There are certain teachers who one will have the pleasure of encountering over the course of a lifetime, whether it’s the third grade teacher with long brown hair and a taste for gold pins attached to her lapel, or the woman whose lecture you sincerely anticipated, despite the start time of 10:00 a.m. Dr. Andersen was this latter professor, who never could recall my name, even though I had taken a total of three of her classes over two years, who once asked a student in the front row for a pen because she couldn’t find hers in her bag.
Her classes on media studies truly gave my eager undergrad eyes a perspective upon the world that I hadn’t thought of before—and what student does not wish for this precise thing in a professor?
Before this one specific class called “History and the Culture of Advertising,” I had looked upon billboards and magazine ads with a fleeting shrug. But when I was able to take a more thorough examination of what we are subjected to each and every day, and its subconscious ramifications, I feel as though my perspective of our American culture and everything that comes along with it did shift.
When I was in
Because I would never, ever have seen this billboard in
And then there's the ad of the diet plan, in the
Now, I really don’t want to get overly political, or talk about any specific interest group (cough, young American women who develop eating disorders and who are constantly being shown images in magazines, t.v shows, and commercials of skinny 96 pound women with the cursory tagline of how desirable they are and with instructions on how to become just like them.)
But when I saw this billboard, I immediately saw how a woman of her—what? Curviness? Size? Proportions?— would not have gotten her picture up there if she were living over here (
Also, I just love this guy staring hungrily at the stick woman in her apartment...because, unless we're all on The Special K Diet, where is our allure, really?
Sadly, I know the answer is not simple, and it's something that one girl in Brooklyn will not be able to answer or to change the circumstances of, though she might desperately want to.
Maybe I should have just written an email to jezebel.com, but I'm riding on the hope that this is an appropriate vehicle of outrage, as well.
If not, please do let me know.