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Lecture

Sex, Advertising and the Politics of Consumption

1 Page
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Department
Women and Gender Studies
Course Code
WGS160Y1
Professor
D.Alissa Trotz

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Representation
Representation is a communication (language) that can be spoken, written, it can also be visual,
very tactile for it to be effective so that it seems natural and we all have to share the same way of
reading that language.
Meanings that we give to things are the result of social, cultural or linguistic norms that a society
shares as well as in practices of interpretation. Not all ideas can equally contend, some versions
of language are more dominant as well as language has the ability of being able to change with
time, for example words like gay (sexual/happy), wicked (cool/evil) have come to represent
different things..
Once upon a time the ideal woman was considered to be a large hipped and graceful woman but
that representation of the ideology of a woman changed after the Second World War. Women at
the end of the war were expected to return to domesticity and the emerging representation of the
ideal female came to be represented in the form of Barbie. A blue-eyed blonde doll, with long
legs and a perfect figure that stood pretty in pink in her high heels and perfectly made-up face.
Unfortunately for those who were ingrained with the blonde vision a large portion of women
around the globe were to discover that it was an impossible and in many cases deadly ideal. Not
inhibiting the dominant language that came to be that women’s bodies are permanently imperfect
and permanently in need of improvement, creating a lucrative cosmetic industry that encourages
consumerism that uses mass media to maintain the dominant discourse that is embedded in the
ideal of the perfect women. Mass media and consumption become synonymous as many women
seeked improvement and approval from a billion dollar industry that offers, diets, make-up, etc,
with the medical profession offering cosmetic surgeries that assists women in the quest of the
perfect body image to give a meaningful existence that is represented in the ideal of Barbie.
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Description
Representation Representation is a communication (language) that can be spoken, written, it can also be visual, very tactile for it to be effective so that it seems natural and we all have to share the same way of reading that language. Meanings that we give to things are the result of social, cultural or linguistic norms that a society shares as well as in practices of interpretation. Not all ideas can equally contend, some versions of language are more dominant as well as language has the ability of being able to change with time, for example words like gay (sexualhappy), wicked (coolevil) have come to represent different things.. Once upon a time the ideal woman was considered to be a large hipped and graceful woman but that representation of the ideology of a woman changed after the Second World War. Women at the end of the war were expected to return to domesticity and the emerging representation of the ideal female came to be represented in the form of Barbie. A blue-eyed blonde doll, with l
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