Week 5 Activity: Of Mother Nature and Marlboro Men

I have am not really a fan of landscapes.

Published on the 29th February 2020

After reading, Bright’s ‘Of Mother Nature and Malboro Men,  The main thing I took is how the landscape changes.  I’m not sure I grasped what she was trying to actually get across about the change of the landscape, but what I took from this could also be used as a metaphor within photography. 

“Whatever the photographer’s claims, landscapes as subject matter in photography can be analyzed as documents extending beyond the formally aesthetic or personally expressive..” (Bright, 2)

 In the way that your view via the camera is the landscape of what you see what you reproduce and organize within your frame and this view also changes over time from what you can find interesting.  I guess this can also be said from the side of the viewer and how they perceive an image. 

On gaze, I have chosen the 1980s Powell Peralta advert. 

This was one of the first adverts that showed women as skaters.

My gaze on this advert is of empowerment and recognition of women (albeit from a male perspective). At this time in the 80s  skateboarding was a very underground and prominently male-orientated sport.   Powell had pushed female skaters out from the male shadow for the first time in advertisements.  Most skateboarding adverts from the 80s to the late 90s were either based around the pro skaters and if they had a female presence in them they would usually be seen as more as an object of desire (sex sells).  

However, I also feel there is an underlying male outlook to this image, with the advertiser (a male voice?) saying this is what a woman is, mainly in the tag line “Some girls play with toys’ real women skate” why cannot all people skate, there is also the power words of ‘real women’ If you don’t do this does this not make you a real woman? Why not?   

The advert would have made me buy more products from Powell as they were opening the sport up to a larger variety of people and I could not see that being a bad thing. Many people would not see women as objects and would be happy to see them presented in a different, more positive and relatable light. 

Reference:

BRIGHT, Deborah. 1985. ‘Of Mother Nature and Marlboro Men’. Exposure 23(2).

Powell Peralta. (1980). Some girls play with toys’ real women skate. [accessed March,2020] [online] Available at<

https://sneakernews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/skaters-in-basketball-shoes-04.jpg >