Womens Place in Advertising Essay

Womens Place in Advertising Essay

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Womens Place in Advertising
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Stereotypes in America have existed for hundreds of years. They were present before the Internet, television, radio, and even magazines. This is not to say that these newer media devices do not contribute to the overwhelming prevalence of racism, sexism, and stereotyping. Typecasting occurs regularly in society, for men, and especially women. Advertisers are the single largest contributor to the continuation of female degradation and sexual bias in our society.
Advertising plays a tremendous role in promoting labels. Direct marketing techniques demand that people be placed in certain specific groups. The more defined a group is the better for the advertisers. Their goal is to create a situation where an entire group of people feel the same way, think the same way, and most importantly shop the same way. In the ads that I have found there seem to be three main types. The female body displayed as a sexual object; today's ads have created a society where the Kate Mosses of the world epitomize beauty. It is these types of ads that are responsible for the "80% of school girls … watching their weight" (Kilbourne). These second type exhibits the housewife who is nurturing, caring, older, and unsexual. These ads feature women as competent only cleaning, cooking, and taking care of children. The final type is the empowered female, in control, young, and attractive. It is only the third type of ad, which occurred much less frequently that empowered and recognized women as equal to men. It is necessary that advertisers change their assessment of women. Women are more than sex objects and housewives; moreover, they constitute half of the consumers in the country. With a ...


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The advertising industry has had an adverse effect upon both men and women. It has propagated the stereotypes and sexism in our culture of the last 100 years. Women remain subservient and meek, or are sex objects in the majority of ad campaigns. Kilbourne contends that Americans are exposed to 1500 advertisements a day. As we submerse our culture with ads negatively portraying women we remove any hope of social progress and gender equality. The solution is to change the philosophy behind advertising, a change that is occurring now. Unfortunately it is a slow drawn-out process as heads of companies are reluctant to change what has seemingly worked for the past fifty years. Little do they know that when girls feel good about themselves, have realistic notions of beauty and health, that they will be serving both their companies, and the women of future.

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