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The state of fashion is depressing...at least, if you're judging by the content of major fashion campaigns. As artist Yolanda Dominguez discovered in her video "Niños vs Moda" (Children vs. Fashion), kids can see the underlying images that we barely notice in advertising—especially when it comes to gender roles in fashion campaigns.
If you've ever seen a "kids react" video, then the premise should be all too familiar. In the video Dominguez shows a group of kids a series campaign images, and asks them what they notice. The selection of images includes the campaigns of major labels, including: Alexander Wang, Balmain, Dior, Loewe, and Marc Jacobs.
Long story short, when it comes to fashion campaigns, men "look like heroes" and women look sick, scared, and dejected. As the kids noticed, any of the ads that were focused on men, like the Dior and Hugo Boss ads, left men looking confident and self-assured. The campaigns that focused on women, like the image from Balmain's Spring/Summer 2015 campaign, showed women in a negative light.
Perhaps the most outrageous image, part of a campaign for Pepe Jeans, shows a woman (in this case, model-turned-actress Cara Delevingne) being thrown in the trash—literally.
As Dominguez told It's Nice That:
"Kids decoded the images and exposed the implicit violence and inequality when it comes to the way women and men are treated in these editorials,” Yolanda explains. “They often offered themselves to help women… while they projected their dreams and ambitions on to the men’s roles."
Dominguez's project shines some harsh light on the way we consume and look at advertisements the subliminal messages they send. It all has us wondering, at what age do we become desensitized to such thinly-veiled sexism—and better yet, how is the affecting the next generation of fashion consumers?