Category Archives: advertising

the modesty movement

Girlpower1 links us to this article about the budding ‘modesty movement’ in America, aimed at the same young girls who are being targeted and/or influenced by marketers and popular culture to participate in the ‘raunch culture’ instead of a more innocent, non-sexualized childhood. The author uses celebrities who are constantly in the media and in the tabloids, and the recent Paris Hilton-goes-to-jail debacle, as a starting-off point for her conversation–Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, etc. She points to their ‘vulgarity’ and asks, are these the role models we want for our young girls?

linday lohan in a sexy halloween costume

 

The author, Colleen Carroll Campbell, gets so much right:

Today’s pop culture tells women that sexual power is the kind that counts most and they can achieve it by showing skin. That message has trickled down to girls, forcing them to trade carefree childhood pleasures for sexual competition.

You can see them in the mall, tugging nervously at their skimpy shorts and halter tops, straining to see how men react to their little bellies flouncing out of low-slung jeans. They look more exploited than empowered as they fuss and cringe, adjust and squirm. How odd that in an age when girls have more athletic and academic opportunities than ever, girlhood has become a high-pressure dress-rehearsal for adult mating games.

This is no doubt, disturbing. As are the following conclusions: Continue reading

model mother?

cindy + kaya 

Supermodel Cindy Crawford caused controversy last September by allowing her 5-year-old daughter, Kaya Jordan Gerber, to pose for Melissa Odabash‘s children’s swimwear campaign last summer. It seems like it wouldn’t be a big deal, since it’s for a children’s swimwear campaign, right? Well, the pictures caused controversy because Kaya was wearing a bikini and standing in the typical risque poses that adult models use, not to mention she had a tattoo on her lower back and was posing topless. Continue reading

bratz . . . 4 real!

Bratz

 Thanks to Robyn for bringing to my attention the trailer for Bratz the Movie, the first live-action film of the Bratz dolls enterprise.  Er, actually, maybe I shouldn’t be thanking you for this?  But either way, here’s the trailer:

Considering that this movie ‘brings to life’ the Bratz dolls that many young girls buy and play with, it’s definitely marketed at least in part (a huge part) to the tween demographic.  Aside from all the pink glittery-ness, it contains so many of the same elements that I mentioned in my post about the Cheetah Girls: diversity, not only of race, but also of image (though the blonde girl does seem to take precedence, based on the trailer); a ‘we will overcome’ attitude; and a message of strength found through unity.  It’s interesting to see that these sentiments expressed Continue reading

ha! aka, mattel does india

After writing the last post about young girls of color and which dolls they prefer, I was bothered by the fact that I couldn’t remember what the Indian Barbie doll I had when I was little looked like (maybe when I get home once the semester is done, I’ll look through all the closets in the house for it…).  So I did some research on Mattel’s history of releasing South Asia-related Barbie dolls, and found these two:

India Barbie – released in 1982, as a Special Edition, part of the ‘Dolls of the World – Asia’ line

India Barbie

India Barbie 2nd Edition, released in 1996, as part of the Collector Edition for the same ‘Dolls of the World’ line:

India Barbie 2nd Edition

Is it just me, or is Continue reading

dumbing down movies for tweens

There was an article in the NY Times recently about the lack of female executives behind the scenes in studios, and it prompted an interesting discussion over at the main blog about how the movies that are greenlighted are the ones that make the most money.  As a result, a lot of movies end up being ‘dumbed down’ or ‘cleaned up’ to a certain degree such that they’re rated PG-13, so that tweens (a large market, presumably the ones with the most buying power in the modern U.S. economy, as I talked about in an earlier post) are able to see them on the weekends.  This makes a lot of sense; I’m sure lots of people have heard of the phrase ‘kiss of death’ used to refer to an X rating for a movie.

It must be true that the tween demographic makes up a significant portion of moviegoers if studios cater to them so much, but I have to wonder if Continue reading

tweens and consumerism

I found this 2005 article from BusinessWeek that not only said a lot of interesting things about companies marketing toward tweens, but also reflected a lot of interesting dilemmas in our society that are related to some of the theory we’ve read in class.  To start off with, the article talks about how though tweens have a lot of purchasing power, it is only because they’re permitted to have it by their parents that this is so.  This makes me wonder, does this reflect Continue reading