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Women representation in Harrods advertisements Presentation: Marina Kandroudi.

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Presentation on theme: "Women representation in Harrods advertisements Presentation: Marina Kandroudi."— Presentation transcript:

1 Women representation in Harrods advertisements Presentation: Marina Kandroudi

2 We will see images from jewellery advertisements in a Harrods catalogue. The pictures was taken by a photographer named Iris Brosch. In the below pictures the theme derived from the fairy tale White Snow and Seven Dwarfs. A photograph by Iris Brosch reads like a painting, everything in her background and foreground relating to everything else. Meaning can be read from objects and events in her images, each having many layers of significance. Is it an allegory of the innocence and truth of human soul?

3 Once upon a time, as a queen sits sewing at her window, she pricks her finger on her needle and a drop of blood falls on the snow that had fallen on her ebony window frame. As she looks at the blood on the snow, she says to herself, "Oh, how I wish that I had a daughter that had skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony". This is the first page of the jewellery catalogue in Harrods advertising campaign. The title is Once upon a time… and refers the famous worldwide fairy tale White Snow and Seven Dwarfs. The above words tell us indirectly that a woman is pretty when her skin is white, her hair black and her lips red.






9 'signifier' - the form which the sign takes 'signified' - the concept it represents. A sign must have both a signifier and a signified. About Semiology Semiotics began to become a major approach to cultural studies in the late 1960s, partly as a result of the work of Roland Barthes. The translation into English of his popular essays in a collection entitled Mythologies, followed in the 1970s and 1980s by many of his other writings, greatly increased scholarly awareness of this approach. Writing in 1964, Barthes declared that 'semiology aims to take in any system of signs, whatever their substance and limits; images, gestures, musical sounds, objects.

10 The theory of The Gaze describes how the viewer gazes upon the people presented and represented. As a concept of social power relations, the 1960s ascendancy of postmodern philosophy and postmodern social theory, as exposited by the intellectuals Michel Foucault and Jacques Lacan, popularized usage of the gaze as a term. Feminist theory developed The Gaze in describing the social power relations between women and men how men gaze at women; how women gaze at themselves; how women gaze at other women; and the effects of these ways of seeing. Moreover, critical theorists, such as Cornel West, use the Normative Gaze concept in describing how a Euro-centric racial identity (being a white-skinned-ethnic) is an intellectual lens with which Europeans gaze at other human races as social constructs (coloured-skin-ethnics), and not as persons equal to a European. The Gaze The gaze is characterised by who is the gazer (viewer)

11 Sign: image Signifieds: a woman in black dress, her dress is very long, she holds a mirror and she is in a palace everything is made of glass, there are also expensive and deluxe lights. In the background there are black heavy curtains. Finally, there is the name Harrods down and left. Signifiers: 1.Colour is a power that directly influences a person. The dominant colours in this photo is the black and the colour of glass, maybe the colour of diamonds. The black colour means the death in Western societies and also is the colour of witches. Moreover, black is the color of night and hidden sexuality and especially the black dress. Finally, the long dress means power. Witches also wear black long dresses. 2.Regarding the glass, expresses the womans power and also the richness. 3.The mirror is a symbol which represents the desires, this woman desires the beauty, but only the beauty of her body. In contrast her mental qualities do not exist because she wants only external beauty. This mirror also is a magical mirror, so there is a hidden mystery behind him- it is only an object but seems like human because it can speak in order to tell the truth. So, many people believe that mirrors tell the truth and represent the reality. But mirror represents only a copy of reality, it is a mimesis, so, it is not something real but only an imitation of the real person. However, there is an artifice with this mirror, it is a magical mirror and can express the reality, that is why has to be expensive, it is not an ordinary mirror so cannot have it ordinary people. Only a rich witch can have it, so if you want to be rich and powerful you have to buy the jewelleries from Harrods. 4.Concerning the Harrods, there is no directly reference in the shop, only the name Harrods, but indirectly, this shop is an expensive shop, so the message is, if you want to be in a palace you have to come in Harrods.

12 Sign: image Signifiers: a woman in red dress, her dress has a red hood, she holds a basket with red apples. She wears jewelleries, her lips are also red and she looks the lens. Her background is the green nature. A green tree and a green field. Finally, there is the name Harrods down and right. Signifiers: 1.In this picture also the colours have power. The dominant colours are the green and the red. The green expresses the hope, the nature, the fresh, the fertility. In contrast red expresses the passion, the fire, the blood, the death. The red colour can capture our mind. In this fairy tale, nature loves the White Snow and wants to protect her from the which. The witch now is dressed in red and wears a dress with hood. Her lips are also red. Advertiser presents her as sexy and sensual, the colour red on lips is a signifier for sensuality. She is not pure and white or bad and dark. If White Snow eats her apple then she will loose her purity. 2.She holds a basket with apples. Apples are also red and one of them is poisoned. Moreover, in the Christianity, apple is the reason for which human lost the Heaven and the snake who gave the apple has also poison. Maybe there is a relationship between the fairy tale and the Christianity. The happy innocence of Snow White and her animal friends… [an echo] of the original Eden...In the original Eden, a serpent urged the eating of the apple. (Christian Century magazine in 1938). 3.The woman s gaze. Her gaze is direct, she looks intensively the viewer. The direct gaze is the subject's demand to be viewed. So, she tells us, look at me, I am pretty and sexy with my jewelleries. If you buy these jewelleries, you will be pretty and sexy too. 4.It is important to say also that when you see the picture you can be confused, is she the Little Red Riding Hood or is the Witch? The advertiser made her beautiful and sexy in order to convince us to buy the jewelleries. She looks like the Little Red Riding Hood, she was naïve, but this picture represents the bad witch from another point of view.

13 Signifiers 1.The colour white is the signifier for purity. The Snow White represents the purity and the innocence. The apple with the bite means the Eden, when human ate the apple then they lost the Heaven. Heaven represents the innocence, the purity, the virginity. Therefore, when Snow White bite the apple she also lost her purity and her innocence. Love, purity, beauty associated with jewelleries via advertisements. In particular, there is no relation between purity and richness, so, we can see that Snow White wears jewelleries when she has lost her purity. In contrast, her stepmother and bad witch wears jewelleries because she is not pure. 2.She wears a dress with white and black colours. When somebody goes in a funeral in United Kingdom has to wear black clothes with white T- shirt. The black and white dress also symbolizes the formal occasion. 3.There is a parallelism with Christianism, death and resurrection. Jesus died and rised again from the dead because of love. Snow White was dead but with a kiss of Prince, a kiss of love, she wake up. 4.Furthermore, there are flowers in her head, red roses which represent the love not the death. 5.However, the message is that if you want to meet the real love you have to visit Harrods and buy these jewelleries. Sign: image Signifiers: a sleeping woman in black and white dress. She looks dead. In her left hand she holds an apple with a bite. She wears jewelleries, a necklace and a big ring. A man is very close to her, he wears a suit and a watch in his right hand. We cannot see their eyes. Between the man and the woman there are red flowers. Finally, there is the name Harrods down and right.


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