Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Gender Symbolism in Breast Cancer Ads




Compare these two ads for breast cancer, which is usually associated with women despite the fact that it transcends gender. These two ads have starkly different approaches to fighting cancer. The one on the left depicts your friend, your mother. The second ad uses sex appeal to sell awareness, "Those awesome knockers on that gorgeous anonymous babe could someday be victims of breast cancer. And we can’t have that! Support breast cancer research!"

From Lisa:
[On the left] we see a woman who accepts some conventional definitions of femininity (make-up, pearls, earrings and, of course, pink), but rejects the idea that women should be ashamed to lose markers of femininity (”We can live without our hair. We can live without our breasts.”) and instead looks bravely towards a cure (”We cannot live without our hope for a cure.”) Plus, this image is about action (a race) instead of fashion (a scarf), suggesting that it is also a rejection of the idea that to be feminine is to be passive or powerless.
Read more commentary at Sociological Images.

3 comments:

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