Post-feminism is a complex trend which has become a focus for researchers quite recently. The era of post-feminism is believed to start in the 1990s and it differs considerably from the times of feminism. Some call this period “third wave feminism” and note that it marks the change in people’s attitude towards feminism as well as women’s roles (Coleman 9). Angela McRobbie also considers post-feminism as a new era in the western society. The researcher explains what post-feminism is and how it is changing the society. It is possible to trace this change through analysis of the image and text of the commercial for “Wonder Bra”.
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When talking about feminism, people often focus on struggle against certain conventions in the society. Feminism is also associated with political and social structures which became a product of the struggle (Coleman 6). Feminists started the discourse concerning the impact females could have on the development of the society within social terrain. Lots of political and other organizations have been set up to assist women in their longing for political, scientific, business and other careers. Feminists of the 1970s spread their ideas via different sources. Importantly, media played an important role in the spread of these ideas. At the same time, media have changed feminism and marked the beginning of the post-feminist era.
Thus, McRobbie notes that media are generating images of attractive women who are aware of their sexuality (414). These women are often confident and self-sufficient (McRobbie 414). For instance, in the commercial mentioned above, Eva Herzigova is aware of her attractiveness and challenges men by revealing her sexual body. McRobbie notes that feminists fought for equality and certain independence during the era of feminism while modern women enjoy this independence in different ways (usually through their sexual independence, ability to earn money and do what they want) and take it for granted (417). McRobbie points out that post-feminism is “chiding the feminist past” as females are not trying to deprive themselves of femininity in order to prove the world they are equal to men (412). Feminists of the 1970s wanted to ignore numerous feminine qualities and inclinations in order to make females more empowered. However, equality is not a subject of discussion any more.
The advertisement in question shows this freedom of expressing femininity and making choices. Eva Herzigova is wearing a very seducing underwear and is inviting everyone (both men and women) to look at her body. This invitation can be regarded as a start of the new era of post-feminism when females are not meant to hide their sexuality and try to achieve results using qualities assigned to men (being aggressive, competitive and so on). Eva does not prove anything to anybody as she is free to reveal her femininity. More so, female body is not a taboo any more as Eva herself invites everybody to see her beauty (McRobbie 416). As has been mentioned above, Eva feels free and able to do what she wants with her feminity. She makes her choice.
Importantly, post-feminism is closely connected with the idea of a choice. Feminists used to strive for equality for women and men, and it was a must for a feminist to become a high achiever. Post-feminism gives women the right to choose whether they want to strive for career and/or political struggle or to be a housewife, a single and empowered woman and so on. As McRobbie puts it, post-feminism concentrates on “dimensions of the popular discourses of personal choice and self-improvement” (418).
The advertisement shows Eva’s choice and encourages other women to make their choices as well. Feminism would regard the advertisement as certain kind of exploitation of a woman’s body while post-feminism era gives a brand new perspective on the matter. Females are not afraid of becoming a man’s toy as they feel free and empowered to do what they think is right without listening to men or other women.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that the advertisement of the Wonder Bra is a good example of major post-feminist ideas of choice and independence. It shows that women are not afraid of being feminine and can enjoy their femininity without being mocked at, insulted or oppressed. Women of the post-feminist era have the ability to choose their own path in the society. The woman can be a high-achiever, a house-wife or a sexy baby if she wants to. Females have become free and fearless to make decisions and be responsible for their choices.
Coleman, Jenny. “An Introduction to Feminisms in a Postfeminist Age.” Women’s Studies Journal 23.2 (2009): 3-13. Print.
McRobbie, Angela. “Post-Feminism and Popular Culture: Bridget Jones and the New Gender Regime.” Media/Cultural Studies: Critical Approaches. Ed. Rhonda Hammer and Douglas Kellner. New York, NY: Peter Lang, 2009. 411-423. Print.