The purpose of the article is to inform people of etiquette classes that are opening for young girls, and to encourage parents to sign their children up for it. The text is aimed at American parents, even though it’s written to advertise a course for young girls. We know this because the advert chooses to say “girls learn” and “they learn” rather than “you will learn”, which is what you would expect from a text written for the age group. Also, lexical words such as poise, grooming and etiquette aren’t what you would expect to be used in texts aimed at teenagers.
The word ‘proper’ also suggests that the advertisement is to manipulate parents into thinking that sending their children to the class will ‘better’ them. The advert uses the phrase “girls learn proper sitting”, and the word ‘proper’ connotes that girls who haven’t gone to this course aren’t ‘proper’. The word ‘proper’ could either suggest that the girls are not classy or sophisticated, but they will be once they join the class, or it could mean that they are not ‘whole’ people, and are missing something out of their lives.
It also degrades young girls and makes them feel less of themselves. These are effective ways in which to sell the classes. The image in the picture promotes quite a bad stereotype of the ‘perfect’ child. It denotes an average looking teenage girl, wearing jeans and a t-shirt, standing casually with a book on her head, looking into a mirror. In the mirror, there is a smiling girl, standing straight, with a ribbon in her hair and wearing a dress.
The connotations of the image are that the girl is wishing that she could be the girl in the mirror, so she is trying to be more like her, by trying to improve her posture using a book balanced on her head. This is rather a bad stereotype of teenagers, because the girl in the mirror seems to be old-fashioned and the girl looking into the mirror seems like an average teen. The reflection seems to signify what the ‘perfect child’ should look like, and the smile on her face connotes that she is much happier like that than she was as the girl in the picture.
The image suggests that girls look into the mirror and want to be this girl, which is generally untrue. The lexis in the advertisement also adds to the stereotypes of the ‘perfect child’. By using phrases like “learn hair care, skin care, hand care”, “secrets to being well-dressed” and “telephone etiquette and table manners”, it suggests that these are qualities in which a young lady must possess, to be an asset to society. This is a major stereotype of the ‘perfect woman’, who cooks, cleans and looks after the house. It is offensive to women nowadays, because ideas and beliefs have changed.