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Ethics In Advertising Essay

1343 words - 5 pages

An American unnoticeably views three thousand advertisements in a day, many of which use women and sex appeal to get consumers’ attention (Kilbourne). Advertisements subconsciously affect our lives, and often times not in a good way. Also, women and young girls are usually the ones that compare themselves to thin models featured in ads. Advertisements not only impact how women view each other, but also how they view themselves. Women and girls strive to look like the retouched and Photoshopped models, which can lead to serious issues including eating disorders, extreme dieting, and excessive plastic surgery. But what these women and young girls look past, is the fact that advertising companies use Photoshopping to completely change the look of models. Over time, The Surgeon General, should begin a process that will help eliminate this social issue. A policy should be initiated that all digitally altered photos in U.S. publications contain a warning label to help reduce the current negative effects of the unrealistic body image perpetuated by the media.
Often times, advertisements illustrate a prototype of a perfect body achieved through over photo shopping. These perfect pictures can negatively influence a woman’s body image of herself, bringing about a greater concern to the mind and body of a woman. For many, this extent of this issue is unknown, but according to Jean Kilbourne, an activist for women in advertising, “the advertising industry sacrifices our health for their profit,” she says, “They sell more than just products, to a greater extent they tell us who we are and who we should be,” (Killing Us Softly 4). Advertisements make women feel pressured to look like the supermodels on the cover of Sport’s Illustrated Swim Suit Edition, or the models on the pages Victoria’s Secret’s magazine. The media illustrates a body and look for a woman that is based on flawlessness, something no one can attain. If a model is not perfect, the computer makes them perfect. According to Kilbourne’s documentary, Oprah Winfrey’s head was once put on the body of actress Ann-Margret for a TV guide magazine, merely because Oprah wasn’t skinny enough. Simply put, advertisements are lies.
Advertisements psychologically and physically affect women. In a study by Ann Becker, (shown in Killing us Softly 4), girls who watched TV three plus nights a week were 50% more likely to say they looked “too fat” than girls who watched less TV, simply because these girls were viewing too many “perfect” women. More often now then ever before, advertisements are causing issues to women’s health, including, eating disorders, extreme dieting, and excessive plastic surgery. All these components are ways women change their physical appearance to look more like the models they see in advertisements. What these women look past is that these models don’t truly look like that, and they have been retouched. According to a New York Times article published in 2009, titled, A...

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