Advertising Distorts Perception of Self-image

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Men and women view themselves differently and both men and women are concerned about how others view them. This leads to both genders becoming increasingly conscientious of what they eat, how much they eat, and how often they should exercise. Often times both struggle with making these changes so they look for an easy way to see the results they desire. Advertising agencies have noticed this stigma and taken advantage of both sexes insecurities about self-image. This can be seen in the Hydroxycut ad from 2008, and the SuperPump 250 ad in 2010. These two ads highlight the benefits of the products, while pinpointing the insecurities of the consumers. Although there are similarities between the two genders concerns regarding self-image, ultimately men tend to want a more muscular look and women typically just want to lose weight and look thin.

The Hydroxycut ad features an attractive woman for this product, which claims it is ‘Americas #1 Weight-Loss Supplement.’ The setting is on a tropical beach and the woman is standing in the sand near the ocean in a red two piece bikini. There is a quote that says “I lost 39 pounds. Fast with Hydroxycut!” Below is Gillian Risebury from Collinsville, Illinois’ testimony to the effectiveness of the product. She says before she took the product she felt unhappy and uncomfortable wearing a bikini, but after seeing Hydroxycut’s effectiveness in other users she decided to try it. After she took this supplement she reported losing 39 pounds and seven inches off her waist in 13 weeks. She relates that she is a testament to the effectiveness of the product and now she feels comfortable at the beach and at pool parties. Moving down the page is a before and after picture of her showing her significant pr...

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...the person in question, when in fact the person could look fat or small, but they don’t want to reveal these insecurities to them. In a country marked by its obesity and plethora of fast food chains, people look for the easy way out of the path to becoming overweight. They want these results fast and if they don’t see it they quit. Advertising agencies and multi-million/billion dollar organizations take full advantage of these people and turn it into a business. While men and women have different views of themselves the companies know how to market the items to each gender leading to slanted views of self-image. For Americans conforming and sticking to the norms is a way of life and buying similar products on the basis of shallow ads is normal. This is why advertising is such a lucrative and shady industry that dictates culture and distorts perception of self image.
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