By Brittany H.
The media consistently displays images of women that are represented as sex symbols or images that suggest to them how to act and look. America has come a long way from equal rights between men and women, but in advertising the media still fails to represent each sex with an image that is positive. Men are still represented as being the dominant character. The tone has changed over the last fifty years, but the media is still too comfortable with putting women in their “stereotypical costumes.”
Women are constantly being exposed to different types of media, which has a significant influence in their lives because of the messages that are always telling them how they are supposed to look prettier, skinner, and have more sex appeal. The media exposes women to models that are always tall and skinny, but never the body type of an average woman. Victoria’s Secret always hires tall, skinny, and attractive models that advertise sexy lingerie, which tells women that they should buy their product to make them feel sexier. Chiara Milford, who writes for Feminispire , wrote an article on how sexism consumes the world of advertising, and in the article she says “It’s a mass media phenomenon that infiltrates our daily lives while we’re not even paying attention, and they scream out a lot of sexist epithets underneath all that BUY, BUY, BUY.” She gives the example of how whenever we see an advertisement for a kitchen product, such dish soap, it will always have a woman in a domestic scene, which shows her struggling to clean the kitchen, but if she buys that dish soap it will make her household chores easier. The viewer will never see a man in a domestic situation. This clearly is objectifying women and always has an underlying message.
The difference between how men and women are represented through the media has been researched, and there have been numerous studies done on how advertisements they are depicted differently. One article states that the 400-600 advertisements seen by women daily have an enormous effect on their images and self -esteems. The article also states that more female models are suggestively dressed in advertisements and men are less likely to be suggestively dressed and are featured in more non-stereotypical roles. (Women in Advertisements and Body Images) The constant exposure to these images of models that have perfect body and images that suggest to women how they are supposed to act has been found to lower women's satisfaction with their own attractiveness.
There are many questions about how the media has affected the way women see themselves. We have grown from how the public and the media view women, and how they are represented, but according to World Savvy it will still take another 75 years to achieve gender equality in the media. We still see a strong sexual representation of women and beauty in the media, but over time I believe that the media can break this stereotype and how modern society believe women are supposed to look and act.
1.) "Statistics - WOMEN IN ADVERTISEMENTS AND BODY IMAGE." Statistics - WOMEN IN ADVERTISEMENTS AND BODY IMAGE. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2013. http://womeninads.weebly.com/statistics.html
2.) "World Savvy Monitor." World Savvy Monitor. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2013 http://worldsavvy.org/monitor/index.php?option=com_content&id=602&Itemid=1049
3.) Milford, Chiara. "Sexism Consumes the World of Advertising ‹ Feminspire." Feminspire. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2013. http://feminspire.com/sexism-consumes-the-world-of-advertising/