November 12, 2008
Watching Women Street Art–Part 2c WOC Edition–Turkish Gold
One of the biggest offenders in the gender ads WOC gallery seemed to be cigarette advertising. The Virginia Slims ads are particularly bad using stereotypes to sell the sexiness of their cigarettes while using the tagline “find your voice”. Firstly, cigarettes have long been proven to damage and actually remove your voice, secondly, using a stereotype and calling it individuality is just plain baffling.
I chose to use this camel cigarettes advert as the basis for my third and final stencil in part 2 of the series. It seems representations of Middle Eastern women are either belly dance/mysterious/spicy/sexy or completely veiled. It is the virgin/whore trope taken to extremes.
Looking through the gender ads WOC gallery was very eye opening for me. I have to admit that while I am fairly quick to notice gendered stereotypes a lot of the cultural stereotyping used for advertising–and the reasons why using said stereotypes is a problem–has really gone under my radar until now. Hopefully I will see more clearly from now on.
A big thanks to Mehitabel Moody Moss for directing me on my way to filling this gap within my art work.