The mindset of society during the 1950’s kept men and women on different levels, women being on the lesser one. However, women were targeted in advertising as they made the primary buying decisions in the household, similar to today. Because of this, the ads also focused on femininity. For example, the first ad chosen by Bell and Howell showcases a celebrity spokesperson from the time and uses her bosom in relation to the projector being sold. Comparing her chest to “the finest projection equipment” equates her to the object itself saying neither have more value than the other. During this time period, society viewed women as possessions themselves, and saw their purpose strictly to serve the family unit, with special attention catered to her husband. She was meant to be well kempt, and swift with her chores and responsibilities, not unlike women in our modern society. Even today, a well-kept woman is the one that prospers, including career women. This specific ad plays more to the body image contention of what the ideal woman of the time should be. She is thin, Caucasian, well endowed, made up with perfectly coiffed hair, and is seemingly happy being a purely physical specimen in this case. In regards to the BMW ad, the g...
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...submissive image of women. They are usually taken from aerial angles and sprawled out looking very meek in comparison to the reader similar to the BMW ad. While standards are there to uphold the morals of our society, it is still possible today to bend the rules in favor of gender stereotyped depictions of people; especially women.
Women play an important role in advertisements and are the subject of constant scrutiny. Gender and sexuality clearly play a significant part in successful and popular advertising but at the expense of women. Society’s mindset on how women are to behave has not changed much from the 50’s as we are led to believe, and although there has been some ethical intervention by advertising regulation boards, agencies continue to find a way to create gender oppressive advertising that negatively reflects society’s image of a woman’s social status.
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