Shaped by the Imagination: Myths of Water, Women, and Purity


Our notions of water are closely linked to the female body and to discourses of objectification and control. It is this critical interlacing of ideas about gender, purity, and power that makes water intensely political. Contemporary bottled water advertising used gendered imagery to portray the product as passive and desirable. Hayman concludes by looking at how a bottled water breast cancer awareness advertisement illuminates how water is gendered, controlled, and constructed. While the image subverts gender construction and the boundaries between the natural and artificial, it also gives rise to reflection on the links between plastic-produced endocrine disrupters in water and breast cancer.