Panopticism In Scopophilia

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Advertisement is all around us. Every day we are exposed to hundreds of advertisements trying to sell us everything from cellphones to milk. The key to sales is to make the potential buyer desire things he/she does not necessarily need. And, in order to make us want these things advertisement agencies appeal to our desires. For most male buyers this involves the usage of attractive females displaying a product, drawing the male gaze to the advertisement in hopes of keeping their attention long enough for them to decide they need that product. For female buyers, advertisers appeal to their desire to be the attractive woman in the advertisement. But most of all, the key to getting a person to buy something is to make them look, no matter what. Humans have an inherent desire to look. This is called scopophilia. Laura…show more content…
Although the original context of Panopticism was in reference to the prison system and how to maximize the number or prisons controlled while minimizing the number of guards controlling them, it has since been applied to everyday society and the overwhelming need to conform. This theory can be aptly applied here in discussing Urban Outfitters’ advertisements of women’s socks. Advertisements employ the male gaze and the male gaze is power. Ad agencies know for a fact that this tactic works. In other words, they have perfected their power over the potential buyers of their products to the point where it is almost too easy to employ this device, they don’t even have to try anymore, thus “perfecting power,” just as Foucault stated. All it takes is a few simple pictures of conventionally attractive women wearing minimal clothing and a pair of socks, and Urban Outfitters’ sock sales skyrocket. Because men want women to look like these models in socks, and women want to look like what men

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