How do you interpret this ad image for Dolce & Gabbana?

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If you've seen the image before and know the debate surrounding it, please try and avoid referencing any of that. I want completely unbiased answers here.

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you see this image?

It's an advertisement used by Dolce & Gabbana to sell their clothing. I saw this image posted on Facebook on a friend's wall and then got involved in a debate about it where it was posted elsewhere on Facebook.

I'm not going to share what my first interpretation is, but it was an interpretation shared by a large majority of the people on Facebook, and of the general public, considering the drama surrounding this image.

Don't go to google and research it, please. Just answer with what you think the image is portraying, and then you can google to your heart's content. :P

Thanks.


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Most Helpful Girl

  • Rape and passivity/weakness.

    She's an object of pleasure to men. She is being degraded, disrespected and cornered. The guy to the right of the guy pinning her down looks like he's watching in a... demeaning way. It's a condescending look.

    She doesn't look very happy. I'd imagine if you were going to have sex you would be at least smiling.

    And it has nothing to do with what she is wearing. There is a title covering her. You can't really tell what she's wearing. It's not a main focus point of the image. the focus points are her legs, the guy, her face, and the men surrounding her. Clothes aren't a focus point...

    I find it offensive.

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What Guys Said 7

  • Man raping woman while other guys watch. I don't like it one bit.

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  • The underlying message I got was either that all the men want her, hence why they seem to be ganging up on her. Or the lesser message of just how she gets noticed by all the men. But the second one is less likely because men don't just stand around like that looking like they're going to pounce on a woman.

    So yeah, she is getting more than one man because they notice her and her revealing/sexy clothing that says she wants to have them all...or something fancy like that.

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  • I don't see that much in it that needs to be interporated, really, never mind like, to spark DEBATE. It looks like a few James Dean wanna-bes preparing for a bit of the old in-out-in-out.

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    • Lol, okay.

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    • LOL, but you see, that's why its *funny*. Anyway, its far better than me disclosing my actual views on rape which would make me very unpopular with you and most less everyone, and would make you a lot angrier than you are now, I'm sure, and would probably make your question a little less exciting to return to after a while, which I wouldn't want to do. Greater good, and all.

    • Right.

  • Gang bang, perhaps non consensual.

    What a stupid stupid ad.

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  • The first time I saw it, I thought it looked like a fantasy the woman was having.

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  • A bunch of metrosexuals raping a woman.

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  • Ummm... lol Gang bang? Make that forced gang bang lol. Interesting.

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What Girls Said 11

  • I'm unsure what message D&G was trying to send, other than the fact that sex sells, but I'll comment on my person interpretation of the image itself.

    My interpretation draws on what heavenonearth said: "I can't be sure of her reaction to all of this, because her face doesn't look upset or eager, it's just passive and kind of out of it. I don't know if she minds, but it looks like these guys are about to be all over her."

    To me, the image portrays two competing views on female sexuality in our society. The passive expression on the woman's face suggests that she is neither enjoying, nor resisting the situation. As women, we are told simultaneously to accept the fact that we are seen as sex objects, but also that we should not embrace and enjoy our sexuality.

    In a real situation like this, it would either be:

    1. Non-consensual --- so we would expect that the woman to have an expression of fear or anger, or

    2. Consensual - so we would expect the woman to have an expression of happiness, delight, or lust.

    Instead, we see a woman who is expressionless, as if she is simply accepting of these men about to have their way with her, but not able or willing to enjoy it.

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    • I should note that I realize I'm probably reading too into the expression, or lack thereof, of the model, since for some reason the advertising industry thinks that a blank expression is somehow sexy.

      What can be said is that the message someone is trying to portray from an image is not always the message that is interpreted by the viewer.

  • We had this picture to discuss in an English class.

    Funny - the topic was about how men interpret they're stance in society.

    Often it includes making men out to be the more ' dominant' sex, to have rights to all women, and power to do as they please with the authority they're granted as men.

    The first thing my teacher said, was that it promotes rape - rather - gang rape with all the dudes standing around.

    I thought - er - maybe - it just seemed more sexual to me. Like the clothes the girl was wearing was so sexy and enticing, that the guy couldn't keep his hands off of her.

    Which - that would make a lot more sense for an ad.

    Because sex sells.

    I'm pretty sure Golce & Gabonna don't condone rape lol or anything like that - so rape is a bit outrageous for me here.

    There is a lot of propoganda in which women are shown in a sexual manner with men present - all in respects to show a product.

    Lets face it - in our reality, we focus so much on looking good to attract the opposite gender - the ultimate goal is to breed or make a family with them, so sex is a very inherent part of human nature.

    People want to do whatever they can to be able to obtain sex / relations with the other gender (or same gender if you fly that way -)

    So if this is how society functions - why be so surprised by an add that demonstrates an aspect quite relative to this?

    The media just glamourizes popular ideals and circumstances in society.

    And what is society?

    A bunch of ideas from the general public - the most popular giving a rough shape to us as a population.

    So follow the true nature of this image down to its roots -

    And the real people to blame ultimately is ourselves as a collective.

    As a woman viewing this, it bothers me only a little that the men are shown in such a domineering position. I've been inherently trained by our male dominated society - as majority of us gals have, that men hold a certain authority over women.

    I don't see it as rape -

    And in another respect, it shows the woman as being beautiful, sexy, and desirable by those men.

    What girl doesn't' want to be, beautiful, sexy and desirable?

    Hence why this ad was published in the first place...

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    • "Like the clothes the girl was wearing was so sexy and enticing, that the guy couldn't keep his hands off of her."

      ^ That would assume he lacks control and wants to touch her, whether she wants to be touched or not.

      Anyways, I see your point, but I think there's a distinct difference between this and any other image that uses this "sex sells" idea. The woman is clearly being pinned down by the wrists, which is indicative of rape.

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    • Also, considering that this was my automatic, first interpretation, I wasn't "reading into" the image too much. That's how it came across to me when I first saw it. The photographer and the company would have been foolish to think that the public wouldn't also perceive the image this way, and yet they still released it. Sure, it got attention, but it got a lot of negative attention.

      I still find it offensive and I still think it's depicting gang rape. I'm not asking you to agree with me. :P

    • Yea I know lol - I guess I'm just one of those weird people who didn't perceive it as so :P the pinning down by the wrist, yea it's a bit extreme, and I can see how people would hop to the immediate conclusion that it's rape.

      I guess Golce and G need to tone it down a couple notches eh?

  • I see dominance, lust, guys staring at her like she's a piece of meat. I can't be sure of her reaction to all of this, because her face doesn't look upset or eager, it's just passive and kind of out of it. I don't know if she minds, but it looks like these guys are about to be all over her. . .

    The Ad portrays her to be beautiful/sexy and very much desired, but it does unsettle me a bit. They could've done without holding her down, and she doesn't look as into it as the guys are.

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  • At first, I thought "It's a Dolce & Gabbana Billboard/Ad" then, I "looked" at it and I am like, WTF?

    It's sort of like the guy is holding her down and all the other guys are watching, but I look at the girl and she seems relaxed like everyone in the picture.

    There are no bruises, blood, or fighting really going on, but it's indeed strange to be an ad.

    I also think that D&G may have wanted something controversial and they certainly established that.

    How long do we have to wait until you tell us what it really means? :) I have no patience on this one. :p

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    • No one knows what it was supposed to mean, haha. But a lot of people shared the same interpretation, and it wasn't good. :P

      I'll post that in an update later, possibly tomorrow.

  • Looks like they try too hard to sell their clothes.

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  • It's like an ad that says it's okay for men to take that kind of control over a womans body and she doesn't say no, she just looks away in a farway kind of gaze.

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  • Some girls have all the luck!

    LOL

    In its ad stating that if you where these clothes this is what will happen! NOT :D

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  • Ive seen this image and the argument before so I can't say anything because that would cause bias :(.

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    • Haha, I don't think it matters now. Feel free to share your opinion. :)

  • I find that mildly offensive.

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    • eh, I'd say a little more than mildly, actually.

    • What is it about the image that you find offensive?

    • it pretty clearly looks as though the woman's getting raped while a bunch of guys watch.

  • Never seen the image before. But my first thought was chain-f***. or whatever you call it.

    So I think the add is for men's clothes? So they're trying to get across that if you wear these clothes, you will be hot and sexy and your woman will want you to dominate her

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  • Men dominating the woman - her face shows either passivity or discontent, I can't see it well enough. She is avoiding eye contact with all of them - that could be interpreted as submission or rebellion, really.

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