“More of a Lolita than Lola”

Designer, Marc Jacobs is one known for pushing the boundaries or at the very least calling on his daring and provocative nature to make a name for himself and be long remembered in the fashion industry.

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Source: (Jones, 2011)

The release of the Oh Lola Campaign, featuring 17-year-old actress Dakota Fanning caused a stir when it went to print in early 2011.  The publication reveals Fanning posing in a pink polka-dot dress, while resting a bottle of Oh lola perfume on her lap. For some, this image simply looks as it seems, a young girl in a pretty pink dress, promoting a product. However, interpretations vary, and some may be aware of the connotations that the image suggests. One can argue that the image displays fanning, as a sexual object and connotes the wrong message to girls in society. The sexual imagery and provocative manner in which Fanning is represented is simply far too sensual for some and denotes the media’s frequent play on the sexualisation of young girls, as mentioned in the “Lolita effect.” 

So what makes this image so controversial that caused it’s cut. Is it the positioning of her body, the short dress, the immaturity, or the phallic placement of the perfume bottle? Or does it just overall degrade women.

After being published in numerous highly renowned magazines, Britain had banned the ad in November 2011. The Advertising Standards Authority declared the publication was “sexually provocative” (Jones, 2011) because of the positioning of the bottle and stated that fanning “looked under the age of 16” (Jones, 2011) and thus was irresponsible for insinuating the sexualisation of a child. However, Coty, the makers behind Lola stated that the image should not have been deemed inappropriate because it did not show her body in a sexual manner, yet they did express that the image was somewhat “provoking, but not indecent.” (Bergin, 2011)

Regardless what the intention was behind the innocent portrait that suggests something sexually alluring, we all know that the same message can be interpreted in different ways. This undeniably leaves the connotations completely up to viewer. However, there is no doubt that Marc Jacobs thought about the controversy that would arouse and used this to his advantage. After all, he knows what sells……



Athon, A, 2012, Rhetorical Analysis of ‘Oh, Lola!’ by Marc Jacobs, viewed 22nd March 2014, http://eng2070-taylorcarpenter.bgsu.wikispaces.net/file/view/Rhetorical+Analysis+Marc+Jacobs.pdf

Bergin, O, 2011, Dakota Fanning’s Oh, Lola! advert for Marc Jacobs is banned, Telegraph Uk, viewed 22nd March 2014, http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/columns/olivia-bergin/TMG8876913/Dakota-Fannings-Oh-Lola-advert-for-Marc-Jacobs-is-banned.html

Jones, N, 2011, Marc Jacobs’ Oh Lola ad banned in UK, viewed 22nd March 2014,   http://www.wwd.com/beauty-industry-news/fragrance/marc-jacobs-oh-lola-ad-banned-5358741


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