Rhetorical Analysis


The new Spring/Summer 2013 Versace ads depict a woman with men huddled around her in what looks to be a rural sandy desert. But it isn’t just a regular woman or men you might see walking around at school. The people in the ad look to be almost fake, or airbrushed into the photograph with sculpted bodies. The false advertising done lately, especially for women, have been impacting the way real women see their bodies, and also alters their own idea of what is beautiful to society. The ad is almost saying that by wearing the Versace brand will make you as tan, long legged, and skinny as the woman being surrounded in the photo. I believe that this print ad in particular is sending the wrong message to women and men about body image, and how they must change themselves in order to look as “dreamy” as the people in the ads.

The issue with the Versace ad is that the digitally altered models are starting to be perceived as real to people seeing them. The Versace models seem to be photo shopped by the woman’s thighs being exceptionally thin, along with the fatless arms hanging down. If you look closer at her face, her cheek and jaw bones are sticking out of her face and are very defined. Woman normally don’t have such skinny and protruding cheeks, more men have defined faces like that. The men in the photo have perfectly flexed muscles all over their bodies, and strong jaw lines that any lady would find absolutely attractive. Now, it is arguable that these people are actually gorgeous and worked hard for those bodies, but the digital altering made them much more fake and unrealistic to the world. The New York Times had an article about photos being altered, and said that these ads are harming women by promoting an image that is completely false, because women perceive the body image as idealistic. (Randy Cohen. http://ethicist.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/20/should-photos-come-with-warning-labels/?_r=0). The author is explaining the logical fallacy of the body image of these people in the ads, by being completely wrong to what a healthy body should look like. Realistically to get into the shape of the woman shown above, someone would have to go to extreme measures of malnourishment to reach the body shape she possess in the photo. False advertising has created a thought in the back of people’s head that their body image is not good enough to look like models, when the models themselves don’t even actually look like that.

The argument against the falsified body image ads is that models do not need to be photo shopped in order to be perfect in society’s eyes. Why skinny, unhealthy looking bodies seem to be the goal for society today is beyond me, but it pressures men and women to the point of not feeling confident with their own body shape. The authors of the “Beauty in the “I” of the Beholder” scholarly article said, “One important contributing factor to children’s feelings of self worth is physical appearance and roughly 44% of American adolescent girls and 23% of American adolescent boys feel ugly and unattractive” (Gurari, Hetts, Strube.   http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=3&sid=f5ea5c15-c60c-4302-9cd3-599b09fc41ff%40sessionmgr14&hid=14). Boys and girls of all ages feel the struggle of media making them feel like if they don’t look like the unhealthy and unattainable body shape of models, they aren’t beautiful. No one should feel like they aren’t good enough, especially when compared to a fake image. Ads like the Versace one above, should embrace a more realistic body shape that women and men can relate to easier and push for people to be healthy. The ethos of most fashion ads are targeting the emotions that make people sad and upset in order to feel better about buying an outrageous product. Instead, companies should target the emotion of happiness and comfort.

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Cohen, Randy. “Should Photos Come With Warning Labels?.” New York Times 20 Oct 2009,  n. pag. Web. 22 Oct. 2013. <http://ethicist.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/20/should-photos-come-with-warning-labels/?_r=0&gt;.

Gurari, Inbal, John J. Hetts, and Michael J Strube. “Beauty In The “I” Of The Beholder: Effects Of Idealized Media Portrayals On Implicit Self-Image.” Basic & Applied Social Psychology 28.3 (2006): 273-282. Academic Search Premier. Web. 23 Oct. 2013


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