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05 JULY 2014

A Feminist Analysis of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

Abstract: "Drawing from several areas of research, this thesis explores the ways in which Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty appropriates feminist themes to sell beauty products, to the detriment of female consumers. Advertising and marketing have long held the power to create, shape, and reinforce cultural norms, and for years, advertisers have been able to propagate and strengthen gender stereotypes. Though there has been a push since the late 1990s to stem the flow of sexist and potentially dangerous advertising messages about women's bodies, ads still disseminate harmful messages that contribute to the further sexualization and oppression of women in the United States. Dove is just one of the many female–targeted brands that claim to hold progressive, woman–positive ideals, while still selling products intended to make women more beautiful–supposedly the ultimate goal for any modern female. While the campaign professes a desire to increase confidence and self–esteem for women and girls around the globe, it promotes a post–feminist, consumerist agenda that actually reinforces what Naomi Wolf titled 'the beauty myth'. Linguistic and visual analyses of Dove's print and viral marketing tactics within the contexts of advertising, feminism, and consumer culture reveal that instead of 'redefining' beauty, the Dove campaign is, in actuality, reinforcing decades–old ideology about women's appearance and status in society."

(Caitlin McCleary, 2014)

McCleary, Caitlin M., "A Not–So–Beautiful Campaign: A Feminist Analysis of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty" (2014). University of Tennessee Honors Thesis Projects. http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_chanhonoproj/1691

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2013advertising campaignanxietyappropriationbeauty industrybeauty productsbody imageco-optionconsumer culturecultural normsdepictions of womendissertationDove (brand) • Dove Real Beauty Sketches (2013) • drawingemotional responseemotive manipulationempowerment themeevocative advertisingfemale consumerfemale-targeted brandsfeminist analysisfeminist themesgender stereotypesgendered brands • honours thesis • marketing campaign • Naomi Wolf • physical appearancepost-feminist agenda • real beauty • Real Beauty (campaign) • redefining beauty • self-criticism • self-esteemself-perceptionsexualisation • sketch artist • sketching • The Beauty Myth (1990) • Unilever • University of Tennessee • viralviral adviral advertisingviral marketing tactics

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
21 MARCH 2014

Haul girls: identity performance through brand consumption and endorsement

"Helina is explaining what a haul girl is to me. 'Basically, you go out shopping for clothes or beauty products,' she says, 'then you make a haul video and show viewers on YouTube what you got. You go through the items of clothing one by one. I guess what people get out of them is not showing off, like, how much money you've got or anything, but lifestyle: you get to see how one person lives, what their taste is.'

If you're minded to sneer at a youth cult that involves making videos about your shopping, then Helina has a pretty intriguing counter–argument. 'It's not just about showing what you've got,' she says. 'It's a whole creative process behind the videos as well, which is what I enjoy about it. Choosing the right music, going from the filming to the editing. Sometimes I even storyboard things, because I want certain shots, how I can present different items and things like that.' Besides, she says, it's a genuine community. She thinks a lot of haul girls 'turn the camera on because it's a way to talk to people without having to go outside and face their fears. I know that was the case with me: I turned on my camera because I was at home, signed off work, sick, and really bored. And it helped with my confidence in a way. There's this community where you can talk to like–minded people.'"

(Alexis Petridis, 20 March 2014, The Guardian)

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2014affective consumptionaffective goal achievementamateur cultural productionASOSbeauty products • Boohoo • Boots (shop) • brand awareness • clothes shopping • commodificationcommodity fetishismconstructed identitiesconsumer aestheticsconsumer brandsconsumer cultureconsumer endorsementconsumption spectaclecultural materialismcultural monoculturedigital narcissism • haul girl • haul video • I shop therefore I amidentity performancelifestyle • Missguided (shop) • new media content productiononline communityonline followersperformativitypersonal tastepost-feminist agenda • Primark • product endorsementrecommender culture • retail therapy • shopping for clothes • show and tellspectacular societysubculturetaste formationsThe Guardianunboxingvideo blogger • whats in my bag (video) • whats in my purse (video) • YouTube • Zara (shop)

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 JUNE 2013

Pulp International: retro popular culture and graphic novel illustration

"Yes, fifteen years ago it was. We were kids who didn't know squat about print publishing and now we're older and we don't know squat about web publishing. But we hope Pulp International manages to entertain. It's a bit different from our old Pulp, but it's similar in many ways too. We'll be looking for pulp everywhere – certainly in the usual places, like books and magazines, but also in music and art. For that matter, we'll also be looking for pulp events – that is, real–world crimes with a touch of deceit or corruption. And lastly, we'll be posting images from blaxploitation, sexploitation, noir, horror, sci–fi and psychedelia films, because these too seem like pulp. At least to us. So there you go. Nothing is permanent, and this site won't be either, but as long as it's fun, and you enjoy it, we'll be here."

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1950s1960s1970s1996advertising imagesadvertising posters • blaxploitation • book cover designcheesecakeconsumer culturedesign ephemeradetective storyfilm noirglamour shotgraphic novelmagazine artmagazine illustrationmaterial culturenewspaper adNSFW • Pierre-Laurent Brenot • pin-uppop-culture • popular illustration • poster art • psychedelia • psychedelic imagerypulp fiction • Pulp International (magazine) • retrosci-fisex sellssexploitationsexual innuendotitillationvintage advertisingvisual depictionvisual ephemera

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
19 DECEMBER 2012

North Korean 'Propaganda' is the real viral hit of 2012

"Propaganda 2012 is a 95–minute video that presents itself as a North Korean educational video intending to inform the citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea about the dangers of Western propaganda. The video's uploader, known as 'Sabine', reiterates a statement she gave to the Federal Police regarding the movie's origins. She explains how the film was given to her by people claiming to be North Korean defectors whilst she was visiting Seoul. ...

Although the origins of Propaganda 2012 are contentious, its power lies in the fact that much of its content attempts to avoid invented history. Considering the media buzzwords associated with the alleged country of origin, Propaganda 2012 turns a mirror onto the Western world and seeks to criticise its entire history and culture–from the genocide and imperialism of its past, to the interventionism and consumerism of the modern era. The movie's overall attitude seems to express an intention to educate, shock and caution its audience into realising that people in the West are governed by a super–rich ruling class (The one per cent), who do not offer them true democracy; but instead seek to invade and assimilate as many countries as possible, whilst distracting their population with a smokescreen of consumerism, celebrity, and reality television. This message is spread across the video's 17 chapters, which each attempt to focus on specific examples of Western indoctrination and oppression. The film is regularly punctuated by commentary from an anonymous North Korean professor, and quotes from Western thinkers such as Noam Chomsky and Richard Dawkins. ...

Propaganda 2012 is certainly a film where the audience takes from it what they bring to it, and a variety of emotions can be induced upon viewing. Laughter, cynicism, outrage, contemplation and reflection would all be adequate responses to the video's tough, and often graphic, portrayal of the complex world in which we are living. Yet perhaps the most important thing to remember when watching the film is that the video is available to view uncensored, on a largely unregulated world wide web, and merely represents an extreme end of the vast spectrum of free expression. Therefore, during this festive end to an austere year, enjoy Propaganda 2012 as an interesting and beguiling alternative voice that cries loudly against the dangers of religious consumerism, and reminds us to remain humble and reflect on those less fortunate than ourselves."

(Kieran Turner–Dave, 17 December 2012, Independent Arts Blogs)

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20129/11anti-capitalism • brainwashing • capitalismCentury of the Selfcommunismconspiracy theoriesconsumer cultureconsumer desireconsumerism • counter-terrorism • criticismcult of celebritycultural imperialismcultural implicationsdemocracydistractiondocumentary • DPRK • emotive manipulation • false flag • fear • fear of communism • fear of terrorism • free expression • Gangnam Style • genocidehalf-baked ideashistory and culture • hysterics • imperialism • indoctrination • interventionism • invented history • Just Do It • Korea • life in the West • likes • manufacturing consent • moralitynarcissismnationalism • neo-imperialist • Noam ChomskyNorth KoreaoppressionOprah WinfreyParis Hiltonpatriotismpolitical educationpropagandaPropaganda (2012)public relationsQuentin Tarantinoreality televisionreligion • religious consumerism • Richard Dawkins • Sabine (pseudonym) • salvation • September 11 2001shockingsmokescreensocialist realismSociety of the Spectacle (Guy Debord)South Koreaspectacle • Survivor (tv series) • terrorism • the one per cent • trust • Tyra Banks • unconscious desireswatching television

CONTRIBUTOR

David Reid
10 DECEMBER 2012

Plug and play: the 'new purpose' of physical consumer space

"an effective physical connection is still absolutely imperative to brand success. Rather than assuming that the physical space is being hindered by the growth of digital activity, brands and designers are beginning to embrace the newer channels where consumers are choosing to spend their time and deliver a physical environment that adds value around these. Get the basic understanding of the 'new purpose' of the physical space right and the physical manifestation of the design will boom from there.

The key is to design interiors that can respond and morph with social and cultural shifts, so that the spaces become a form of 'cultural commentary', adding value to the popular activities of today's audiences. Above all, interior design must be approached in a way that ensures that the brand communicates a relevant message through this critical channel. This can be achieved by considering and responding to three key topics: cultural relevance, social context and technology integration."

(Lucy Johnston, Design Week)

Fig. "The Anthropologist", iloveretail.com

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activity and consumption • added valueadded value through design • always connected • audience • brand concepts • brand success • brands • buying online • colourways • communication channel • concrete space • consumer culture • consumer experience • consumerscultural commentarycultural relevance • cultural shifts • design features • design interiors • digital activity • digital designdigital worlddwell timeeffective brand spaceexperience designgraphic designinterior design • Lucy Johnston • new purpose of the physical space • personal freedom • physical connection • physical consumer spacephysical environmentphysical manifestationphysical retail spacephysical space • plug and play • popular activities • print design • relevant messages • respond and morph • social context • social shifts • solid space • spacesspatial designsuccessful brand spacetechnology integrationvirtual world

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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