I assigned one of my classes an examination of a Tiffany ad in our class on Culture and Advertising. This is not my strong class, the ambition of these students is not to attend medical school in the UK, but rather to stay within their tidy world and maintain the status quo. These students are extremely wealthy and the candor with which they see their place in the world is surprisingly refreshing as well as informative. Few would get this insight into the wealthy young Arab woman’s mind. The ad is, obviously for jewelry, but not just ordinary jewelry, more legendary and extraordinary. Their assignment was to write a commentary on the image and the coded messages within. Right, now that you have the context take a look at this:
“Women are always obsessed with their appearance and never cease looking for accessories that would show off their charm. Besides, wealthy women are usually afraid that their partners might betray them so they care a lot about their health and looks. Since men can’t wear much jewelry, they are likely to boast about their fortunes through what their wives or lovers might wear.”
And from another paper:
“The prices of Tiffany are very high and only well off people can pay for an item from the company. Those who belong to the middle and lower classes are preoccupied with other problems, which makes Tiffany an illusion or dream. In fact, the horizon of their dreams is to own a house or new car and they spend their life struggling to buy them. However, for the high class women bringing up children and cooking are not their tasks, they are the jobs of housemaids. Their only concern is to be the prettiest and the most attractive women at parties and receptions.”
Housemaids, keeping pretty, showing off your husband’s wealth, keeping him from other women, attending parties. This is like a key hole view into another world, more akin to 18th Paris and London than contemporary reality, certainly.
That, people, is a different perspective.