The Effects of Advertising on Women - Essay Example

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Advertising and It's Affect on Women

This essay will then look both at the style and content of the magazines in terms of the construction of masculinity they express, 'macho' or otherwise, and the visual and rhetorical representations of women.

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This type of advertising, where women are used simply as props, is harmful to us as a whole, yet it receives almost no attention.

But what is this type of advertising?

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So, these messages not only reach the men in our society, they reach women too, and all of us, regardless of age or gender, are exposed to them.

Although it’s an overwhelming task to try and change a societal norm, together we can reach a goal of healthy representation of all women in advertising, regardless of their age, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.

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According to Steve Craig’s research (1997), women can be presented in commercials in several variants. The first one is the most popular: a housewife obsessed by a steam on a new tablecloth or a woman whose main problem is lack of ideas for dinner. The other examples are less traditional, however, they are still very stereotypical. One can distinguish commercials with female vamps – sexy seductresses, the objects of desire of every man. They mostly advertise cosmetics, but they also appear in the commercials directed to men. When a beautiful woman accepts and praises the male cosmetics, it is treated by men as a guarantee of its quality. Another type is a woman, whose major concern is to preserve her beauty. Hence, she presents a healthy life style, is physically active, uses a wide range of body and facial cosmetics. However, one can observe mainly the presence of very thin actresses in this type of commercials, which can lead to the assumption, that only thin women can be beautiful and healthy. As a result, many female receivers fall into the obsession with their weight, which sometimes can have negative effects.

we observe little difference in the way men and women respond to advertising

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But, in film advertising, these advertisements tell us that women aren’t in control of their own bodies.

These messages are extremely harmful because they take away women’s autonomy of their own bodies through a harmful message that is displayed to us all the time.

This essay is basically a structural analysis of descriptions of women's clothing by reputable fashion writers.

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There is a hope to change the current situation, though. According to Debra Pryor and Nancy Nelson Knupfer (1997), “If we become aware of the stereotypes and teach critical viewing skills to our children, perhaps we will become informed viewers instead of manipulated consumers”. Moreover, the commercials evolve along with the development of a society and are the answer to many social and political changes, such as emancipation of women, growing role of individualism, globalization and revaluation of patterns and social roles. More and more advertising specialists produce non-stereotypical commercials. However, the attempts to break down the stereotypes threaten to reject the message; they affect security and well-established knowledge about the world. Hence, a society has to achieve an adequate level of social readiness, so that messages breaking gender stereotypes could be effective.

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It can take many forms, like where women are in print advertisements for no reason except to attract you, or dressed unnecessarily sexually, or posed provocatively.