about

This 2014 advertisement for Nine West shoes came from the company’s website, under the category “shoe occasions,” of which there were two: one for “Starter Husband Hunting” and the other for “First Day of Kindergarten.” The ad has a list of requirements for women when they go “starter husband hunting,” including needing a little black dress, smokey eyes, a wing-woman, and Nine West shoes, and shows a target with arrows in it, with a woman’s leg straddled across the target, wearing an animal print high heel. Her hand is also shown gripping a handful of arrows.

Discussion

What is a “starter husband?” What does this ad say about women?

How does this ad perpetuate the notion that women should only be defined not for themselves, but in relation to men (or in the other ad, to children)? What gendered roles are articulated through this ad?

How is the hunting theme used in this ad, from the target and arrows to the pattern on the shoe and the list of “requirements?”

What is listed as requirements for starter husband hunting? What does this say about what aspects of a woman are valued?

What does this ad say about men?