With: Dr. Strangelove

Class Notes Retrieved from June 29, 2011:

  • Feminism’s issue = the fine line between the objectification of women and a woman’s self’ sense of liberation…although there is a power given to women by objectifying their bodies, I wonder if this is really considered liberation for women.

 First of all this power is only given to those women who are similar to the women in ads who are objectified (skinny, hairless, tall, flawless and photoshopped) which means there are many women who lack this power and just because one can accomplish getting male gaze, I don’t feel that this constitutes as liberation for women. In my opinion, the liberation of women is giving women the right to vote or giving women equal status in employment   

  • Difference between porn (vicious male lust) and erotica (sensual lust), however, there needs to be an alternative on how sex is viewed
  • Can’t use the body in an utilitarian way
  • Based on the capitalist system, being a heterosexual is considered normal and disregards homosexual community
  • Capitalism reflects unrealistic ideals
  • Capitalism uses advertisements as a form of communication speaking to the rest of society and creates a world of unrealistic standards…in the capitalist world the body is disciplined but in reality this may not be the case…especially as an adult it is very difficult to discipline the body
  • Advertisements are dreams of capitalists manifest

We had a class discussion on what a world would be like if there were no advertisements. Based on how society is today, it would be difficult to live in this world without advertisements. Ads fund the entertainment industry which includes any athletic competing event such as the Olympics, television shows, radio shows, etc. Therefore, without advertisements there would be a chance of an economic collapse. One student mentioned that if there were no such thing as ads maybe there would be more truth in the market.  


  • Ads portray versions of falsity as well as truth, for example, by taking people’s passions and desires and using hairless and flawless people to re-enact these particular passions and desires
  • Ads have a tendency of playing out a more male version of passions and desires, creating women to be a subject to ‘male gaze’ For example, in the following Fisker Karma Ad:
  • Ads create a differentiation between genders which lead to a creation of a battle of the sexes
  • Women struggle with the policing of their bodies and keeping up with ads’ portrayals of ‘feminine bodies’
  • Ads create anxiety about people’s bodies and even worse it creates anxiety on the natural things about bodies for example, body smells, hair loss, excess hair, and especially the natural process of AGING

At the end of the day the way the marketplace speaks to us influence and shapes our identity, therefore, one can really question if this is not only a capitalist system we are living in but also a very undemocratic system. We have almost no say on our individuality. The power and influence of advertisements make it difficult for individuals to create their own uniqueness. It seems as though ads have created this certain type of normalcy that even though one may not agree with it there is a constant pressure of this expected shared normalcy. Since ads touch on almost all aspects of a person’s life such as lifestyle, relationships, body image, scent, etc., it makes it difficult for people to revolt and go against these ads especially when they provide products for our daily lives, which they have made us think we need. Ads can lower people’s self-esteem and confidence in order to sell it back to them with their products. Even if one were to say, “Well you have options and you don’t have to be a sell out to ads”, there would still be a pressure from society on those who stand out of the ‘normalcy’ box.

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