Westernization of the Chinese Body


These images above are both advertisements directed at the women of China. The first is from the time period of Mao’s China and the second is 20-30 years post-Mao China. During Mao’s China the Chinese people were told to value Chinese made good. In fact the Western world was looked down upon, and there was no sense of emulating the west in any ways. What was truly valued was equality and hard work. In the first advertisement the woman is seen hard at work, and happy about it. However she is depicted as a female who has a very masculine build. The clothing she is wearing also makes her look more masculine, as it looks large and drape like and shows no womanly curves. However this make sense for how women were seen during Mao’s China, not really as women but instead as an equal to men. When Mao died and his reign ended China “entered into the world”, especially commercially. There was an increase of western advertisements and products flowing into China. When before the Western world was though of as nothing worth emulating, no the Chinese came to see certain aspects of the West and started to value them. One in particular is the fascination with the Western woman’s “large and free breasts.

need to make a critical statement: what does the large breasts suggest and why Chinese women are crazy about that?

Once China moved out of Mao’s rule, the woman in particular came to value their bodies more. However they came to see them through a Western view and though that they needed to become like the West to truly be feminine and be considered beautiful by the world.

what does the change suggest?

The second image is from a Chinese advertisement that promotes a breast enhancement bra that will give woman larger breasts, more Western looking breasts. The fist picture shows a woman looking down shyly at her breasts. Her body language shows as though she is shrinking away from the camera, and is wondering where her breasts are. The second picture of the woman shows her chest confidently, looking directly at the camera with a massive smile on her face as she proudly tightens her bra.

from A to C: what does the ad suggest and why enlarging the breasts (meanings/reasons behind it?)

This new fascination with the Western body and more specifically the Western woman’s breasts is seen heavily in the Chinese media. Most of the advertisements in China are western models so the Chinese women see this Western beauty and start to want it, because that is what they start to think of as beautiful. Women are starting to go to drastic lengths to obtain a something that they are told to believe is beautiful. All of the constant advertisements are making women look at themselves an see their body through another cultures eyes, they do not see themselves as feminine or beautiful because they are different. do we see anything western from the ad?

let two questions guide the analysis: how does the ad delivers its message and sell its product (denotation) and why so.