Sunday, January 31, 2010

Is Victoria's Secret Too Sexy For Their Own Good?

This article has been updated at www.DesaraeVeit.com read part II

We all have heard the term: "Sex Sells." It's true. We like looking at attractive people. Whether they are a little over weight or not is indifferent it's the attractive, well groomed, well dressed part that we tend to Clammer toward. A Clammer is a marine crustacean that burrows into the depths, which is also how we got the term clammer to mean to dig. So let's dig into this topic, shall we?

Violence verse. Sex

If you study advertising on a global scale you will notice that in Europe sex is a fact of life, but that violence is frowned upon. In Northern America, we are the polar opposite of this trend, where violence is in every movie, child's game and book. That doesn't mean that either form of this broadcasting duality is appropriate or amoral, just stating the facts.

The Subconscious Reaction to Broadcasting, a Cognitive Reaction

I'll save you the trouble of looking up the big words in my title. Social cognition is a term that I learned in my junior psychology class. Cognition is the scientific term for "the process of thought" to knowing. Basically when you see an object, hear a sound, or start telling a story cognition is the process of remembering other pieces of that story. Cognition is like a spider web of memory and when you remember one thing you often remember another and another. On a deeper level cognition effects your feelings and decision making. When you see a car coming you know that the object is probably faster than it appears, animals do not have this common sense. You also know that if someone lies to you, you may or may not be able to trust them. You have a memory of them lying to you and how that made you feel or react.

So how does Social Cognition relate to Victoria's Secret, Violence, or SEX?

Think about the last few times you watched a movie with a villain. You probably didn't have very much sympathy for that villain, did you? Think about if that villain was a violent person, a rapist or a murderer. What feelings did the villain's actions provoke? Towards the end did you hope that person disappeared, was locked up or worse yet, murdered themselves? The way that movies and the media skew our views can sometimes devalue life, our personal image or time. 

Think of the pictures in Victoria's Secret. How many women look like that? I know I certainly do not look like a Victoria's Secret model. I'm not tall enough, thin enough or symmetrically shaped like a barbie doll. In college I may have had abs, but have spent much of my time since then missing them. I'm not saying I think I'm the ugly duckling or even trying to have a pity party, simply pointing out how these images raise or lower the standard of morality.

Just food for thought. I'm not a feminist. I'm not against them either. Just someone reading my Victoria's Secret magazine, who wonders how our marketing tactics effect things like small girls with anorexia, the columbine incident, or the war in Iraq. I'd love to read your feedback on here or on my twitter account.

Photo Credit Victoria's Secret Magazine
Photo Credit My Painting for Sale

As always you are more then welcome to use any of my content, repost it, rewrite it, and broadcast it all I ask is that you link back to where you found it (http://interactivemedias.blogspot.com)


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Thanks for reading!

--Desarae A. Veit
Agency Couture







3 comments:

Pulling.com said...

I think the same thing goes for trying to sell everything to men with sex also. Some of us just want a good explanation and practical usage or maybe some fun uses for products or services. We don't need boobs and butts or the chance of meeting the girl in the commercials.....just sayin most of us want a little more intelligence when it comes to ads, we even like a little humor thrown in there also!

Ted Rightmire said...

I heard about a study in Canada (sorry, haven't dug up references, so take this with a pound of salt) that found movies with sex displayed prominently in then advertising actually performed worse. And I find myslef agreeing with Pulling.com that more and more, especially with the rise od social media, I'm really just looking for straight up descriptions of solid products.

That said, I'm not shopping for bras, makeup, or perfume. But I do have a very young daughter, and I often come across the same thoughts, and worry about how to raise her such that she will have genuine self confidence, and not be intimidated by the media she experiences. Thanks for the thought starter, now I have to go lecture my 2yr old, lol :)

Kim Opitz said...

I like to think my girls have an advantage, because they're under the age of 5 and we already talk about advertising and how it affects perceptions. Of course, we'll see how Mom's input holds up to that social cognition you described - 10 years from now.

I've also given presentations about kids and advertising, and it's so fascinating to find out what parents DON'T actually know...

Good thoughts here, Desarae. Exactly why we don't have tv in our home.

This sums it up as well:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei6JvK0W60I

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