ARTH Courses | ARTH 200 Assignments


The following are a sample of advertisements selected by students for their papers. Spend some time looking at these ads and see how the advertisers have manipulated pictorial conventions we have been discussing in class. Pay attention to the relationship of the words included in the ads to the images.

To explore the image of women in contemporary media spend time looking at the web-page entitled "A Web Essay on the Male Gaze, Fashion Advertising, and the Pose"


Consider the settings of these two ads. See how the advertiser employs your understanding of the social context and gender differences to appeal to you.


The pages above are from a four page spread. Follow the narrative through from the first page to the fourth page. See comparisons

Like many images we have discussed in this course, these two Camel's ads employ cultural references to past works. Try to identify the cultural references and explain why Camel would make these connections.


DKNY ad in Elle, August, 2001.

DKNY, Spring 2002

DKNY, Spring, 2002.


GUESS.COM (Glamour)- consider the audience for this ad. The magazine is targeted for a female readership, but who is the woman looking at? Also the previous two ads directly or indirectly appeal to the idea of the "natural woman." Understand that the "natural woman" is a cultural construction. What do we mean by the "natural woman"? We come to these ads with exposure to archetypes and narratives we have inherited from our culture. Read these narratives.

Note that the head of this figure is in a profile point of view. This makes an interesting comparison to the profile portraits of women that come from fifteenth-century Florence. Consider the differences between these images and understand them in relationship to the ideologies of gender of the respective cultures.




Advertisers have been sensitive to the social changes that have occurred due to the changes in attitudes towards gender. Many advertiser appeal to the new types, while other ads assertively appeal to the past stereotypes. See how the following ads respond to the different gender stereotypes:

Some images even baffle me. Can you explain what a nude woman in a laundromat painting her toenails has to do with sneakers?


The following two images demonstrate the magic of retouching. The image on the left is a photograph by Patrick Demarchelier, and the image on the right shows this image retouched by Pascal Dangin (see New Yorker, May 12, 2008, pp. 94-103). Compare the two and identify the alterations.