How often do you touch your face? 英語コミュニケーション学科


This is a question we asked in 3rd year zemi this week, after we studied examples of advertisements for fashion and cosmetics. Many such images show women delicately touching their face, but most of the students realised that they, themselves, never do this gesture in real life.

Erving Goffman (1979) explained that this "feminine touch" gesture shows women as fragile and passive. A person touching their face looks like they are trying to protect themselves, or need protection. They are also not touching something else, which suggests that they are not actively doing something else. By contrast, men in advertisements are usually represented as active, busy, doing something or going somewhere. Because there are so many advertisements like this, the mere-exposure effect (単純接触効果:繰り返し接すると好意度や印象が高まるという効果) makes us become familiar and comfortable with these images, and with their meaning. These advertisements are an example of the negative impact that images can have on society, because they make gender stereotypes stronger, and prevent society's image of women from improving.


Goffman, E. (1979). Gender Advertisements. Harper & Row, Publishers.

担当教員:Germain Mesureur

Using Advertising (広告), and the language of adverts and CMs, to learn English, understand other societies and the ways advertising influences them and us. My main focus is on the representation of gender in advertising, and how that affects men and women's perception of themselves and others.

Germain Mesureur