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Word Count: 597
The sun is setting as the lone cowboy stands leaning against a wooden post and gazing out over the fields He has been hard at work all day and only now as the evening approaches does he allow himself a moments rest The forward tilt of his hat shadows one half of his lined ruggedly handsome face Tucked into the corner of his mouth is a cigarette end and he pulls the box away revealing the one object of his desire a smoke - Marlboro of course The paradigm at issue here and in all other ads for the Marlboro products is that of The Sturdy Oak This man utterly independent and self-reliant demands respect from onlookers in that he is the definition of toughness calmness and coolness He revels in his solitary position he doesnt require any assistance from others he is completely in control We can tell by the glint in his eye that he is composed fearless unimpressed by danger and up for any challenge Even the way he pulls the cigarette out of the pack spells out man loud and clear - he doesnt use his hands he uses his mouth Just as we are convinced that this cowboy is definitely a man so are we coerced into believing that the Marlboro cigarettes play a factor in making him one The problem with this ad is that it may have a tremendous impact on the minds and lives of young men In our society we place a large amount of pressure on boys to measure up to the unattainable standard of manliness The media is constantly bombarding children with images of the ideal man which in itself is harmful in that they are continually reminded of how they should act think and feel But being faced with an ad where the concept of smoking is incorporated into masculinity skyrockets the damaging effect on boys - they are told to
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