Thursday, August 10, 2006

...you mean I don't?

I took a cab home yesterday (an unfortunately rare treat) and on the way, near the BAM in the Flatbush area, my cab passed another cab with one of those triangular ad spaces on top. It was an ad for Diane von Furstenberg cosmetics, with her signature pink lips graphic, and the phrase "Feel like a woman!" splashed across the top.

As soon as I saw it, it got me thinking. I'm a woman. Do I feel like one? What the hell is it supposed to feel like (besides the PMS bullshit). The ad suddenly made me question whether or not I even felt the way I was supposed to... all thanks to a phrase.

It doesn't take an idiot to realize that they're trying to simply sell designer clothes and cosmetics, and want to tap into the modern women's urge to sometimes indulge her feminine side. Still, it was troubling that the wording initial made me question what I'm supposed to feel like.

I did a little research this morning, and came across this little article in New York Magazine. Originally, in 1976, her slogan was "Feel like a woman. Wear a dress." Talk about a backlash against the pantsuits and jeans of the era...

2 comments:

MaMa-Feminista said...

As an art history and contemporary culture graduate student I constantly think about space. Interestingly, the space of a Walgreens is one giant ad in the placement of products and the design of the store. Next time you stroll through check out where all the cosmetics are.

Jennifer said...

Still haven't been able to get to a Walgreen's... I have a feeling all pharmacy/convienance stores would be similar, but I want to go and browse the aisles on purpose now.

I know that the grocery store is set up a particular way to get you to buy things, and that certain shelves or display space actually costs more to rent! (Marion Nestle's book What to Eat has some good info about the politics of food)