What do newspaper or magazine readers see, without
having a conscious reaction, as they glance past ads?
Here is part of a multi-photo department store ad for
brassieres. As usual, any photo is a moment from a movie--and hints
at a story, a set of relationships.
What do you notice on your own ?
If you start reading the photo from the upper left
corner, you can't miss that both women are looking at
something--different. What is the woman on the left looking at?
The product, of course, but also the body it's on. How
can you be sure? We'll get to that. But first, the woman on the
right. She is looking away, outside the picture frame. She's
also touching her hair, perhaps preening--normally a sign (in body
language) of getting/giving attention.
Now look even more closely. Can you see that the woman
on the left is not only looking but also pressing against the other
woman? Here's a close-up.
Can you can see the indentation where the bras touch.
That shows there's pressure-- enough pressure that BOTH women have to
know that touch is happening.
But one woman is looking off to the right of the page.
If you could see the entire page you would see she is 'looking at' a
different woman in another picture across from her. That woman is
looking down, at nothing, as if shy.
Of course, the various editors who posed and arranged
this collection of ad photos were the ones who 'made' this woman look
at the woman across the page. Very little happens by accident in
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