Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Look at them LEGS !

The Spring 2008 Versace ad campaign featuring Gisele Bundchen, is one of the most interesting directing choices that Donatella Versace could have came up with in order to draw the attention of the audiences to her newest collection.


When we look at these two ads (that are exceptionally similar) we see a tall, blond, skinny woman dressed in a delicate dress (either blue or orange). She is wearing high heeled sandals (either blue or orange). The pictures right next to them, only show the legs, which appear to be the legs of the woman in the image next to it. In both cases, the second pictures show woman's legs accessorized with the same high heeled sandals that she is wearing on the image right next to it. We can also see the woman's hands, where she is holding a purse in one hand (a purse that matches in color with the sandals) and
the piece of clothing which suggests it is the dress she is wearing on the image next to it, in the second hand (also in the same color). Finally, we can see that she is accessorized with either bracelets or rings.


These two ads mean much more than just what they appear to be. To an inexperienced person, a person who is not yet tra
ined in looking and critiquing media, these ads simply try to sell a specific dress, specific shoes, and a specific bag from the Spring 2008 collection by Donatella Versace. But an underlying message is much more than that. Yes, the ad aims at showing how beautiful and sophisticated the clothes, and accessories by Donatella Versace are. The reason that a world-wide supermodel Gisele Bundchen is the star of this particular campaign is not coincidental either. Gisele is considered to be one of the most beautiful women alive. Using her as a person who seems to be embracing the clothes by Versace is a very smart move. Not only is it giving more prestige to the clothes and accessories, but it also shows the audiences that these beautiful clothes look amazing on such a gorgeous woman like Gisele. Not only beautiful, this collection is meant to be sexy as well. While the images of Gisele's entire body hint at the sexiness of the collection by positioning Gisele in such a pose (one leg higher than the other, as if trying to reveal more than the clothes cover, placing her hands on her hips and curving her back in a sexy way) is clearly trying to show how sexy each woman who wears the Versace collection might look. Of course the entire ideology of the women as the sex symbol, especially thin, model-like women, is clearly seen here.
But the images that focus just on Gisele's legs are even more intriguing. Although an inexperienced eye would not realize it, these images are even more sexual. The model is tightly holding onto the purse, while she tries to (and here unclear) to take off, or put on the beautiful dress she is wearing in the image next to it. It is actually quite unclear whether the dress is being taken off, or being put on. However, it seems to me as if the dress was being taken off. In this case, the image is even more powerful sexually. It implies that the Versace clothing is so sexy that it cannot go together with the Versace accessories such as the handbag. It might try to say that any woman who actually buys clothing and accessories from this collection would definitely feel as beautifu
l and sexy as Gisele does in both of these adds.
But here comes the issue that I cannot get easily over. Although I believe that this particular set of ads form the campaign is brilliantly directed and has a great idea for a profit, I think it is in itself a little biased. The world of media has long ago made an iconic an image of a thin, slim, and tall woman as the sexy woman that all should aspire to be like. So by placing a beautiful woman like Gisele in such an ad, confirms these biases even more. How should the plus-sized girls feel about an ad like this? They look at Gisele and they KNOW that no matter how many of these dresses, sandals, and handbags they would b
uy, they would never look like this. And unfortunately, I believe that images like these are a main source and reason for the eating disorders of young girls in our society, as well as of the psychological insecurities they might have. Girls look at these images, and they know that they will never look like that. So instead of being happy about the way they look, they aspire to look like Gisele, by starving themselves. Sad reality. I just wish more images and ads like the one below appeared in the media. Because with the great influence it has on our society, it would be much safer and healthier for all of us.

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