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Effectiveness of Feature Article as Protest

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 595
  • Category: Protest

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The feature article “Sexed up tween advertising shows fashion needs to grow up”, by Emma Rush and Caroline Norma, is an extremely effective protest text against the sexual exploitation of young girls in the fashion industry. Its textual form allows it to strategically target influential audiences and the article itself is written so that the composer’s disapproval of sexed-up, young models is clearly seen. As a protest text, it also manages to maintain its reader’s interest and motivation for action throughout viewing which heightens its effectiveness.

The article as a protest text effectively reaches influential readers through its form of a mainstream newspaper article. As part of a major newspaper, the article targets authority figures and parents who are able to relate and respond to the protest. Norma and Rush’s disapproval of young girls being sexually exploited in major fashion industries is effectively embedded throughout the article, using various literary techniques. Their use of a pun in the title, “grow up” accuses the fashion industries of being juvenile, relating the words to both the young girl models being too mature and the immaturity of the fashion industry itself.

The subheading continues the accusations in a more serious manner, nicknaming the trend “corporate paedophilia” – the use of emotive words like paedophilia creates a sense of both shock and disgust in the reader. The article then uses more subtle ways to continues its protest, demeaning the acts of fashion brands like Witchery through the use of sarcasm, “because, of course, girls from the age of eight need to understand that male romantic approval… is what really matters in life”.

The article as a protest text is also successful as it manages to maintain the reader’s interest throughout. Viewers are encouraged to continue reading through lines like “made us gasp”, which inspire curiosity and added shock value is seen through colloquial verses like “gave us the creeps”. The disturbing surprise is revealed through the use of sexual imagery, describing young girls who “pout and smile, twist and turn” in addition to mature terms like “make love to the camera” which heightens the sense of sexualized children in the industry.

Norma and Rush also manage to involve viewers through rhetorical questions like, “how can the footage not be referencing a male viewer? ” leading readers to debate and decide on the campaign’s true intentions themselves. Furthermore, it is the articles ability to motivate it’s viewers for action that fulfils its full effectiveness as a protest text. By relating other mainstream trends like, “businesses getting involved in the production and sale of pornified images of children”, the composers foreshadow the consequences of supporting sexualisation of children in fashion industries.

Followed up by strategic phrases like “girl after girl” and “study after study”, the composers manage to convey the extent of the problem and the desperate need for action in Australia. Rhetorical questions like, “is this where any sane person in Australia wants to go? ” belittles those who support the companies and confirms the composers view on the trajectory of Australian fashion industry.

Feelings of protectiveness and a sense of duty in the readers are also conjured through use of emotive words like “next generation” and “they deserve better”, which effectively incites a need for action in the reader. Ultimately, the feature article “Sexed up tween advertising shows fashion needs to grow up”, makes a highly effective protest text as it succeeds in voicing its protest against the sexual exploitation of young girls in the fashion industry and manages to both sustain the readers interest and incite their motivation for action at the same time.

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