Representation of Women Over Time: The Domestic Servant?

What values/stereotypes/attitudes are being conveyed? How are representation and Identity conveyed?

The message that these two advertisements are trying to convey of the domestic role of women in a household. 

Then: In the ‘then’ image, it is showing a woman trying to remove the lid of a ketchup bottle which is known to be easy. The main line in this ad is “You mean a woman can open it?” asking the question if women are strong enough to open something as simple such as a ketchup bottle. At the same time the lady in the image seems to be very delicate due to the way her hand is positioned next to the bottle. Also showing how she has to present herself for the men of the household though how her hair, makeup and nails are done.

Now: This image shows an egg covered in colourful lines. The main line of this advertisement being “Be a good egg. Treat your daughter for doing the washing up” showing that it is a girl’s job to do the dishes. Even at such a young age it is told that it is a woman’s role to do the household chores. At the same time, the way that they portray the girl as an egg with the connotation that the girl is fragile or sensitive due to the fact that eggs are easy to break whilst showing they are more than just an egg due to their colourful ‘shell’. 

 

How are the adverts similar/different in conveying this?

Other advertisements are using the similar idea of representing a woman through an object or something else. In general representing anything through an object.  Many adverts today like to convey people as other things which have a similar connotation to the demographic of people that they are trying to convey. An example of this would be any given Snickers advertisement where they show that before someone eats a Snickers bar, they are restless or more like an animal, and after eating a Snickers bar, they are more civilised and calm.

 

How do they provoke thinking about global issues?

In a day and age where the fight of equality is still going on even after centuries, this makes us really think if we are actually progressing. Both the ‘Then’ and ‘Now’ images have both connotations that women have to do things for men in terms of being put together for them, being fragile or weak, and do domestic chores. So it really makes me think, are we really progressing in the way some men see women in terms of men thinking they are superior. I would say this would make you really think about the global issue about identity as adverts like this is what sets men to think that this is the identity of women.

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pagli11349@gapps.uwcsea.edu.sg

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