Throughout history, social media played a crucial part in everyone's life. It is used to broadcast information, news, whether from the advertisements on billboards to commercials or news on the television to an infinite number of viewers. Media is considered to provide the “central social discourse and is supposed to be" a reflection of the society an individual lives in (Wolska, 2011, para.16). Nowadays, media in particular ads and commercials have altered greatly in a way that the true purpose of ads has been vanishing and are being replaced by a distorted or "false image of reality" (Wolska, 2011). Unfortunately, ads can manipulates the viewers into reshaping their behaviors and their way of thinking (Wolska, 2011). One of the major epidemic stereotypes that Lebanese media depicts in particular advertisement are gender roles.
Even though the gap between genders began to diminish, gender stereotypes is still seen in ads (Wolska, 2011). Women are usually portrayed as perfect housewives and their main task is to raise children and do the housework (Wolska, 2011). They are mainly seen advertising for cleaning products (Shrikhande, 1998). This supports the fact that women's role in advertisements are limited inside the house. Men, on the other hand, are seen to be on top of their professional career, superior and independent (Wolska, 2011). In addition, women are seen as "decorative items" and "submissive" (shrikhande) they are represented in a lustful, seductive ways and are viewed as sex objects.
One of the advertisements that truly grabbed my attention, was Fiordelli (your way to luxury) for men’s wear. In this advertisement, Wissam Hanna, one of the former Mister Lebanon in 2005, was seen sitting on a chair wearing a tuxedo with a women crawling on the floor trying to reach out for him. It is a perfect example where the women is in a submissive position; whereas, he is seen as powerful king sitting on his thrown. Testimonial, one of the propaganda techniques used in advertisements and commercials, is used in this add. Testimonial is when a celebrity or a well know person is used to advertise a particular product.
Another add was for Rifai nuts that was released on Valentine’s Day. It contained a nut that represented the man and a cashew represented a women. It was conversation between the two. It said "you’ve got the brains and you’ve got the curves. It can be implied that women were seen as curvy and brainless as opposed to men who are considered smart. This add reveals sexism and uses name calling technique.
This billboard advertisement appeared at the occasion of Mother’s Day in 2011. It shows a washing machine and a vacuum cleaner from Abed tahhan. From the first glance, this add does not have any picture of a women. However the caption states “Cross your mother’s mind twice a day!” It can be concluded that a washing machine would be a perfect gift for Lebanese moms. This reinforces the fact the women are seen as housewives.