Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Study Task Two - The Gaze.

Using quotations from 'The Look' by Rosalind Hammond critically analyse an image from the media.

I have chosen to analyse these two images from a Dolce & Gabbana advertising campaign in 2007. The first thing that strikes me when looking at this image is obvious dominance of the group of males, not only is the woman out numbered greatly but her lying down position also gives the impression of submission. The aspect of male power is intensified further by how all are looking straight at the female form, "In this society, looking has become a crucial aspect of sexual relations, not because of any natural impulse, but because it is one of the ways in which domination and subordination are expressed." This quote explains that this looking gesture is a sign of male domination and how the female gazing away puts her further into submission. Her vacant stare makes her seem distant from reality, maybe showing that this behaviour is no longer a conscious thought but something that has been programmed into her. Continuing this thought further, it can also be said that the woman isn't just being passive out of her own mind but is acting in a way that is expected of her, "The relations involved in looking enmesh with coercive beliefs about the appropriate sexual behaviour for men and women." people are forced into dominant and submissive roles by society. Advertisements like this within the media are created by men, with men in mind which is why we are saturated with images that give men the powerful persona, "Clearly this comfort is connected with feeling secure or powerful. And women are bound to this power precisely because visual impressions have been elevated to the position of holding the key to our psychic well-being, our social success, and indeed to whether or not we will be loved." this may give men confidence but it gives women anxiety that if they don't conform to this idea they won't be loved. Therefore creating the fantasy, as they feel they need to act this way to be accepted. The positioning of the females body in both images is very sexual which categorises her further as a sex object. In the top image she is being forced down by the man, forcing her into this docile fantasy, implying to women that there is no escape from it. The authority of women over time has changed, "Where women's behaviour was previously controlled directly by state, family or church, control of women is now also effected through the scrutiny of women by visual ideals." they are now manipulated not by more physical means but by a mental constraint of constant images in the media on how they should look and act.

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