You are on page 1of 6

Watson 1

Amber Watson Dr. Erin Dietel McLaughlin Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric Annotated Bibliography Since the 1980s, there has been a change in rhetoric in fashion advertisements that led to the increase in the sexualization of women, especially young girls. Young girls, in particular, are appearing older in fashion advertisements, while women are appearing much younger. I plan to talk about the most obvious to the least obvious reasons behind this phenomenon. I am interested in this topic because the sexuality of women are becoming more explicit in advertisements, fashion especially, and the rhetoric in advertisements has changed. There has been a trend, in which younger models are definitely appearing significantly older through makeup, hair, clothes, dialogue, posing and framing and older models appearing younger through the same rhetorical tools. My main research question is: what are the reasons behind this increase and the change of appearance in the model, other than because sex sells? My other questions are: what are the effects of this phenomenon on females? What is the solution to this phenomenon? I plan to expand my research to scholarly articles, books and newspapers to show a plethora of sources. Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. The Lolita Effect: The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What We Can Do about It. Woodstock, NY: Overlook, 2008. Print. In this book, M. Gigi Durham, PhD, explains the Lolita effect (or look) happening in advertisements and culturally. Her audiences range from a scholarly audience to a group of concerned mothers, since she gives step by step advice to parents who want to address this phenomenon to their children. She appears appalled towards the Lolita Effect, especially since

Watson 2

she has two young girls. Durham talks about how the image of the sexy little girl has always been active in the males fantasy and is increasingly becoming popular in the media. Durham argues that one reason behind the popularity of the Lolita Effect is because youthful and childlike appearances are the ideal forms of beauty. She supports this argument by illustrating the increase of older models or celebrities that are portrayed as significantly younger in advertisements. Durham discusses the implications of the Lolita Effect, such as that the younger a girl is, the sexier she is (127). Thus, this book proves to be a great source for my research, because it will help me develop my argument in greater detail. This book adds dimension to Merskins article, Reviving Lolita? A Media Literacy Examination of Sexual Portrayals of Girls in Fashion Advertising, because Merskin briefly talk about the implications of the Lolita Effect, while Durham discusses it more in depth. Ivinski, Pamela A. "I See London, I See France, I See Calvin's Underpants." Sex Appeal: The Art of Allure in Graphic and Advertising Design. Ed. Steven Heller. New York: Allworth, 2000. 108-15. Print. Sex Appeal: The Art of Allure in Graphic and Advertising Design is a collection of essays contributed by different authors and edited by Steven Heller, senior art director of New York Times and the chair of the MFA design department at School of Visual Arts. In one essay, I See London, I See France, I See Calvins Underpants., Pamela A. Ivinski, a writer and editor, talks about the blatant, explicit sexual appeal used in Calvin Kleins advertisements and his exploitation of young people. She writes her essay to people who are disgusted at designers exploiting youth, such as concerned mothers. She appears to be disgusted toward Kleins commercials. Ivinksi talks about Brooke Shieldss Calvin Klein Jean commercial, in which Shields sexually implicated that she was not wearing anything underneath her jeans. She also

Watson 3

talks about Kate Mosss Calvin Klein advertisements, where she appears looking childlike while half naked. Ivinski argues that Calvin Klein commercials blur the lines between child or adult and innocent or experienced. Ivinksi concludes her writing by saying that we may or may not be the ones directly exploiting youngsters, but almost every time we make a purchase we open out front doors to those who do, and happily point them in the direction of the basement.(Ivinski 114) She makes this statement in order to argue that instead of demonizing Klein or any designers, people should consider their own role in the market that is exploiting young people. This writing will help me in my research, since it provides a great example of one of the first advertisements that started to over sexualize young people, especially girls. It differs from other sources because Ivinski only talks about one specific example of the sexualization of young people. Merskin, Debra. "Reviving Lolita? A Media Literacy Examination of Sexual Portrayals of Girls in Fashion Advertising." American Behavioral Scientist 48.1 (2004): 119-129. Print. In this article, Debra Merskin (a PhD professor at University of Oregon) discusses how females are sexualized in advertisements, especially in fashion, to give them the Lolita look. She is writing this article to a scholarly audience. Merskin appears distraught and even disgusted about this topic. Merskin talks about how young girls are conveyed as older, while women are conveyed as younger for the fetishization of young girls innocence and their vulnerability(120) in order to appeal vampish and virginal, forbidden and accessible(121). Females, especially young girls, are exploited in advertisements to appeal to the pedophilic males fantasy. With the Galicians (2004) analysis, Merskin describes in great detail how four fashion advertisements (La Perla, Gucci, Baby Phat, Marc Jacobs) sexually portrayed the models, then deconstructs the advertisements to show her audience how they used

Watson 4

makeup, clothing and posing to make the models appear older or younger. This article should be extremely helpful to my research, since it provides a refreshing and eye opening reason behind why females are overly sexualized. This article shows me how I can approach my research from the least obvious reason. This source echoes the claims of another source, The Lolita Effect by M. Gigi Durham, since Durham also notices that rise of the Lolita look in fashion advertisements. Reichert, Tom, and Courtney Carpenter. "An Update on Sex in Magazine Advertising: 1983 to 2003." Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 81.4 (2004): 823-837. Print. In this article, Tom Reichert, an associate professor of advertising, and Courtney Carpenter, a doctoral student, illustrate how the sexual content in advertisements has become more explicit and prevalent over the course of twenty years. They support their argument by providing relevant statistics. For example, they said that in 2003, 49% of female models were sexually attired, while in 1983, only 28% were sexually attired (832). Reichert and Carpenter also briefly explained that mediated messages (i.e., commercials, magazine ads) containing sexual information with the persuasive purpose of selling branded goods was the definition of sex in advertising (824). They also briefly discuss that more explicitly defined sex appeal in advertisements allude to women as sex objects. Their audience is clearly anyone interested in this research topic and want to use this article to further develop their own research. Reichert and Carpenter appear indifference towards this topic. This source is useful to my research, since it clearly shows that there is a trend of more explicit sex appeal in advertisements. I am only slightly wary of this article because Reichert and Carpenter said that some types of sexual explicitness in advertising have at least reached a temporary plateau as public criticism of indecency in media has increased (834). This statement is obviously false, because since 2003,

Watson 5

women have increasingly become more sexualized in advertisements. This source can be used to add dimensions to all my other sources, since Reichert and Carpenter provide statistics to show that women are increasingly sexualized in advertisements. Reichert, Tom. "What Is Sex in Advertising? Perspectives from Consumer Behavior and Social Science Research." Sex in Advertising: Perspectives on the Erotic Appeal. Ed. Tom Reichert and Jacqueline Lambiase. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 2003. 11-38. Print. Sex in Advertising: Perspectives on the Erotic Appeal is also a collection of essays contributed by different authors and edited by Tom Reichert and Jacqueline Lambiase. One of the essays, What is Sex in Advertising? Perspectives from Consumer Behavior and Social Science Research was written by Tom Reichert. Reichert describes how sex sells and the types of sexual information in advertisements. He describes the types of sexual information as nudity, sexual behavior, physical attractiveness, sexual referents and sexual embeds. He talks about how rhetoric is used through facial expression and posing in order to make the advertisement appear more sexual. Reichert provides pictures of advertisements and describes some advertisements to further prove his point. Underneath each picture, Reichert points out the models sultry gaze or how a type of sexual information is portrayed in the advertisement. His audience could be researchers in this particular topic or advertising students. Reichert seems to be neutral towards his topic; he does not seem biased towards the topic at all. This source adds dimension to the article, An Update on Sex in Magazine Advertising: 1983 to2003. In the article, the definition of sex is only briefly mentioned, while Reichert gives a more in depth evaluation on the definition of sex in this essay.

Watson 6

Zurbriggen, Eileen L., and Tomi-Ann Roberts. "Fighting Sexualization: What Parents, Teachers, Communities and Young People Can Do." Ed. Tomi-Ann Roberts. The Sexualization of Girls and Girlhood. Ed. Eileen L. Zurbriggen. New York: Oxford University, 2013. 30210. Print. The Sexualization of Girls and Girlhood is another collection of essays contributed by different sources and edited by Eileen L. Zurbriggen and Tomi-Ann Roberts. Zurbriggen and Roberts wrote the essay, Fighting Sexualization: What Parents, Teachers, Communities, and Young Girls Can Do. Their audience is typically the general public who is against sexualization of young girls. The authors are addressing how to stop or fight against the cultural sexualization of young girls. Cultural sexualization refers to the sexualization found in magazines, advertisements, music videos, cartoons and video games. Zurbriggen and Roberts seem passionate about fighting against cultural sexualization. They give examples of how people can diminish the popularity of cultural sexualization. If people cannot diminish the popularity of cultural sexualization, Zurbriggen and Roberts also give advice how to diminish the negative effects caused by it. They suggest educating girls in media literacy. Since girls internalize sexualizing images from the media, media literacy programs will help prevent body image problems. Zurbriggen and Roberts also talk about how changing media landscape will help diminish the popularity of cultural sexualization. The ideal situation would be if marketers, manufactures and the media would stop publishing sexualized images of girls. This source will be helpful in my research since it clearly talks about what people can do to stop the sexualization of girls. It differs from all my other sources because none of them truly discusses how to stop the sexualization of females.