Sunday, October 4, 2015

Logical Fallacies of Dorothy Gray Salon Anti-Aging Products Ad and Comparison to "You Don't Own Me" and The Feminine Mystique

This advertisement definitely encompasses one of the problems the feminist movement was fighting against in the 1960’s. This ad contains so many unfortunate stereotypes and logical fallacies, where does one even begin. The ad states that women must not look “tragically older than their husband.” This, right off the bat, is a rather creepy sentiment that doesn’t make any logical sense, yet is still present in our society today in film and media. Why must the woman in a relationship look young and perfect, while the man can be fifty-something with wrinkles and graying hair? This advertisement, like most, uses hasty generalizations, appeals to false authorities, appeals to ignorance, and overall vagueness in attempt to sell their product. The ad states that “noted specialists” have proved that the product is great, without providing any real information on why, or even mentioning whom these mysterious, all-knowing specialists are. The ad also generalizes peoples’ reactions to the product; it just says that “thousands of women” love it, and gives an example review the marketers wrote, instead of a real review from an actual customer. But again, the most flawed part about this add is its overall theory. Its whole argument is based on this false idea that women must look younger than their husbands. That’s an appeal to ignorance because before the feminist movement, most women didn’t know that not everything they did had to be for the pleasure of men. 

This advertisement can be directly applied to “The Feminine Mystique” excerpt. This is exactly the kind of sexism Betty Friedan was explaining to women and arguing against, the unconscious acceptance of the idea that women were objects of men, of the house, of the family. She explained in her book that this was not a full life, it was a concentration camp. This ad also applies to the song “You Don’t Own Me” by Lesley Gore, just not as directly. Gore states in her song that men do not own her and informs them that they cannot tell her what to do. While this ad is not specifically a man telling women they need to look younger than their husband (it is just a cultural bias), Gore’s song could still be used as a way of saying that women do not need to please men and do not need to look younger for them if they do not want to. This advertisement is the opposite of Gore’s song and Friedan’s book. It attempts to achieve its goal of selling products by degrading women, whereas Gore and Friedan’s goal was to help and empower women.

-Ryan Young

1 comment:

  1. I really liked the sense of personality in the first paragraph, it made it fun to read and really draws the reader into what you're saying. Great overall analysis, you went into great detail in your text comparisons -- especially on logical fallacies of the anti-aging ad. In your second paragraph you used a specific example about how Friedan's book refutes the sexist appeals that the beauty ad stands for and it was great that you pointed that out. You seem to be really passionate about this topic and it definitely shows in your writing, well done.

    - Jessica Foster