Advertising Femininity In Different Cultures

schermata-2014-03-14-a-11.24.47vd-22708_0x440 Italy is surrounded by Beauty! It is no wonder the people here live according to “Bella Figura,” something we learned rather quickly. People walking on the streets are dressed fashionably, yet still maintain comfortability. Here in Italy we don’t see the usual “lazy American” outfits. By outfits, I am referring to the diverse styles we see in America, such as: ripped clothing, tie dye patterns, sleepwear, athletic wear, etc. I never once saw someone walking in their slippers, sweatpants, nor pajamas. It sounds a bit odd knowing that people actually do wear these types of things in America. Being able to see fashion from an Italian perspective, I can see that most Americans like to dress according to one main thing, comfort. Beauty in Italy is very different than what we consider to be beauty in America. In America, a beautiful women is someone who is tall, thin, and light skin. This image is seen on all types of advertisements. In Italy, a beautiful women would be tall, have a full figure body, and a bit of a tan. A great example of an Italian beauty would be Monica Bellucci. She is the ideal image of Italy. Bellucci is said to have introduce the Italian Beauty to America. She started modeling while attending college, and then moved on to modeling professionally in the 90’s. She does modeling, acting, and has been the face of Dolce & Gabbana for many years. Monica Bellucci along with other famous Italian models and actresses such as, Sabrina Ferili, and Manuela Arucri; all represent the natural beauty, and simplicity of Italy. Bellucci can be seen in just about any Italian magazine. In America plastic surgery is very common. Most celebrities have had some type of surgery done in their career. It seems that the idea of beauty is some what standardized. People want to match the “beauty” seen in the media, instead of embracing the natural beauty people already have.

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Dolce and Gabbana Advertisements

Looking at the different advertisements in Italy and comparing them to the American ones, we can see products are targeted differently. In Italy, advertisements show passion, and culture. Products emphasize the beauty in Italy by showing old Italian Villas and their beautiful ocean. Along with strategically using the culture, products target to all personalities. One of many personalities, is the Mamma image. Italy is a very family oriented culture. We have witness through our stay here in Italy. We see the family orientation in ads, and interaction. In America when it comes to fashion, family is not the usual target. America advertisements consist of great poses, and views, but often times lacks a certain element of passion and culture.

 

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Expressing Our ‘Bella Figura’

Looking through some advertisements in a magazine called, “Donna Moderna,” with a cover of a women at first an unclear sports look, and a jump rope hanging off her neck. I couldn’t help but notice the athletic section was not what I had expected. The magazine cover was deceiving. It led me to believe that it would contain a huge section on health and fitness. The magazine was not so much about exercising, but about selling stylish sports wear. There are pictures of a model wearing a dress with converse, high ankle shoes, and other outfits that people in America would not wear for exercising. Once again it ties back to the “Bella Figura.” The idea that everything must look and be presented with beauty and grace. It’s quiet interesting that in this section, there is not one picture of this model actually exercising. It has a very small section on workout tips, but there isn’t of workouts people can do at home. In America exercise is very important, we see people constantly doing some sort of physical activity. Therefore the magazines in America are much more detailed, and realistic when it comes exercising. We see pictures with step by step workouts, along with a comfortable and practical athletic wear. In Italy exercise is not seen, perhaps it might be because they eat and cook fresh products, not to mention live a pretty active life through transportation alone. People in Italy do a lot of walking. This might be why the people are able to eat as much pasta and pizza as they desire, while still maintaining a normal weight. Driving is very difficult, but also very expensive. It is no wonder why people would rather prefer to simply walk.

IMG_0910In addition, the cars people drive in Italy are quiet different than what we see in America. I immediately noticed a good majority of cars are either mopeds or have a sort of square shape. The type of cars seen here are mainly compact cars. They are consider to be cute, and seductive. The cars are advertised based on seduction, romance, and style. In America cars are mainly advertised using a different technique. Ads in America show speed, power, and adventure. There are also much larger cars in America. Only a small number of people are seen driving mopeds. In Italy there are mopeds everywhere. Mopeds are gas efficient and affordable. Knowing that transportation here in Italy can range about 1.69 Euros per Liter, an equivalent of $9 a gallon. It is no wonder magazines advertised mopeds as well. The roads, and streets are far more narrow, which explains why cars here are much smaller than in America. It is difficult enough trying to walk through the crowded streets, but it is even toughher to drive a car. Italy has Renault, as one of it’s most popular brands of cars. This is a French brand that I have never seen in America, however it does make sense. When it comes to cars, people in America prefer power, luxury, and adventure as oppose to seduction.
 

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Possible advertisement: American Students in the Colosseum in Roma? 🙂

About The Author:

10363732_10203195124271016_3039261284705630324_nHello there! My name is Melissa Gonzalez, I am a senior at the University of Colorado Denver. I am currently working on obtaining my Bachelors degree in Business Administration. I have been very fortunate to have taken this communication class an Experimental Learning Credit. I took this course as an opportunity to experience some of the Italian culture, and to expose myself to the other side of the world I had yet to discover. I am very thankful for the experience and would most definitely recommend this Maymester class. I really enjoyed the time spent here in Italy with my beautiful Sorrento family.

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