Haha this one is really great. I saw this poster hanging above a rack of clothing in a pretty typical store at the mall. The question that I immediately asked myself is: What exactly is trending?? Hot girls that are trying to look seductive?! The funniest part is that the clothes under the poster had absolutely no relevance to the ones the women are “advertising” in the picture. Obviously this relates to the consumer society and culture industry that we live in today, but I want to focus more on how images like these affect the views of the self that we have discussed more recently.
Essentially this poster is telling young women that if you wear our clothing, you will be “hotter” than you were before. This relates to Mead’s idea of the generalized other, in which we internalize our views of the views of society. So, in this example, the clothing store is using cues from our society to assume that this is what women would want to look like ideally. In turn, people shopping who view this poster are now reinforced and internalize that this is the best way for women (and them) to look. It is a viscous cycle that directly relates to the culture industry because as long as images like these will help companies sell products then they will continue to use them.
This poster also relates to Cooley’s idea of the “looking glass self” in some ways to me. We view ourselves through the perceived eyes of other people. We want people to see us as attractive and cool. If we think we are doing the right things and dressing the right way, our self-concept will be enhanced. We ultimately try and avoid an unfavorable self-concept as much as possible because it can lead to self-hate and body shame. This poster not so subtly hints that this is a way to get that perceived approval you’re seeking from your peers to enhance your own self-image.
1) Realistically, how much do you think posters such as this one influence your own opinions about yourself as well as other people?
2) When will consumer society draw the line on ideal types for men and women? By this I mean it seems that everywhere we look there are more and more studly men advertising male products, where they are more and more provocative/revealing dress for most women advertising. Will this continue forever do you think?