Research Paper Writing Help on Sexism


Advertising has evolved over the years to become more interesting and appealing to the target market. The apparel industry in particular has modified its advertising in such a way that it appeals to the youth using popular celebrities in music, films, and sports. Even more is that nudity, especially among female models used in the apparel industry, has become commonplace as a drive for appeal to the target market (LaTour and Henthorne 25). Additionally, where nudity is absent, models usually pose in compromising positions, with an allure of sex exuded from the compromising embrace, pose or look, especially for adverts that feature couples. In looking at a Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana adverts, sex and submission are epitomized by the models and the position of the model.

            The Dolce and Gabbana features four men and a woman. One of the males, who is bare chested, has the woman pinned down, while the other men look on as if waiting for their turn. Two of the men are fully clothed while the other man close to the man pinning down the woman is also bare chested, and in a short, with his boxers waist band visible with DOLCE & GABBANA scripted on it. The woman on the other hand is in black high heels with a leather body-hugging leotard, with an expression of ecstasy on her face. This is on a watery and sky background, with a cloudy blue sky.

            All the models in the advert are Caucasian, and apart from the woman’s black leather leotard, all are in blue jeans (trousers for the three and a short for the other male). The scene is a mixture of the cloudy sky and white and grey props that provide a stormy yet erotic backdrop. This, according to LaTour and Henthrone increases the advert’s appeal since, “nudity and erotic content have been found to increase attention to the advertisement” (25).

            The advertisement therefore finds its credibility from the models used, who are not only young, but also good-looking. Thus, by dressing in Dolce & Gabbana, the advertisement presupposes irresistibility to both men and women. The expression of ecstasy and yearning from the woman and men in the advertisement draws attention to the feeling an individual gets when wearing Dolce & Gabbana; so much is the urge that a person cannot resist apparel from the fashion house. The look of ecstasy on the woman’s face is a reason enough to draw the audience’s attention of the apparel house. Thus, while pinned down, the woman sees no cause for alarm given that all the males are in Dolce & Gabbana.

            On the other hand, the Gucci advert features two models: a man and a woman with the woman lying on the man’s lap, who seems to be spanking the woman on her bottom.  Seated on a brown polished wooden bench with a similar colored wardrobe whose doors are closed, the Caucasian male is in a silver suit, while the woman is comfortable on the man’s lap is a mini-dress stopping in the middle of her thighs, with silver high heels on her feet. The man has an “I do not care” attitude on his face looking straight at the camera, while the woman seems unperturbed by the whole debacle, seemingly comfortable with the whole situation. The brown polished wood therefore provides the background for the advert, with the words GUCCI on the foreground running on the woman’s back and the man’s chest. The polished background sends a message of “coolness,” class and refinement by dressing in Gucci as depicted by the two Caucasian models. Moreover, the erotic nature of the pose appeals to those, particularly women, who are concerned with their looks and want to ooze sexiness whenever they go.  

            Both the Dolce and Gabbana adverts target the youth (17-30 years) given the models used are within this age bracket. According to Brown et al. “people—youth especially—do not just buy a product’’. They buy what the brand brings (or is perceived to bring) to the table, and its functions. They buy the feeling, emotion, and context” (60). Therefore, by using such models, the adverts are targeting the youth who can easily associate with the models in the adverts given the similarity in the ages of the models and the target audience. Moreover, this group (the youth) is “savvy and well-informed when it comes to advertising—they are better than any previous generation at recognizing when they are being marketed to” (Brown et al. 60). However, while the Gucci ad may be more appealing to males, given the “submissiveness” of the female model receiving some “spanking,” the Dolce & Gabbana ad would be more appealing to female, given the abs on display by the male models in the ad. Both ads are however stereotypical depicting male domination in the pinning down and the spanking of the female models in the Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci ads respectively.

            Both advertisements make assumptions on the submissiveness of women. By donning Gucci or Dolce & Gabbana, any of the male advances to the women would be accepted, however, demeaning to the woman such advances might be. Both ads therefore show some form of aggressive behavior towards women, assuming that both men and women looking at the ad will find the situations normal if not exciting. In warning about such assumptions, Ainsworth states, “we have to be mindful of the depictions of different groups in the media, since these depictions could come to shape perceptions of, and attitudes toward these groups” (86).

            Both the adverts endeavor to portray coolness of the products being advertised. However, both convey a message of male domination and female submissiveness by the very pose of the models in the advertisements. The pinning down and the expression of ecstasy and spanking of the female in the Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci adverts tend to propagate violence against women, as well as the need for males to dominate their women. Women should enjoy such domination as it is the only the right thing to do. Such depictions are however dangerous and may have negative social consequences. The adverts curve out roles and reactions of different people in the society. The danger in this is that the “concepts’’ eventually become habituated into reciprocal roles played by the actors in relation to one another. When these roles are made available to other members of society to enter into, play out, and reciprocate, the reciprocal interactions are said to be institutionalized” (Akindele, Iyambo and Otubanjo 16). Therefore, given that the adverts are youth-centric, they may tend to infuse such stereotypical behavior on the youth, who may see this as normal. This is therefore a bias against women, who are seen as nothing other than objects for male satisfaction and domination.

Work Cited

Ainsworth, Anthony, B. “A Year in the Life of the African-American Male in Advertising: A Content Analysis.” Journal of Advertising, 35.1 (2006): 83-104

Akindele, Oluwaseun, Jeremiah Iyamabo, and OlutayoOtubanjo. “Social Constructionism and the Corporate Brand: Semiotic Analyses of Print Adverts.” Business Management and Strategy 4.1 (2013): 13-31. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.

Brown, Graham et al. Youth Marketing Handbook.MobileYouth, 2011. Print

LaTour, Michael, S. and Henthrone, Tony, L. “Female Nudity: Attitudes Towards the Ad and the Brand, and Implications for Advertising Strategy.” The Journal of Consumer Marketing, 10.3 (1993): 25-33