Gender, Race And Class In The Ad: Intimately Beckham

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Gender, Race and Class in the Ad: Intimately Beckham

Gender, Race and Class in the Ad: Intimately Beckham


Nowadays, millions of dollars and numerous hours are spent by the advertising industry on shaping and preparing the place and way in which the masses will view their advertisements. This 'rat race' has led to a basic difference in how men and women are portrayed today. This has furthermore led to gender stereotyping within the designs of advertisements, in the hopes that the masses or population at large will be attracted towards the final product, by creating a cultural expectation for them to follow. A 'model' is created and released to the public, in an attempt to lead them to form stereotypes of how both the genders should look, act and appear (Gill, 2009).

Even in the past, ever since the emergence of mass media and thus advertising, incorporation of ideologies and sexuality have been used to target the public. Daily, thousands of new images are published in the print advertisements, and out of those, almost two thirds of the ads are based on and promote certain socially constructed ideals and sexuality. According to Susan Bordo (2004), gender roles form the basis of what advertising agencies use to boost their sales.

Typically, masculine images are set to convey virility, strength, athleticism, power as well as competitiveness in comparison to feminine ideologies which embody the very essence of submissiveness with beauty, cooperation with nurturance. In popular culture, these themes have been accepted by the public at large and have now become an almost natural phenomenon in people's minds (Bordo, 2004).

Two such ads for “Intimately Beckham Night” features the famed celebrity couple, David and Victoria Beckham who seem to embody the very meaning of gender stereotyping within the restricted roles set for men and women (Brannon, 2004). The purpose of this paper will therefore be to analyze how these specific advertisements signify the current trends in popular culture, and how such ads leave distinct impressions in the consumer's minds of how each gender should behave.


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Figure 2 - Retrieved from:

The two advertisements above will be the basis of this paper's analysis on gender stereotyping. The first advertisement basically shows the soccer player David Beckham passionately embracing his wife, Victoria Beckham in what could be termed as an irrefutable display of intimacy. A glance at this ad makes the roles assigned to both the female and male clear, as is with the second advertisement. In both the ads, Victoria Beckham, or the 'female' can be seen in clear poses of submission and feminism- submitting to the man with her while David Beckham, 'the man' is seen as in total control, displaying strength and power in sharp contrast.

Both the ads are for a fragrance for Him and Her named Intimately Beckham. In both the ads, as mentioned above, she is in a pose of sexual submission - in the first ad, Beckham has his arm around her ...