Smart as Sabrina

Every time I see this advertisement, I can't help staring at it. I sit captivated and marvelling at the amazing resemblance to my childhood icon of intelligence: "Sabrina", the smart angel from "Charlie's Angels". Reinforcing the connection is the caption delicately written across both pages, an appeal to every woman's vanity: one side's street smart, one side's just plain smart.

This appeal to vanity carries another edge, as well: it sets the stage for a binary interpretation to the world. "There are two sides to every woman," front and back, black and white, all a cast of opposites. Counterpoint to the opposites is another set of binaries: smart and beautiful, classy and elegant, street smart and plain smart. All of these binaries balance over the center of the image, the single choice you have to partake of this world: buy this dress.

Undoubtably, these same elements reinforce each other in other ways. The cobblestone street suggests Europe, or "continental". The black and white is suggestive of another time period, so cool in this modern day where retro is in. And what could be classier than the romanticized era of Europe in the 40's?