The Face Of A Movement Analysis

1719 Words 7 Pages
The Face of a Movement

Let’s begin with two images. The first is of a mother with her three small children closely surrounding her that is plastered on the front page of Susan G. Komen’s webpage. They delicately kiss her bald head—an apparent mark of her rounds of chemo and an emblem of her battle against breast cancer. Beside the image text reads, “Breast cancer touches us all. It’s a journey we take together” (Susan G. Komen Foundation). The tiny hands and lips that touch the barren surface of their mother’s head also touch the viewer’s heart, drawing on the emotion resting in the story of the woman behind the cancer. The image is a window into her story, into the life she is fighting for. Enter a 20-something woman. She is tan and bikini-clad,
…show more content…
A few statistics tossed in here and there are the only indication that the ad is actually even in support of breast cancer; remove them and you’d never guess that the ad was in fact not intended for Hooters or the likes. Throughout the entirety of the ad, the camera focuses solely on the woman’s voluptuous chest, employing the tactic of the “male gaze” (Mulvey, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema", 1975) in which the camera takes on the vantage point of a male, with the female becoming the desired sexual object. There’s no quick cut editing, just an unwavering view of the woman’s figure. Even when the camera is not on her, this point of view is maintained through the eyes of the partygoers whose unblinking stares follow her breasts as she passes, their eyes and mouths wide with infatuation. The male gaze is inherently misogynistic because more than simply being an object of the gaze, the woman becomes what is being advertised. The image here being advertised is that of an attractive woman, and more specifically a woman who is attractive because of her breasts. Men viewing the ad are encouraged to look at the woman in the same way as those at the pool party do, ogling over her breasts and flawless body. In this same manner, the image is marketed to women in that with perfect breasts they too can be the object …show more content…
Though these flippant and sexually charged ads are attention grabbing and make light of a serious disease through the use of euphemisms like “boobs” (and in the case of this specific ad, the mention of the cleverly named fundraiser called “boobyball”), they allow for a detachment from the reality of the serious disease. As in the instance of the “Save the Boobs” ad, a statistic is just tossed in to what is otherwise a purely sexual ad, somehow making the objectification of the women affected by breast cancer acceptable. Though their intentions may be good, aiming to use the selling power of sex to grab viewer’s (particularly males) attention and in turn increase awareness, it’s inarguably to the detriment of the women and families actually affected by breast cancer. Put the statistic “Breast Cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death among young women aged 20-49” in a sexy ad like “Save the Boobs” and it’s a clever marketing ploy, but disconnected from the reality of the disease. However, place it next to the image of the mother and her children that covers the front page of the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s website and it becomes a powerful and hard-hitting statement. The woman in Rethinking Breast Cancer’s ad is not real, she’s a model and as opposite of a breast cancer patient as possible. Her perfect curves,

Related Documents