gender roles in art : female figure

We were looking at gender roles in art this week in our lecture, particularly the female figure and feminism in art. One particular advert sums up the lecture and topic, a banned Lynx advert – above.

The adverts – designed for online display – featured the model Lucy Pinder in a series of sexually provocative poses: stripping wallpaper, licking an ice lolly, washing the car and preparing a roast to name a few.

The advert was taken down after only 15 complaints as the ASA deemed “the suggestive nature of the image and the strong innuendo were not acceptable for public display where they might be seen by children and concluded that the poster was irresponsible on this point“.

But why is this advert so shocking?

The selection of images all feature Pinder around the home working, which is pushing a little uncomfortably close to sexism and the role of a ‘housewife’. Added to that, she is featured in only her underwear.

Looking at the above advert, the representation of Pinder as an object equal to a roast is demeaning and suggesting that she – like the roast – is merely an object of consumption for the male. Coupled with this is the way she is dressed in her underwear yet with a full face of make up on, which is clearly just to appeal to male viewers because, let’s be honest, who really cooks like that out with a male fantasy? The glisten of the oven light on her skin and her pose with her legs and backside taking up most of the image is sexually provocative.

Lynx issued a tongue-in-cheek apology video with Pinder fully dressed returning hte props she used during the adverts while “Lynx apologises for any offence caused” runs along the bottom of the screen in a ticker tape fashion.

Watch the advert here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=f-kR2HMIP3w#!

To be fair, there is a flip side to this argument though as adverts for woman’s perfume often feature scantily clad men too. Added to that, the fact that Pinder willingly took part in the advert and the small amount of complaints point to the advert not been too bad. You might also say people are more used to and exposed to this sort of imagery these days in the entertainment industry, but the difference here is that you watch them by choice whereas with an advert you do not have a choice in being exposed to it.

Either way you draw your own conclusion over the morals of the advert, it is still clear that this image covers many issues in the role of gender, especially the female, in art and society.

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This entry was published on November 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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