Sunday, October 4, 2015

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

Even though the Dorothy Gray Cellogen Cream ad (1951) was created not far before The Feminine Mystique (1963) and “You Don’t Own Me” by Lesley Gore (1963), their pathos appeals to the audience varies. While the song focuses on the injustices women endure and the excerpt focuses on women not finding fulfillment, the ad focuses on women’s insecurities. At first glance, the audience can see a large picture of a woman who looks distressed. Then the audience may wonder why does she look distraught by the other couple in the background. This image immediately plays with a woman’s insecurity of possibly not being good enough. When the audience goes on to read the ad, they can then connect that the woman is distressed because she looks older then her actual age. Now back in 1951 after reading this part of the ad, the women might have pondered if they too look older then their actual age. This sudden insecurity of looking older instantly makes a woman feel despondent about herself and her appearance, breaking down her self-confidence.
The author of this ad also played with women’s emotions because they go on to say that the aging of men doesn’t weigh into their attractiveness. Although the author said this was “unfair,” they still pointed it out which could maybe relate to the injustices women felt when hearing Lesley Gore’s song. Not being able to be viewed the same way as men is an injustice to women and this statement definitely makes a women almost feel pity for herself.
The audience, however most likely noticed the title first because of its demeaning context. The author asks “Does your husband look younger than you do” which immediately makes a woman question her appearance and her confidence about herself. Appealing to a woman’s insecurities about her appearance, the author makes a woman feel apprehensive about how she looks. No woman wants to question if she looks attractive or not which is why this ad was probably successful because after making the woman feel bad about herself, they provided her with a solution. However this question could guilt women into wanting to use this product because they want to look beautiful for their husbands. It seemed that looking beautiful was a requirement, by men, for women.

-Casey Tarman


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. You did an excellent job of describing the way a woman would react to this ad, Casey. I think that you could have gone without your third paragraph though; it was a little repetitive. Your first paragraph sums up the self-consciousness aspect of it very well.
    In addition, I think you could add something about women feeling that it was their duty to please their husbands, and how the ad plays into that guilt. Maybe if you replaced your third paragraph with something about this guiltiness/ sense of duty to men, it would make your post even stronger.
    Agustin Aguerre

  3. I think you did a great job giving a detailed description of the pathos in both the song and ad! I like that in the first and second paragraph you explained both how the ad made the audience feel and also how the author intended for it to make them feel, since sometimes these can be two different things. I also like that although you said the ad and song appealed to different audiences, in the second paragraph you still showed how they may have the same reaction out of their audiences with feelings of self pity, therefore connecting the two texts together.
    -Julia Shultz

  4. Addressing potential audience response was an inventive way to analyze something as personal as pathos. It's easy to overlook the human element of rhetoric, given that it is a more mechanical writing style.