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NO MAN (OR WOMAN) IS AN ISLAND

derella, her sisters were willing to cut off their toes to fit into the glass slipper offered by the prince. While this may sound extreme, it is not unrelated to the contemporary draw of plastic surgery. People will go under the knife to be more beautiful or handsome. The desire to attract love is deep and strong. Both women and men will go to great lengths to be attractive enough to win love. Beyond the fear is a powerful yearning. The joy of special occasions—the first kiss, the proposal, the wedding, the anniversary—also appeal to the sentimentalist in all of us. Estée Lauder’s “Beautiful” fragrance is marketed with an association with marriage. A lovely bride is embraced by a flower girl. Such a campaign is designed to win the hearts of women aspiring to that special day and of those that recall it. The Lover archetype is natural for fashion and cars. Cinderella’s fairy godmother improves upon her innate beauty and character by providing her with just the right dress, shoes, and carriage to go to the ball and win the heart of the prince. A modern-day Cinderella could get such a makeover with just a trip to the shopping mall. In Pretty Woman, Julia Roberts is revealed to be a princess inside when she buys beautiful and expensive clothes. There is hardly any point in chronicling examples of fashion and cosmetics promising such a Cinderella-like transformation. They are all around us, and you know them. However, Pretty Woman captured viewers’ hearts because Julia Roberts managed to convey a reality of depth and worth to a woman who was making her living as a prostitute. The change of clothes was not just a shallow change; it revealed a truth about the character obscured by her former, trashy attire. The archetypal plot that grabs attention is deeper than the most frequent commercial message. The archetype does not say that the new hairstyle, outfit, car, or plastic surgery will get you the love of your life. What that archetypal plot says is that it will do so if the change reveals the real beauty of your nature. Most ads devoted to teenage girls evoke either the Explorer or the Lover—unfortunately, in both cases, the archetypes’ lower levels. (The Explorer ads appeal to their feeling of being different and the Lover of wanting to be attractive.) Many of these ads fail to connect with the power of the archetype because they encourage a regressive superficiality. (Just get the new dress!) This perversion of the mythic

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

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