The Omnipresence of Almightiness in Advertising Imagery

Images of the Virtual
A Paradigmatic Example: the Use of the Female Body
By Dimitri Weyl

To be born from the nineteen-seventies onwards, when the “society of the spectacle” (Debord) was is full swing, is necessarily to be, to a greater or lesser extent, a “child of advertising”. Images beset us with speed and great force than do writings and speeches: they have the power to makes us believe, to generate passion and loyalty. This is why it is possible to make people believe in ideologies, to swallow them, by dressing discourses up in images.This article proposes to show that the discourse that inhabits advertising and publicity imagery is the discourse of capitalism, as pinpointed by Lacan in 1972. And that one of the most widespread ways in which the spectator is captivated is to flatter him or her by staging figures in which primary narcissism always takes pride of place: each object “on offer” is a promise that the almightiness of desire will be found once more, along with an ideal ego. This implicates in a particular way the clinic of adolescents and young adults, and the clinic of children too. One of the paradigmatic objects of these repetitive and omnipresent publicity stunts is the female body.


  • narcissism
  • image
  • contemporary subjectivity
  • identities
  • adolescence
  • discourse of capitalism
  • publicity
  • relations of power
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