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Untitled (It’s a Small World But Not if You Have to Clean It)
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More about Untitled (It’s a Small World But Not if You Have to Clean It)

ajardini's picture

Sr. Editor

Look closely! Barbara Kruger’s first career was in magazine design and you can see her interest in advertising here.

Her posters take the same form as ads: bold statements in large blocked text that call out to the reader. But instead of selling you overpriced perfume or the newest weight loss drug, Kruger's ads feature tongue-in-cheek feminist spin! How refreshing. *Crest Whitening Toothpaste Smile*

This one pokes fun at the sexist notion that women are only interested in household chores. Have you watched commercials on television lately? ALL the ads for cleaning products are still entirely geared towards women, and often assume that the female consumer has children. Not only do I not have children, I never clean. Stereotypes be damned!

The woman in this picture's got that whole black and white PLeasantville 50s housewife thing going on. She holds up a magnifying glass to the viewer and her eye, warped and enlarged by the device, seems to bore into you confrontationally. Is the “cleaning up” in this sentence perhaps not referring to an untidy kitchen, but instead the mess of gender inequality? It challenges you to do some soul-searching about your preconceived notions of domestic labor and gender roles. And also makes you wonder why she didn't turn that thing on herself. I mean, that hair! So retro and so, so bad. Aren't you glad we live in these times?

Would you think twice if you saw this ad in Home and Garden magazine with a big, colorful Swiffer logo? Unfortunately, probably not. So the next time someone tells you your apartment is disgusting, tell them it’s a feminist statement! (It works for me!...Or so I tell myself!)