This Artist Reverses Gender Roles In Retro Ads To Make A Powerful Point About Sexism

“I went on to imagine a parallel universe, where roles are inverted and men are given a taste of their own sexist poison.”

The Mad Men era of advertising may be behind us, but do hints of sexism still linger within our culture? So asks artist Eli Rezkallah in his In a Parallel Universe photo series, which flips the script on gender roles through reimagined sexist retro ads.

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To answer the previous question: Of course. Sexism is still a major problem in our society. Today's ads may have evolved throughout the decades, but the objectification of women in media still remains present. Through Rezkallah's gender role reversing images, what was typically considered an acceptable depiction of women looks pretty absurd when men are made the subject.

“‘In a parallel universe’ is a series of fictional images, recreated from real ads in the mad men era, that question modern day sexism: showing it through a humorous light to spark a conversation through role play,” Rezkallah captioned his series.

The Lebanon-based photographer said that he was inspired to create this art series after overhearing a sexist conversation among family members during the holiday. "Last Thanksgiving, I overheard my uncles talk about how women are better off cooking, taking care of the kitchen, and fulfilling 'their womanly duties,' " Rezkallah explained on his website. "Although I know that not all men like my uncles think that way I was surprised to learn that some still do, so I went on to imagine a parallel universe, where roles are inverted and men are given a taste of their own sexist poison."

Sexist ideologies transcend billboards and magazine ads, contributing to long-faced issues such as gender discrimination and sexism in the workplace. With the current fight against inequality and sexual harassment through social movements such as Time's Up and #MeToo, Rezkallah's series is an artistic contribution to the mission. 

A Plus has reached out to Eli Rezkallah for comment.

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