Timmy Waters grew up near the banks of the Anacostia River. He was a rather small and scrawny young man who spent a lot of time wishing he were bigger and stronger. Timmy had a few friends throughout childhood and early adolescence, but he was a lonely boy for the most part.
One hot summer day Timmy decided he wanted to go for a swim. The nearest community pool was over an hour away on foot, so Timmy decided he would take a dip in the Anacostia River just down the street from his house. Timmy had no idea that the Anacostia was incredibly polluted and full chemicals that would change his life forever. As soon as Timmy dove into the water his skin began to burn. He had never experienced a feeling like that before. Timmy tried to cry out for help but he could not make a sound. Suddenly he felt everything in his body tighten as gills began to tear from his neck and his hands and feet turned into webbed slimy limbs. Timmy’s skin began to take a scaly and slimy form as well. He could suddenly slide through the water very quickly.
Timmy left the river after a long cooling swim in hopes that he would turn back to his regular self when he left the water. But Timmy found that people gave him strange looks and shrieked at him as he walked by with his heavy webbed feet smacking along the ground. Timmy’s peers ignored him and he was eventually band from all public places including school. Timmy realized the only place for him to go was the river.
After a few days in the river Timmy found he had some powers beyond any he’d read about in comic books. Timmy could communicate with the life forms in the river and direct them to do what he pleased. Timmy wanted the life forms of the river to help him clean it out, so that nobody else would experience the mutation he had. Timmy absorbed the pollutants in the river into his skin and released them as oxygen. After a while the locals began to catch wind of what was going on in the Anacostia and named the mutated creature that was cleaning up the river. Timmy was forever known as “The Anacostia Avenger.”
Adam Kumatz, Paz Monge, Arun Raman, Nishant Shrikande
Advertisement Analysis: Dove’s “Onslaught” Commercial
Dove’s “Onslaught” commercial is at first a startling and relevant call to arms against the beauty industry, and the impact it has on young girls. Upon further inspection, however, it is something much more sinister.
The market for this advertisement is parents. While it features a young girl, it is her impressionable mind that is the point of Dove’s argument. Dove is trying to make a moral argument. Telling people that there is nothing moral about letting the entertainment and cosmetic industry dictate beauty. There point is that hundreds of diets, pills, exercise routines, and plastic surgeries exist, and that they are out of control. There interest is in money and the way they get it is by manipulating beauty standards.
The title “Onslaught” describes the artistic decisions made in the ad. It starts by showing us the face of a young girl. An eye line match reveals what she is looking at. The new shot brings on an accelerating onslaught of beauty commercials, music videos, dieting solutions, and so forth. The onslaught ends with increasingly more gruesome images of surgery and rapid weight gain and loss. The advertisement cleverly returns to the image of the young girl to remind the audience who the victims of these advertisements are. By starting with a cute image then quickly progressing to the grotesque, Dove creates a very effective pace and tone.
The ethical implications, while they may seem sound at first, are actually much more confusing. If the advertisement had been done by an organization of mothers, it could be seen more as the call to arms that it seems to be. However, Dove is in the beauty industry. They are one of the largest players. There stakes in what people think of as beautiful are very high. They are also trying to sell products that make your skin softer, glow brighter, and look years younger. It could easily be argued that while many advertisements aim at small children, Dove is merely manipulating beauty through a different audience, their parents. All of this does not fully incriminate Dove, but it does put the commercial in a different light. It also requires that the audience be much more skeptical of what the ad is saying.