If a Man is Assertive He’s a Boss. If a Woman is Assertive She’s a Bitch.

Stereotypes have unfortunately been apart of the world since the beginning of time. There are millions of stereotypes about every person who walks this earth but in this post I want to focus on stereotypes about women and how those stereotypes get used in advertising.

Before going into strictly advertising, the video below does a good job at showing the double standards between men and women when it comes to different aspects in life.


It’s no secret that in the advertising industry, sex sells. The fast food chain Carl’s Jr. (Hardee’s) has definitely taken full advantage of this tactic and are known to release over sexualized ads.


I think we all know that a girl in a bathing suit washing a car has nothing to due with fast food. Carl’s Jr. relied on the stereotype of “the hot girl.” Because I highly doubt that a woman is going to wash her car like this sitting in her driveway. Other companies have also taken advantage of this advertising technique. The app game, Game of War, hired super model Kate Upton to do their ad campaigns and I’m positive it’s not because she’s a huge fan of the game.


Using this method of advertising is sure to get men interested in what you’re selling. There is also advertisements that focus on selling this “hot person” appeal to women. Except, a lot of these ads are for cliche gender role products, like Kraft Dressing. The commercials for their Zesty Italian dressing are without a doubt catering to their female demographic.


In advertising sex definitely does sell, especially when relying on stereotypes like “the hot girl” or “the sexy jock” to get their viewers attention. I’m not sure if the over sexualizing of the human body is ever going to go away, but these stereotypes that advertisements push can effect the way women and men are perceived outside of the television.

I Saw the Sign and it Opened Up My Eyes, I Saw the Sign

We see hundreds if not thousands of signs on a daily basis. A sign could be a red light at an intersection or someone giving you a thumbs up. A sign  can be anything that stands for something else. For example the red light at an intersection is something that stands for “stop” and someone giving you a thumbs up (in the United States) means “good” or “okay.”  An important thing to know about sign is that they are learned. People don’t automatically know what certain signs mean, they have to learn what they mean to understand them. This is very important when going to other countries or being around different cultures because what may seem like one thing to you may mean something else to the people around you.

There are three types of signs, iconic signs, indexical signs, and symbolic signs. Iconic signs closely resemble the thing or idea that they are representing. Indexical signs are logical signs that make common sense when connected to the thing or idea. Lastly, symbolic signs have no logical connection and are usually more of a strong emotional response.

Here is an example of an iconic sign.


This sign is iconic because it very closely resembles the idea it’s representing, which is “no smoking.” We can see this because we have learned that anything inside a circle with a line through it means that you shouldn’t do that thing.

Below is an example of an indexical sign.


This may not be the most well recognized example but, to a hunter this is an indexical sign. The scratchings on this tree show that a buck is nearby because male deer scratch their horns on trees to mark their scent.

The image below is an example of a symbolic sign.


The hand on the left should be familiar to most people. The hand on left is a sign that means victory or peace. The hand on the right could seem insignificant to people in the United States but in England it is the equivalent of showing someone the middle finger.

Overall, semiotics can be helpful when identifying and understanding the signs around you instead of just being numb to them. And iconic, indexical, and symbolic are categories that help differentiate the signs.

Color is in the Eye of the Beholder

It’s pretty insane to think that the colors people see on a daily basis is just light interacting with the eye. I remember growing up and always being told that boys and girls see colors differently when in actuality everyone perceives colors differently. Thanks to the show, Project Runway, I have a perfect example of two people seeing a color differently.



There have been many thoughts and ideas about why we see the colors that we do but this chapter touched upon three different methods that are used to describe color. These methods are the objective, comparative, and subjective methods.

Objective Method

The objective method is very scientific. Two subjects this method focuses on deals with is number of wavelengths between colors and how hot each color is. They take these two subjects and then look at the eye to see the effects of each color.

Comparative Method 

This method is not as accurate. The comparative method uses the definitions of the colors to describe them. But, since everyone see’s colors a bit differently this can get confusing. When using this method you’re really just getting a rough estimate of what the color looks like to most people.

Subjective Method

Subjective method is more psychological and deals with someones mental state. This method talks about how colors can effect someones mental state. For example, if a room is painted a light color like yellow, the room would appear to be bigger. If the same room was painted a darker color like maroon then the room would appear smaller.

Seeing is Believing… or is it?

When you look around at your surroundings or at a piece or art there’s a lot that’s happening inside your brain that you might not know about. Every day we are exposed to billions of advertisements and brands that are trying to send a message. Our brains pick up on these messages which can make us notice and maybe think about what we are seeing. All messages, whether it be an advertisement or a song, have literal components and symbolic components.

Literal components are pretty straight forward. A literal component is exactly what you are seeing, no meaning attached. The symbolic component is where the meaning lies where people can find emotion, deep meaning, or certain perspective within the literal message. For an example let’s look at Broken Heart by Banksy.


Some literal components of this piece of street art are the paint, the wall, broken pieces of the wall, and the painted boy holding a hammer. Any person could look at this photo and see all of those same things. This art can have different symbolic components depending on who is looking at it. To me this piece is showing a young boy who just smashed a heart which can evoke the feeling of heartbreak. To another person they could see the boy as someone who is a heartbreaker or maybe he is smashing his own heart. So, overall the literal component of a message is straight forward and the symbolic component of a message can be up or interpretation.