<The Gender ADs Project>

 

Wet Women

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<Background: A very standard apparatus of heterosexual male fantasy is that of the wet woman—a woman is commonly shown in water, perhaps in a pool, hot tub or lake, or perhaps covered in water as from a shower, rainfall or broken fire hydrant. In Dreamworlds II Sut Jhally makes the point that women of the dreamworld seem to be obsessed with being wet. In advertising we also see numerous examples of women exposed in water, often in very sexual situations. The Ads: The following ads represent a clear trope in popular advertising. If one were to type "wet women" into a web search engine, that person would likely discover that most, if not all, of the search results relate to pornographic sites. What this indicates is the power of visual imagery and associated cultural, sexual and political contexts. For example, some popular images  illustrate the powerful convention of the women's wet car wash in male heterosexual fantasy.   Questions: (1) What does water connate in the advertising related to women? (2) How is it that water, a natural substance, is constructed to take on a sexualized context in advertising? (3) Are there similar representations of men in water? >

 

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<presented by Scott A. Lukas, Ph.D.>