don’t let labels hold you back

The use of stereotypes in advertisements does not always have to be negative, as this hair commercial shows:

The commercial opens with a man and woman walking into separate meeting rooms. The man leading the meeting is attributed the word “Boss”, the female leader the word “Bossy.” The video features men and women doing the same things, but being labeled differently. Where the man is “persuasive,” the woman is “pushy.” A man working late is shown as “dedicated”, the woman doing the same is labeled “selfish.” Finally the ad closes by urging women: “Don’t let labels hold you back. Be strong and shine.”

re-civilize yourself

That hair is a highly sensitive issue shows this 2011 advertisement of NIVEA.

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The ad features a short-haired black man about to toss the decapitated head of another black man with an afro and beard with the motto: “Look Like You Give A Damn…. Re-Civilize Yourself.”

Styleite’s Justin Fenner writes: “Black men have to deal with a lot of inextricable and damaging stereotypes, but the idea that we’re savages who can’t even be trusted to groom ourselves when the occasion calls for it is among the most offensive of them.”

After outrage and accusations of being racist, NIVEA finally pulled the advertisement after only a few days, apologized, and stated that they did not want to offend anyone. Still this incident shows, how careful we have to be with our statements and assumptions.

the most powerful woman’s hair

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At the end of November, more than two months after the German elections, Angela Merkel’s right-centered party has reached an agreement to form a coalition government with the Social Democrats. Although it is still unrevealed, who is going to be nominated a secretary, one was clear from the beginning: Angela Merkel stays chancellor.

Starting off as “Kohl’s girl“, the Forbes Magazine has now rated her the most powerful woman of 2013. Within this time Merkel radically -and positively- changed her appearance.

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punk

punkPunk elements have been commercialized a lot throughout fashion. Its origin is to be found in 1970s and 1980s, however. While the first Punk-Rock bands came from New York, it became a real subculture in London. The youth was frustrated about unemployment, their hopeless perspectives for the future and the English class system. The ruling values and ideas were negated by a broad nonconformity, by emphasizing imperfection and individualism.

Consequently punks developed a style that diverted items from their intended use and served as clothing or jewelry. The long-hair hippie look was replaced by generally unkempt, and often short hairstyles that were meant to look messy and were often dyed in unnatural colors. In the 1980s, tall Mohawks became particularly popular and took on a more extreme character than in the 1970s.

 

flower power and the hippie movement

One of the subcultures that is recognized easily by a majority of people are the hippies.

Originally taken from ‘hipster’, the term “hippie” was used to describe beatniks in the late 1960s and early 1970s who wanted to drop out of the norms of society and establish a counter culture. One sign of doing so was to not cut their hair like all the people in the offices but to keep it long and wild.

Although the Hippie culture is often judged based on its members’ appearance and use of drugs, there was a greater idea behind the movement. Starting as an opposition to the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War (1955-1975) the overall goal was a more humane and peaceful world.

The buzzword “flower power”, coined by Allan Ginsberg, was not only about wearing floral fabrics but in fact has a deeper meaning as people started to dole flowers out to the public and even soldiers.
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