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Bom Chicka Wah Wah! May 17, 2007

Posted by jsaffold in commercials, male gaze, Pussycat Dolls, sex sells, sexuality, stereotypes, tv.
3 comments

Early this morning, I was dreaming about being on an airplane and the person next to me kept saying “Bom Chicka Wah Wah.” And then I woke up and realized that there was one of the new Axe deodorant spray commercials on t.v. and it was entering my consciousness and incorporating into my dream. See it for yourself… (more…)

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2007 tv pilots May 16, 2007

Posted by sindhub in "the gaze", motherhood, opting out, race, The TV Set, tv, women in television.
2 comments

I was looking at TV pilots for the 2007-2008 television season, and I was struck by how many pilots related to ‘girl power,’ especially the idea of a supermom who balances work and family.  It’ll also be interesting to see how many of them actually get picked up by the networks, and if the number that are picked up is proportional to how many were created.  Here are some examples (there are probably a lot more, but I thought these were particularly relevant):

ABC

  • Mr. and Mrs. Smith: based on the blockbuster movie
  • Cashmere Mafia: “Sex and the City creator Darren Star is back to New York in this new dramedy pilot, about four female executives, friends since college, who support one another through the trials and tribulations of work, family, and everything else life in New York City throws at them.”
  • Women’s Murder Club: “A series of mystery books by James Patterson was the inspiration for this new series, which tells the story of four women who work together to solve some of the most confounding murder cases out there. Their jobs as a homicide detective, a medical examiner, a newspaper reporter, and an assistant district attorney give them a formidable range of skills, and their strong friendship provides basis for the teamwork that’s necessary to crack each case.” (more…)

Tampon Ads May 9, 2007

Posted by jenniferlewk in menstruation, tampon, tv.
1 comment so far

In response to the recent menstruation posts, I decided to post some Tampon Ads (some old, some new). Particularly interesting to me was how difficult it was to find these ads on youtube, as most of the ads that came up on the search were either a) in another language–what does that mean about the US perception of periods versus a Latin American/Russian, etc? b) spoofs of past commercials–the most common one dealing with the absorbent powers of the tampon c) homemade, yes, homemade serious commercials.

I think we noted it early on this semester, but please notice how the actual period is never really addressed in a forthright manner. Instead, you see women talking, playing sports, giggling, striping–you never actually even see a bathroom.

Anyway, for your enjoyment…check ’em out! (more…)

Alias Episode 1:2 Scared vs. in Control April 30, 2007

Posted by lindamc in alias, attitude, Female Power, gender, imagery, La Femme Nikita, the state, tv.
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I found these two episodes of Alias very interesting in terms of the depiction of Sydney. Sometimes when she is at her work she looks scared and lost (much like Nikita) that she is fumbling to figure out what to do. While other times, she seems very much in control and confident: when she tells the men that are pulling her teeth as torture to “biteme.” This cycle occurs again and again, (when she is having a flashback to buying guns in the middle east and the guy that is selling them shoots his comrade when one gun doesn’t work: she looks scared (turning her head and wincing even though I’m sure she’s seen people shot on numerous occasions: she has even probably shot a few herself) and then in control with a tough face spewing Arabic. On another occasion, before she gets caught and her teeth pulled with the red hair, she is being shot at from over the counter (very Femme Nikita) and looks terrified and lost, there is another shot shortly after that where she clutches what she stole to her chest and hides behind a part of the lab tables looking completely terrified, but then stands up to declare: Over here boys, in a voice that reeks of control and arrogance. I found these scenes as direct evidence that the produceers and directors of the show are making sure the (more…)

Romance Novel Covers April 23, 2007

Posted by lindamc in America's Next Top Model, Christine Feehan, Fabio, magazines/photography, objectification of men, romance novels, sex sells, tv.
2 comments

I can’t remember the season, but in one episode of America’s Next Top Model, the girls had a fashion shoot where they posed with Fabio in order to grace the cover of a romance novel (it was on reruns this weekend if anyone saw it:) I have always had this thing about romance novels: I think they are really trashy and a sad excuse for literature…but I find an absurd amount of pleasure reading them…

I had a conversation with a friend of mine the other day and actually my sister about our obsession with romance novels. They both said to me that they don’t just pick up the occasionaly book in the airport when they travel, but they follow authors and plot lines at such a disgusting rate (according to myself) that they treat the books (in my opinion) like fine literature. They are both Amherst grads who live in big cities and have successful careers. I was at a loss for how they could be not just using the novels as secret pleasure (like, for example certain TV shows are for some people: I love NY or The OC), but a very much out their discussion about what the great romance novelists are writing. I know it could just be a personal thing for them, but I find it fascinating that these two women are so obsessed with books that paint romance in such an unrealistic and unattainable light (especially my sister’s favorites which are placed in historical settings: on a Southern plantation in the 1840s, or in London England during the Revolutionary War). I love them for being sooo bad, but my sister and friend are against me, and say they are an extremely good form of entertainment…and I don’t mean to get too sexual here, but that’s what they say.

Sorry for that tangent, anyway, the real point of this post is to, like the America’s next top model episode, discuss the covers of romance novels. In a recent blog post on ReadersRead.com, a major romance publisher’s ad for new male models was discussed:

Harlequin’s Looking For a Few Good-Looking Men
Book cover of Dark Secret by Christine Feehan Book publisher Harlequin is looking for a few good-looking men to grace the covers of its romance novels. So what, you might ask, is wrong with the male models that traditionally grace the covers? Apparently, they’re too small in the pec department, for one thing (more…)

N.F.L Wives March 14, 2007

Posted by sindhub in football, Football Wives, Footballers' Wives, in the news, NFL, NFL wives, soccer, tv.
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In light of the post about how female characters in many of the movies we’ve seen (e.g. Tess and Katherine in Working Girl) and female celebrities (e.g. Jennifer Hudson and Beyonce) are always pitted against each other, and how there’s this sort of perverse obsession with ‘catfights’ that’s related somehow, I thought this article from the New York Times was interesting: Wives United by Husbands’ Post-N.F.L. Trauma

The article talks about how a lot of former NFL players, including some Hall of Famers, end up with dementia as a result of the head trauma from playing pro football.  The main focus is on how the wives of these men have created an informal network to help each other deal with these tough times, which can include financial instability, and so many of the women have to go back to work.  I just thought it was interesting that the New York Times would go for this female spin on the issue (more…)