Saturday, July 13, 2013

How fetuses sell us stuff

Fetal images have figured in advertisements for Volvo, about which anthropologist Janelle Taylor has written, and for Honda, among other consumer products. Sociologist Daniel Thomas Cook has written about the interesting connections between the late 20th century conceptualization of children as consumers and fetuses as persons. (Here is a link, but unfortunately there is a paywall.)

Walking up Columbus Avenue today with my sister, not far from the American Museum of Natural History, in a neighborhood that is trafficked heavily with double-wide strollers and toddlers on scooters, we saw the following advertisement for the new Blackberry on a bus shelter:


What is the story here? Is the woman sending the image to her partner on her BlackBerry? Is he viewing it on his Blackberry? Are she and he sharing a moment, like OMG, twins!?


Are we to marvel here at the technology of the sonogram and /or the BlackBerry?


Um, yes, you can see my sister and me reflected in this photo.

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