus on the effects of advertisement in our daily lives. It is everywhere you look, on billboards, in magazines, even on social media. Because it is everywhere we do not even notice how it affects us, when we buy something is was already slotted into categories for us beauty, sex, luxery, and sometimes on the off chance the actual purpose of the product.
In the perfume advertisement for Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf a woman is portrayed with her hair swept upwards with flowers a the tips, the woman is naked except for a small ribbon covering her chest. The background of the image is light pink and the text is a thick black lettering. The bottle of perfume is in her hand and is shaped like a grenade. Looking at the ad it is easy to determine the goal is for women to buy the perfume so they can be as sexy or alluring as the woman in the image. This is one of the most common tactics in advertisements whether it is to have women want to look a certain way or for men to want them the way men want the women in the advertisements. Women in advertisement are nearly always thin and white because as a society that has been made the standard of beauty. C.Plous and Dominique Neptune of Weslayan university did a ten year case study on the advertisements in magazines and found , “(a) except for Black females in White women’s magazines, African Americans were underrepresented in White magazines; (b) female body exposure was greater than male body exposure, and White female body exposure rose significantly during the 10 years; (c) White women were shown in low-status positions nearly twice as often as were other models; and (d) Black women wore the majority of animal prints, most of which were patterned after a predatory animal.”
The purpose of the this product is to make you smell nice which has nothing to do with your physical appearance, yet that seems to be all that the ad is about. Now, there is a tester on the side of the ad so you can actually smell the product but if that is there could the ad be just pointing out how nice it smell instead of putting a womans naked body on display for no real reason. From the time that we are children ideas of femininity and what is beautiful are shoved down our throat in hope that when we get old enough we will ;look like that or buy all the products we can to look like that. According to The Washington Post “Children develop self-esteem by age 5, much earlier than previously thought, according to new research that suggests children gain either a positive or negative view of themselves before they begin formal schooling.” so, if before we are five all we are shown are pretty skinny people and we do not look like them how are we ever supposed to develop a healthy relationship with ourselves let alone others.
The shape of the bottle is a grenade which contrasts nicely with the light pink liquid that fills the bottle. When mixing such a masculine thing with a feminine qualities the product can appeal to both sides of a female, the strong powerful and the beautiful. With a large push for feminism they used the grenade shape to counteract the fact that the woman’s body in the image is being used solely for selling a product. With the models doe-like young looking features and the softness of the colors used, she seems fragile and weak, something that can be portrayed as demeaning to women.
Society throughout time has always had changing standards of beauty but they are alway fairly difficult to obtain and very few have the desired body type. Whether it was the 16th century overweight ideal or the 1920s thin, ‘boyish’ look america has always had hard to achieve beauty standrds. According to the LA Times “eighty percent of women say they’re unhappy with their appearance, and 67% of women ages 25 to 45 are trying to shed pounds — though 53% of those women are already at a healthy weight. The report also cited a study in which 69% of the respondents (18 and older) said they were in favor of plastic surgery — a 7% increase from 2006.” . why are the young girls of America so unhappy when they typically are healthy, shouldn’t that be more important than looking a certain way? Also according to the LA Times, With the media playing a larger role in our daily lives, young girls are more susceptible to low self-esteem — based on beauty ideals — than ever before and are subject to greater harassment. “The use of aggressive bullying between girls has been on the rise since the early 1990s, based on issues such as physical attributes and social status,” states one study. According to another: “Mean girls . . . often don’t grow out of the behavior and they become adult women who exhibit the same behavior.’’ . Does America not want to raise their daughters strong, independent, and powerful enough to love themselves, with advertisements like the flowerbomb advertisements we may never move forward, forever stuck wishing to look like something that had been edited for hours.
The advertisement must be effective because according to the company Sephora’s sales it is the fifth best selling perfume of 2015. So, with the success of the perfume, comes the success of the fashion industry, comes the lowering of girls self esteem, comes overall nation wide distress over looking one way or another. According to the LA Times Forty “percent of newly diagnosed cases of eating disorders are in girls 15 to 19 years old, but symptoms can occur as young as kindergarten. Girls who spent the most time and effort on their appearance suffered the greatest loss of confidence.”
This advertisement did not cause the problems with beauty standard but it certainly does not help the situation. As effective as it may be it also can cause a greater problem with many young girls.
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