“You Are Not a Sketch”

Today’s BCM110 lecture was very interesting and quite hilarious. From bad lip reading to funny commentaries (thanks Nick for becoming the most wanted person in BCM110), week three’s lecture was my favourite so far. I absolutely love how Sue interacts and engages with the class – she has a great sense of humour which makes the lecture so much more fun and very memorable!

Semiotics – “The Science of Signs” was a major part of our lecture today. Our blog post for this week is supposed to be about how we interpret signs and the denotations and connotations behind each. Since Kate Moss was brought into the topic today, her issues with drug addiction and modelling, I decided that I would use anorexia as my example for my complex image.

jade blog post

The Daily Mail Australia had posted an article about a campaign made by Star Models which is based in Brazil. In this image, photoshop has been used to turn models into a life size fashion illustration. This campaign was held to try and stop the obsession that many young women are having with thinspiration and pro-anorexia websites.

Adam Green (The Daily Mail) comments, “…they address the issue that anorexia seems to stem from the inability for people to distinguish reality from fiction.” This meaning that people are unable to tell the difference between real life and illusion. A sketch is not reality – no one can be a sketch. It’s impossible.

The denotations of this image convey a reflection of an illustration which is far from realistic. It is bringing awareness to an issue that has affected many young girls and boys around the world through the words: “You Are Not A Sketch. Say No To Anorexia.” I believe that this quote my make the viewer feel as if they have more self worth if that is something that they are struggling with – especially in today’s society.

The connotations show how women are represented in the fashion world and how they “should” be presented in reality. Another factor that is found from this photo is that the world goes about anorexia in a negative way and society tries to stop it from happening to people by making campaigns and having helplines available – but there are constantly very thin women shown in magazines and it makes people think that they have to meet those standards which are more than likely to be impossible. No one can be like someone else and most of the  images are photoshopped and retouched, you will never know if they truly look the way they are depicted.

This image however, can also be read in a different way, depending on who is viewing it. From a person suffering with anorexia, this could be a goal of theirs – something they are trying to achieve and may cause the advertisement to have the opposite effect. People that aren’t suffering from anorexia may not find this desirable or something they want to achieve and may only read the negative connotations. Some may feel empathetic and want to help spread the message of healthier bodies and the issue of body image.

Through this example, it’s easy to see how people interpret signs differently depending on the knowledge they have or if they have experienced something similar.

Please leave comments and opinions about your own views!



7 responses to ““You Are Not a Sketch”

  1. Hi there,
    I agree that this advertisement is a great find and can further be broken down to show connections in relation to body image and body worthiness. Most people want to look like models, but it is some way sickening to want to be like those girls portrayed in sketches. Also in relation to anorexic girls wanting to further cause damage to their bodies, I find it sad that this is how they feel they should look like whilst not realising that they are harming themselves. I don’t see how someone who suffers from this can be so blind to what they see in the mirror. Well I guess it the media and what women find desirable!
    – Erin


    • I think the advertisement may have been more effective to the people that are suffering from anorexia if it had something to do with the mental side of the situation. So that it could make a anorexia sufferer think about it in a deeper sense.


  2. Yeah it grabbed my attention straight away, it’s very powerful.
    That’s the only thing about it, they may look up to it even more which is a sad thing.
    I think it has its success and its failures if I’m honest. It succeeds with an audience that isn’t suffering with anorexia but fails with the ones that are.
    Glad to see your views on this! 🙂


  3. WOW, extremely powerful image. A little on the scary side too because of how emaciated and skeletal she looks. I agree, there is a lot of power behind this advertisement, that is both good and bad. Sadly, no matter what everyone will have their take on what they see and those who are already sick will see this as the poster image for what they want to achieve, rather that seeing exactly what they should be trying not to become.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Lady behind the Masque

    This is a great topic!
    I find it interesting how some people take this image as inspiration to look like these models but then others think of it as unrealistic and damaging emphasised through the sketch. Using this example made understanding semiotics easier and gave a different perspective on the topic, rather than just looking at a simple symbol.
    I feel like if this story created by the Daily Mail was able to interview a model of what society would consider a ‘reasonable’ and got their thoughts/opinions it would give a different edge to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this photo – it’s such an intriguing image and perfectly chosen for this topic, exploring semiotics and the connotations and denotations of images. I think the image’s ability to grab your attention is an important key to the campaign and it’s effectiveness. A clear connection between the drawing and the model can easily be drawn and I believe the image is successful in shedding the model in an unhealthy and unnatural light. This has been done this while maintaining a realistic element so we don’t loose connection with the image. This campaign addresses a significant issue, not just for girls in the fashion industry but everyone who suffers with body image issues. However I do agree with your suggestion that someone suffering with anorexia may see this image and perceive it as a goal. This campaign also seems to be pitched primarily towards women, isolating men who are also suffering from body image problems.
    Did you think the campaign was successful?
    – H. x


    • I think it was successful in someways and not in other ways. It’s not successful for the audience it is generally aimed at (people suffering from anorexia) and yes, men that are suffering with these issues as well may feel left out.


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