The Embodiment of the New Woman: Advertisements’ Mobilization of Women’s Bodies Through Co-Optation of Feminist Ideologies

Abstract

This paper stands on an important feminist notion of “embodiment” which considers the body not just as part of a body-mind dualism but as an essential site for political and personal emancipation. It then proceeds to critique the concept of embodiment of the New Woman as a co-opted notion in twenty (20) beauty product advertisements aired on Philippine free TV from 2010 to 2014. Co-optation in representations is a process of borrowing only surface elements of a progressive philosophy/theory such as feminism while ignoring its other, more important, ideas.  New Woman, on the other hand, is a social construction of the modern woman who is supposedly making wise and empowered choices in life. The analysis focuses on how feminism has been co-opted in what the author labels as a “depolitization project” in these beauty product advertisements.