How does Calvin Klein represent females in adverts?

From this picture of Eva Mendes it is clear the Calvin Klein choose to represent their female models in a particular way. The way that Mendes is shown standing here makes her look like a strong female figure, which may appeal to many audiences.
The advertisement itself I feel may appeal to both men and women. For men this is clearly something that they would look at and enjoy for the sex appeal, this is a photo that only emphasises Laura Mulvey's 'male gaze', the photo is taken in a way that a man would choose to see a woman, the very fact that they have chosen a slim attractive woman shows this is what most men would go for. The way that her head is leaned back with an almost upset look almost makes her seem vulnerable. The fact that she is not wearing a wedding ring, makes her seem more approachable and more like and innocent woman in 'distress' that needs 'saving'. The photo puts most emphasis on the bottom half of her body, specifically her knickers. It does this by using a rather unflattering bra, and using no eye contact. Men may see this advertisement and believe that their wives or girlfriends may look similar to this if they wore the same underwear.
The stockings also give the photo a more dominatrix feeling, giving Mendes a more controlling feeling that some men may enjoy. This in turn gives the whole photo a larger sex appeal for men.

Although at first glances you might believe that a woman could be insulted by this photo with its apparent use of the male gaze, it actually seems to only play on women's strengths. Many women could look at this photo and see that she seems like quite a strong character. The photo to the right shows her in a prominent, almost manly stance. Power is shown in the way she is standing with hear head turned back, her hands on her hips. Her fingers are pointing to her briefs which only emphasises the audience focusing on the lower half of her body. For women this is a good selling point as they may see the photo and feel that they could look something like this in the underwear, similar to the belief that men have when looking at this photo.
The fact that she is wet may represent the idea that she is out of the shower and preparing for a night out, putting on her 'sexy' knickers. This is a twist to the usual stereotype women, staying at home looking after the children, instead now they are free independent women.

In reality the photo is designed to appeal to both sexes, as it is used as a selling point. Personally I believe it is more aimed at men with the sex appeal for the buying factor, but also the idea of a free independent woman wearing her 'Calvin Kleins' may also appeal to women, which in turn may make women want to own this underwear.


1 comment:

  1. A very competent piece of analysis Sam. Well done.

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