Women In Advertising

Improved Essays
From the start of the 20th century to the 1960s, the advertising world has evolved from polite textual information to suggestive pictorials full of sexual innuendos. Women scantily clad are projected from large screens in public spaces to help advertise products ranging from cars to lingerie. Women’s body was objectified and used as a tool to sell related or unrelated products. Sex sells and while it may only appear to define our appearance and clothing choice, its impact goes deeper into our culture, extending into our language, our words. One such example would be the advertising methods around stockings. Looking at a Peck and Peck (figure 1), a women’s clothing retail store, stockings at from 1901, the text advertisement was a simple listing …show more content…
For most of history in Anglo-Saxon cultures, it was taboo to expose bare legs and back of the knee. Advertisers were now more free to use models, mainly women, and focus on their seemingly naked but covered calves due to the purpose of their product. At this time, advertisers have turned to psychology to figure out what can trigger consumers to buy more. Psychology studied the “instincts, drives, and wants of people. It also ”suggested new ways in which they might be controlled.”[3] Advertisers learned to make their products more appealing. Pulling the hem line up and psychology helped advertisers navigate their way to use the most basic instincts of humans as tools. One of the strongest desires humans have is their hope to attract a romantic partner. Rather than encouraging consumers to build a good character and obtain traits that defined a good member of society, the method that was reigning prior to the boom of advertisements in the 1900s, advertisers used the quicker and more direct route—using sex appeal to capture the money of their customers. That transformation is clearly portrayed in the Hanes Hosiery image through its air of seduction. This was achieved by the invention of the photography, which proliferated in magazines. Color photography was already used in magazines but has not reached its peak yet. …show more content…
Throughout this paper, the name of the item interchanged between stockings or hosiery which is an interesting changed in words due throughout time. It is worthwhile to examine the etymology of these seemingly interchangeable words. Stockings, a term originated from the colonial period, was an item of clothing worn by men and women that is “either knitted or cut from woven cloth and sewn to fit the leg” The term also came back into favor in the 1920s, when the hemlines of skirts rose to knee-length. This fashion statement introduced flesh-colored stockings to hide the unpleasant bare skin of the legs. Stockings were made from silk or lisle or wool. The resulting images both included the term hosiery meaning a “knit or woven coverings for the feet and legs designed to be worn inside shoes.” Hosiery appeared on both advertisements while stockings appeared only on the Peck and Peck advertisement. By definition and origin, both terms were for items meant to be worn by men and women. However a quick search of stockings now on Google only return images of women. If men was added to the search, the results are images of men in thigh-high or longer nylon stockings posing sexualized positions. Similar results are returned for hosiery for both gender, and the addition of men also includes images of knee-highs. Changes in fashion no longer require men to

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