“Male Gaze in Advertising” – Blog Post #3 – Xiarra-Diamond Nimrod

A few weeks ago, I led the class discussion on the “Male Gaze”, which is a concept that was introduced in 1975 by Laura Mulvey in her essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”. She states that “men do the looking and women are to be looked at” and this that concept can be found in cinema and advertising. I wanted to expand on it a bit more as well as hear some of my classmates thoughts. Have you guys noticed that in fragrance ads, its become quite the norm to see women in passive positions versus men in more dominant ones? Or even the sensual or (sometimes blank) facial expressions on the models faces? While looking up examples for my essay, I came across a few fragrance ads that made me sit back and think “Wow, sex really does sell….” but also made me wonder “Why are the women sexualized in almost every ad?” It’s really frustrating to see how fragrance ads, which cater to both men and women, constantly belittle women and allow men to be macho with the ONLY goal being to increase their fragrance sales. Check out some of the most controversial fragrance ads down below, and let me know your thoughts on them.

Xiarra-Diamond Nimrod


One thought on ““Male Gaze in Advertising” – Blog Post #3 – Xiarra-Diamond Nimrod

  1. I agree with your post. After doing a research for my second paper, I was half surprised and not so surprised at how most male fragrances portrayed women as submissive and men as dominant. As if, the fragrance will make the man more attractive and appealing to women and they will come running for his attention. This idea behind marketing is really condescending toward women. It basically portrays that women’s role is limited to being a sexual object for men’s pleasure. This is problamatic because ad campaigns confine women to certain gender roles and also make them less confidence toward their appearance. In almost all ads, only good looking people appear on the ads promoting perfumes. Using models with perfect bodies, and youthful features leads to many women not being able to relate to the ad. Such sexualization of her body on ads, leads her to be dissatisfied with her average woman body.


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