By the time they reach high school, students have been so deluged by both media and advertising messages that they may have become somewhat immune to them. Looking at ads under a focus of gender studies can illuminate the ways that many of the messages and themes challenge, support, or prolong certain established gender norms. Students will examine images from two ad campaigns, either from a 2014 Nine West campaign, or a 2011 Christian Louboutin campaign (both featuring women’s shoes), and discuss how the image contributes to, defies, or introduces new gender roles. Both of these ad campaigns feature themes and messages which were critically considered to be everything from humorous and tongue-in-cheek, to degrading and sexist. Students who are best equipped to undertake this lesson would have already spent time reading at least a few introductory texts on gender studies, so they would have some of the vocabulary at hand. This will also allow for a more sophisticated discussion. Because conversations dealing with gender can get both very heated and very personal, instructors may opt to introduce this lesson for upper-level students.
Kind, Leah, "Blurred Lines: Gender in Advertising" (2015). Other Voices. 1.