Women In Advertising

.. myth and stereotype in society around women that preys on the human fear of the unknown. This only hinders the female’s struggle for equality. The final concept that I observed was that of tokenism. The working women of the 90’s is becoming more and more accepted , but advertisements still cannot seem to divorce themselves from the concept that the work place is just another medium in which their consumers can display themselves. They feel obligated to include the token women in work place environments who seem to enjoy modeling the latest style of working clothes, like one ad I saw which was selling the great little office dress.

Little being the operative word in that sentence. They promote the importance of not conforming to a man’s world by dressing like a man and the necessity to maintain a feminine image, yet the image they depict as desirable is one of short skirts, sleeveless tops, and high slits up the front and back. The advertisements that were not utilizing gender stereotypes seemed to fall into any of the following categories. First is the values surrounding the home, the family, children, the elderly, and what ever else in normally included with those ideas. Second is the use of patriotism, and the good ol’ all-American life.

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Somewhat included in this previous idea is the use of reality as meaning every day hardships, problems, facts-of -life as an attention grabber. Another depiction is that of the dismissal of biology, especially in the avoidance of aging, illness or unhappiness. Examples of advertisers exploiting these values and institutions abound throughout the images. The use of children, young animals (like puppies), and smiling elderly people are often used to evoke the nurturing response in viewers. Certain social values and feelings surround these subjects and are quite useful in eliciting attention from the observer which in turn can present great profits.

For some reason the shot of a beautiful women holding a puppy can give the double image of sexuality and nurturance at the same time, appealing to both types of men. The favorite tactic of liquor and food commercials is that of the family and good friends. Everyone is always having the best time when they are drinking or smoking in an advertisement, giving the impression that happiness is much more attainable with these products. Exploiting the vision of good friends and family gathered together with soft lighting and fuzzy homey decorations is a common technique of companies like Stouffers, and Betty Crocker. An interesting theme that I think is also just a typical American value , is the desire to deny the biology of human beings and the extent to which it pervades our lives. This goes hand in hand with the concept of unattainable beauty, but it also goes further. This concept can be seen exemplified in all the anti- aging advertisements, as well as the ads for weight loss centers, cellulite creams and various vibrating machine and suckers, quick tanning lotions, and the general habit of portraying everyone as young, healthy, and physically fit. This is simply ignoring the facts of reality.

An excellent example is the Oil of Olay advertisements: some people grow old gracefully, I intend to fight it every step of the way Not only is this not natural, I feel that this is perpetuating the younger generations to shun and neglect of the elderly in our society. In most cultures around the world elderly people are revered for their knowledge and experiences in life, and they are taken good care of by their children and the whole society. But Americans are so stuck on the eternal youth and never losing one’s looks, that being old is often seen as simply out of shape, senile, and ugly. This concept goes along completely with the advertisers entire avoidance of reality. NIKE athletic apparel advertisements are one of the few that utilizes reality to get they point across and does it well. It is almost as if it is necessary to shock the viewer into paying attention.

They prefer to use harsher realities to grab the eye, but they also make it a point to have a constant ethnic blend in all their ads, thus supporting the theme of their company. The reality is that America is not just all white beautiful , young, healthy, in shape ,well – off people running around with no care except the latest fashion trends. The reality is, is that no matter how many self help ads you see, chances are you won’t be like them. People take this to mean that they are failures, and here we find the breeding grounds for the psychological problems that plague our society, not to mention quite a few health problems as well. Smoking Marlboro cigarettes is not going to make you a rough, tough, strong, macho man, it’s going to give you lung cancer.

Marlboro does not advertise with the original Marlboro man because he is attached to a respirator after the onset of emphysema. Therefore, there are several arguments I make in this paper on advertisement. First is that no matter how liberal and advanced we feel our modern day America has come, it is obvious that our values and institutions are still being controlled by old-fashioned notions. There is a conservative trend going on in America, and underneath the token attempts at change, the old stereotypes are hard at work; at work molding minds and opinions in every day situations that are not needed in our close-minded culture. Some of the hypocrisy is blatant, and other is not so noticeable.

The final message is a reiteration of the concept of avoiding reality. The purpose of this paper is to argue that the influential powers of advertisements are more suppressive of women that the advertising companies would admit to. America is riddled with stereotypes and the perpetuation of them through distortions of institutions, roles, status, and norms into advertisements molding the average female American. If one stops to consider the impressionability of the human mind, especially the young ones. It becomes frightening to think that these blatant stereotypical depiction’s can be picked up in most living rooms in this country. Of course I believe that people should be allowed to formulate their own opinions and have the freedom to watch and promote whatever they choose, but I feel that the people developing these advertisements should act with a little more responsibility towards society and pay more attention to what they are broadcasting on the public owned electro magnetic spectrum. An advertiser would argue many of the points previously stated.

They do not agree that there are oppressive undertones present within their advertisements. They also contend that they do not force women to confine them selves to the norms depicted with in their advertisements. However I believe that since these companies have power they should take on more of the responsibilities of having that power. I feel it is a moral obligation for the companies not to degrade their consumers. Additionally many may argue that since I am a male, I am unable to accurately depict how these advertisements affect females. I am also unable to accurately state the arguments of my opposition, for they deny the argument even exists.

That is until they find a way to make the argument profitable. Business Reports.