I have seen these commercials a few times during broadcasts of sporting events and other television shows. They depict a man ordering a generic light beer in a bar with his friends. His friends tell him that not ordering a Miller Light is second “Un-manly” thing that he has done that day. The advertisement then cuts to a scene of the man screaming in a very high pitched voice and generally freaking out on a rollercoaster while his friends laugh. Miller Light appears to be trying to market their beer as a manly light beer. It is a prime example of how the culture industry constructs our images of self what it means to fit into a particular gender role.
A few days ago I was casually on Hulu catching up on episodes of American Horror Story when this advertisement came up. As a woman, I am not so sure how I feel about it. Let me first say that I am very much a feminist, but I can understand jokes and am not going to run around cursing everyone for saying something that can be construed as insensitive. This however seems to cross the line for me. I don’t even really get the joke. Yes, I see that they are trying to saying that low calorie can also be manly and are trying to fight that stereotype, but why say it’s not for women?? I think this commercial can provide an example of the way in which the culture industry defines what we want in the sense that the ad feels like it needs to justify itself through examples of ‘manliness’ so that the low calorie beverage isn’t seen as a feminine product. The commercial then overcompensates for this (mostly on purpose), but it brings to light how much our perception of things is what we have observed from the influence of ads. I also think that this can illuminate a little on ethnomethodology by shows us what our social norms are through breaking them. The ad clearly shows that there is a stereotype surrounding diet drinks, that only women drink them and that is what is socially acceptable, so they are trying to break that norm. Though it may be positive that the commercial is trying to break a norm or stereotype, it does it in a way that just further stereotypes men and women. This presentation of being a man is just as socially derived, as in this is what is acceptable for a man to behave like, and if you don’t, you are not ‘man enough.’
This image relates to Cooley’s main theory on the focus of how individuals see themselves based on the views that other people have of them, and how that affects our views on ourselves. This advertisement is one of the many examples of how beauty and appearance is culturally defined, and how Cooley was right to say that these outside viewers affect the way in which we present ourselves. The add is for an new Lancome mascara that promises to make lashes ‘doll-like’ for the ‘wide eye look,’ however I find it interesting and relatable to Cooley because who decided it was attractive to look like a doll? This is attractive to us (actually really creepy to me) because of what we have been told is attractive, therefore we want to fit that image so that other people will find us attractive, and therefore our self-concept is justified.
I spotted these purses at a place where the archaic fashions of years passed go to die, Goodwill. Using Cooley’s discussion of how self emerges through an interactive social process, I look at all the items I find in Goodwill as tools the actors once used to set the stage for their performance as a person.