Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Cosmetics for men? Blasphemy!

Kirkham and Weller - "Cosmetics: A Clinique Study Case" (Pages 268-273 of Gender, Race, & Class in Media)

- Companies like Clinique are helping to break down gender barriers by offering formerly "feminine" products to men but they are also reinforcing gender stereotypes by using very gendered and stereotypical advertising for these products (Page 273).
- Color plays a large role in distinguishing between male and female products: male advertisements and products in general tend to be striking, black, white, gray, or very muted shades of blue or tan, while advertisements and products for women are pastel, creamy, and soft looking (Page 269).
- It is not just the language of the advertising industry that distinguishes between masculine and feminine but also the way this language is presented: when looking at a men's advertisement or product you are much more likely to see more information and short, sturdy and dark looking letters, as opposed to the totally devoid of info and scrawly and loose writing in a female ad (Page 272).
- Clinique is very careful to separate men's and women's products by naming them differently and by adding things like "skin supplies for men" to the spot underneath the Clinique name, a comparative addition of which cannot be found on any feminine product (Page 272).
- Not Stated: The authors never expressly say what they want, but since the piece is written to raise awareness of the problem, it is implied that the authors hope this differing treatment of men and women in the beauty product and advertising world will eventually end.
-Not Stated: Again, the authors seem to currently see raising awareness as the best first step to getting rid of the problem.

1 comment:

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