Underneath we’re angry: feminism and media politics in Britain in the late 1970s and early 1980s

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-247
Number of pages17
JournalFeminist Media Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 4 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Advertising
  • feminism
  • graffiti
  • photography
  • politics of representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Communication
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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