In the late 1970s, a billboard advertisement for Gigi underwear was installed at street level in various British cities. It depicted a woman in a trench coat walking on the street at night and looking defiantly at the camera. A second image portrays her unbuttoning her coat and revealing her underwear. A caption reads “Underneath they’re all Lovable.” This billboard evoked a wave of feminist opposition exemplified by Rosalind Coward’s essay “Underneath we’re angry” attacking the Gigi advertisement for being an invitation to rape women as well as photographic works by The Polysnappers condemning the ad. This article contextualizes the passionate resistance to the Gigi advert within the time’s feminist debates, which characterized media images as oppressive towards women, the discourse around the ideological functioning of advertisements, debates on “the sexual politics of representation,” the political role of photography, social historical events, and the political significance of the street.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
- politics of representation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts