I must admit that I have a soft spot for fashion magazines, but this Brian Atwood ad calls my unconditional love into question. At first glimpse, one might say, “Oh great, lesbian desire is being portrayed here!” Unfortunately, this ad is nothing more than a heterosexual fantasy of lesbianism. The advertisers are sure not to cross too many lines, and the models are obviously the “white and middle class” “lipstick lesbians” that Sunny Tsai describes in “Assimilating the Queers” (6-7). Furthermore, they are not just feminine lesbians, rather flawless models. This couple fails to portray not only the average lesbian but also the average woman period. They “aspire to become nothing” as the brunette seemingly disappears into the background (Kilbourne). Although not obvious, this ad is actually selling the peep toe pumps to wealthy chic consumers, but they occupy a seemingly inconsequential amount of space. One has to wonder, is Brian Atwood selling a product or lifestyle? When the brand’s name is nearly indecipherable, you have to wonder.
Wan- Hsiu Sunny Tsai, “Assimilating the Queers: Representations of Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexual, and Transgender People in Mainstream Advertising” (2010)
Jean Kilbourne, “Killing Us Softly 4” (2010)