Woman posed as object

Her position seems nearly inhuman, and in the context of her dress, a bit reptilian. This is an extreme example of being canted for the camera and the spectator-owner. Her contorted pose requires that her arm, hips, back and shoulders are twisted in what seems to be an uncomfortable manner. The rigidity of this pose (she is not in motion) turns her into a piece of sculpture, a statue. She appears an object of interest and curiosity: off-balance, unstable, needing support. Berger writes, "a woman's presence. . . defines what can and cannot be done to her." (46) Much can be done to this woman. She is malleable. She is gumby - perhaps that is what the green is meant to imply.

This ad positions her as a possession of the absent spectator-owner. The owner of the object sees what he can do to her: anything he wants. She is an "object of vision - a sight" (p.47). In the context of an advertisement, her objectification makes her a piece of merchandise. What makes her special is what makes her valuable to the owner. The absent male spectator sees her as a commodity which might make him enviable to others.

On the other hand, a woman who sees this ad sees it from the position of the spectator-buyer. She is allowed to imaginatively substitute the model for herself, objectify herself in order to make herself valuable to others, males in particular. She is acutely aware of being watched, of being "surveyed." But she is also positioned to assume the vantage point of the spectator owner. From this position as "surveyor" she views herself as an object through the eyes of the spectator owner. She thus sees herself as a commodity, as something which might make her enviable to others.

For Men
Narrative Twist
Absent Spectator
Gaze on Men