Mar 28 2010
A major point from the Conquest of Cool that we discussed in class was the Peacock Revolution and how marketers started advertising to men. This must have been a revolutionary idea at the time to make men more like women. There are very few societies that promote male femininity (even though the contrast of woman masculinity is widespread), so it must have been difficult to start getting men to care about fashion. Even though men’s fashion does change a bit today, it is nowhere near women’s fashion, which changes with every season. However, even today it is hard to market toward men. We talked in class about products targeted toward men and how the always emphasize masculinity to the point of ridiculousness, for example male tissues (because men have more snot). That’s stupid! Hormones have nothing to do with mucus. But, since taking care of your body is a traditionally feminine activity, advertisers play on hypermasculinity.
Or, my favorite new example of sexism…
The narrator keeps saying “look at your man,” like he’s talking to a woman – but is he really talking to women? I doubt it. The ad may feature a man with a sculpted chest talking about how he has “tickets to that thing you like,” but that statement is sexist in nature. It’s saying that women’s wishes aren’t as valid as men’s. Instead, this is clearly marketing toward men who want to be like the guy on the horse.
What the marketers of the 60s probably realized was that there is only so far that men will go for fashion. We will probably always wear polos and khakis as “business casual,” and the differences between what is “in” now versus ten years ago will be pretty subtle. But that’s enough, really. They just need people to buy something every season. Marketers know that playing on stereotypes, men tend to play it safe with fashion.
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