Presentation on theme: "Marlboro Men: Outsider Masculinities and Commercial Modeling in Postwar America by Elspeth H. Brown in Producing Fashion, Blaszczyk, Ed. Fashion History."— Presentation transcript:
Marlboro Men: Outsider Masculinities and Commercial Modeling in Postwar America by Elspeth H. Brown in Producing Fashion, Blaszczyk, Ed. Fashion History and Culture Thursday 13 September 2012
World War I: Little white slavers Mainstream white America associated cigarettes with Foreigners Working-class immigrants from southern and eastern Europe Actresses who flaunted their sexuality on stage Effeminate me, Brown, 188.
From Victorian times through the post-World War II era, advertising professionals, publicists and other have linked commodities to ideal bodies to produce fashion, and vice versa, Brown 1919. However, from slim fashions, and cigarettes instead of sweets for women of the 1920s, in the 1950s, the relationship between cigarettes, the body, and fashion was again reconfigured in terms of a new idea: the nonconformist, outsider masuculinity of the Marlboro Man.
Marketing Research: Cigs are sissy Alfred Pulitzer, Ernest Dichter and Elmo Roper together conducted the most extensive market research on the industry ever done, Brown 192. These fashion intermediaries tackled the problem of cigarettes having non-normative masculine gender formations in the minds of consumers through Packaging re-design: crest and bold-red color ways Logo and brand identity re-design All-new advertising, Brown 192-193
The Effeminacy Problem First: Marlboro couldnt symbolize the failure of post-war masculinity in an age of rising consumerism (which was implicitly feminine) in a service – not manufacturing or agriculture – based economy Second: the cancer scare – cigarettes being masculine helped to alleviate those fears, Brown 194.
Outsider Masculinity as Hip Consumerism What is outsider masculinity? Masculine gender positions that did not depend on family life, domesticity or the breadwinning role as a means of anchoring heteronormativity. Tattoos and, later, cowboy imagery, gave the advertising narrative important visual symbols. Thomas Franks hip consumerism suggested three early Marlboro Man images Tattooed sailor (Ed Hardy adopts this image) Beat musician Virile creative artist/photographer, Brown 197.
The Cowboy: Brand Emissary A working cowboy as opposed to a professional model, successfully met the critical authenticity tests for the Marlboro brand narrative: Non-urban Non-industrial Undomesticated Manual labor Inevitability of the natural conquest of the American West All of which was shot with a documentary (not studio) photography style that lent journalistic realism (and therefore authenticity) to the subject.
Always and Forever: Heteronormative Masculinity The most important thing about the Marlboro Man in semiotic terms is that to be a model – someone who is paid to perform with commodities before the lens – is to be implicitly feminized, Brown 205. The working cowboy secured him as an icon of heteronormative masculinity.
The End of Men: 2010 – Present Rosin, Hanna. The End of Men. New York: Riverhead, 2012. 320 pages. $27.95. In 2010 young American women had a median income higher than that of their male peers in 1,997 our of 2,000 metropolitan regions, Rosin 2012. Women are the majorities in colleges and professional schools on every continent except Africa. As a result, women have to marry down, marry late or not marry at all and raise children alone.
The End of Men: 2010 – Present The jobs that were lost during the recession were in fields that were male dominated: construction, manufacturing and finance; the same number of jobs that arose post recession were in more female-friendly fields, including health, service and education, Carol Tavris, WSJ book review. The struggling middle class is slowly turning into a matriarchy, with men increasingly absent from the workforce and home, and as women make all the decisions. And women wonder why they should give up their freedom to be with a looser man, as one executive warns women: be very careful about marrying freeloading, bloodsucking parasites, Carol Tavris, WSJ book review.
The End of Men: 2010 – Present It used to be if women had casual sex it was to keep the guy happy; now many have casual sex for their own pleasure and to keep from being derailed from their career goals with something serious, Carol Tavris, WSJ book review.