Adbusters

Damn the Fashionistas!

How do we lessen advertising's grip on culture?

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It would be all too easy to fly into an indignant, leftist rage at the sight of a wan model dressed in luxury shopping bags and splayed out next to garbage cans. But that’s probably the exact reaction W magazine was banking on with its “homeless chic” pictorial. Fashion advertising is increasingly driven by the dialectic between salacious imagery and moral outrage. Something so absurd as the W spread, in which destitution has never looked so glamorous, seems more like a culture jam – an effort to subvert the advertising – than advertising itself. But advertising, like a virus, is always evolving. It has appropriated absurdity in an attempt to render itself immune to subversion. And now people who see the magazine will break into two camps – those who think its reprehensible and those who think its fabulous. Those two sides will argue, keeping W exactly where it wants to be - in the spotlight. So anyone truly concerned with lessening advertising’s grip on culture will have to figure out not how to subvert this kind of ad, but how to jam the dialectic it feeds on. How do we do that? How can we jam the ad industry and the fashionistas?

Sarah Nardi

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108 comments on the article “Damn the Fashionistas!”

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Anonymous

Trust the failing economy to provide ample opportunities for enlightenment. Just as the people stricken with the onset of the great depression became the greatest fans of the "toucher-upper" trend (the old word for ad jamming) so too will Kale Lasn et al. get more fans with today's economic mess.

Anonymous

Trust the failing economy to provide ample opportunities for enlightenment. Just as the people stricken with the onset of the great depression became the greatest fans of the "toucher-upper" trend (the old word for ad jamming) so too will Kale Lasn et al. get more fans with today's economic mess.

CourtneyAthena

It starts with taking back the airwaves, just like you guys are trying to do in Canada. We can show our more fulfilled lives in the streets, through the arts of all kinds. We may even be able to effect many. Then you have the problem of how the internet portrays women and beauty... and men. One good thing about the internet though is that it's practically a free market. You can reach the masses if you reach out in the top sites. Have local gatherings... and those gatherings could turn into larger ones if groups come together monthly, annually, on message boards... The participants just need to stay active and ask themselves and one another what they can do.

What can I do for you, Adbusters?

CourtneyAthena

It starts with taking back the airwaves, just like you guys are trying to do in Canada. We can show our more fulfilled lives in the streets, through the arts of all kinds. We may even be able to effect many. Then you have the problem of how the internet portrays women and beauty... and men. One good thing about the internet though is that it's practically a free market. You can reach the masses if you reach out in the top sites. Have local gatherings... and those gatherings could turn into larger ones if groups come together monthly, annually, on message boards... The participants just need to stay active and ask themselves and one another what they can do.

What can I do for you, Adbusters?

d schwartz

here's an idea.

go to school, work hard at your chosen field, think about how you can be nice to other people, be nice to other people, save your money and spend that money on goods and services, marketed or otherwise, with the aim of enriching the lives of your friends and family.

If that's not revolutionary enough for you, pack your shit and move to a densely populated Asian or African nation. I hear they do things differently there....

d schwartz

here's an idea.

go to school, work hard at your chosen field, think about how you can be nice to other people, be nice to other people, save your money and spend that money on goods and services, marketed or otherwise, with the aim of enriching the lives of your friends and family.

If that's not revolutionary enough for you, pack your shit and move to a densely populated Asian or African nation. I hear they do things differently there....

d schwartz

enrich peoples lives through kindness and genuine caring, and perhaps they won't buy a new swath of beautiful clothe to make them feel good about themselves.

That was the message.

d schwartz

enrich peoples lives through kindness and genuine caring, and perhaps they won't buy a new swath of beautiful clothe to make them feel good about themselves.

That was the message.

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