Typically a beautiful woman, size 4, is posted on advertisements across the nation to sell various products. These types of advertisements exploit our cultures standards by defining femininity merely as a "clothing size." Unfortunately, this stereotype of a sexual thin woman only speaks to a small portion of our society. This stereotypical image of the "average woman" neglects larger women and asks them to conform to "fit" into a size 4. Marina Rinaldi challenges the advertising tradition of thin models with an ad that incorporates larger women, who are conventionally not thought of as seductive. This advertisement strategically targets larger women who feel confined by societys definition of the "norm" and allows them to break free to make a statement about their sexuality. By playing on our cultures standards of the ideal feminine size, the advertisement represents the possibility that larger women can transform their "size" into an "attitude" defined by independence, power, and exoticism.
Marina Rinaldi speaks to women in todays society and plays on their desires to be independent through the depiction of the model in the advertisement. The definition of an independent woman in todays society is a successful, working woman in a power suit, carving out a lifestyle and supporting herself financially. Unfortunately, society views sexy as a physical aspect where the body shape defines a womans sex appeal rather than a womans total package of mental and physical endowments. This ad, however, contains images of both aspects by photographing a successful, independent and sexy woman who is larger in size. The model in the advertisement is free from all physical constraints that bind her to conform to society's image of the perfect "size." She is physically soaring through the air, uninhibited by the universal laws of gravity which would force her to stay grounded. This act of defying the laws of gravity symbolizes rebellion against societal norms, giving the woman an attitude to be independent as well as sexual. Her sexuality is represented by a tight form fitting evening gown, which defines the larger shape of her body thus allowing the definition of sexuality to change to various sizes. The underlining message that the brand Marina Rinaldi imparts to its consumers is that Rinaldi clothes will empower "larger women" to be independent despite feeling grounded by their size.
The pose of the model not only imparts the feeling of independence but allows larger women to engage in the raw natural power possessed in ones self. The hidden feminine power of independence is symbolized in this advertisement as the model jumps through the air with catlike and gargoyle features in her body silhouette. The physical strength and agility which the model possesses as she flies through the air illustrates the unbridled sexual power that larger woman usually do not portray. The model is effortlessly moving through the air in an awkward evening gown while still relaying the message of power and beauty. The strategic placement of the tigers in the ad symbolizes raw animalistic power that can be achieved with the purchase of Rinaldis clothes. The model hovering above the cats with an animal-like facial expression portrays her as the mother tigress. She has the power and agility to control all which surrounds her even when societal standards, say that women cannot be successful and beautiful if you wear a size 10-22. The model's attitude of defiance against the norm allows the definition of sexy to change to all sizes. The advertisements for Marini Rinaldi sells "power" along with a change of attitude to larger women who want to break free from our cultures standards of the ideal feminine size.
By developing self-dominance the larger woman is able to become a sexual creature by reinventing the image of the ideal female as someone exotic. The exotic sex appeal becomes defined by differences and individualities rather than following societal standards of size. The impression made by the model is a dangerous aura with tousled hair and fierce tiger-like expressions showing her uninhibited erotic presence. Her differences in shape and size allow the viewer to relate to their own differences. The ad suggests forming an attitude to overcome the stereotype of size resulting in non-conventional sexuality. The role reversal incorporates the new meaning of exotic sexuality in which a person of any size can possess beauty, power, and independence in both body and soul. The elegant evening gown worn by the model represents the change of the standards in beauty by allowing larger women to be flexible in a world conformed by outward appearance. The message clearly gives bigger women an "attitude" to gain power in the societal definition of the right "size" for an exotic sexual female.
The Marina Rinaldi advertisement uses sexual independence, power and exoticism to sell clothing to larger sized woman. The advertisement strategically targets "larger women" to break free of the sizing mold our culture has set forth. By using symbolism and strategically placed images it conveys the message that the size of clothing does not define feminine sexuality. The advertisement relays a new definition of sexuality by allowing both mind and body to characterize ones beauty. By proposing the message that "style is not size" but rather an "attitude" the larger woman is manipulated to purchase Marina Rinaldi clothes to achieve the sexual aura of the "ideal" thin woman.