Gender Representation in Advertising
The roles of males and females in society have significantly changed, as opposed to the predominant roles in our history. In the modern culture of today, women have begun to break out of the mold that which society has placed her in. This much can’t be said when it comes to modern gender representation in mass media advertising. It can be safe to state that woman are seen as sexual, fragile, exotic—whereas men are portrayed as tough, in control, and aggressive. This trend can be one seen as an inhibitor to the advancement of our culture, because especially for women, it is hard to pull away from the stereotypes that are continuously represented. As examples of the given trend, the following images help to reinforce.
As an advertisement for Michael Kors apparel, the first image immediately gives off a sexual energy. The model is presented in a very suggestive pose, with her bare legs spread apart, only wearing a long sleeved tunic. The message to the viewing public is clear—these are the kind of woman that wear this apparel, and if you wish to look like her, buy Michael Kors. As a re-iteration of presented thesis, sexuality and a woman’s body image is manifested throughout the ad. The physical beauty of this individual is the central focus. The following image continues in the line of sex appeal with a makeup ad. A bold caption reads “Eye Candy”, with the model in a very suggestive position and expression. A question that comes to mind when viewing this image is—who is this ad really geared towards? It would be assumed that a makeup ad would be created to attract females, so why would it need to be sexual? What this ad really attracts is the male eye, and woman realize this. A woman gazing at this image would realize that in order to attract those of the opposite sex, this is how she should present herself. This look is what is considered “beautiful”, and this is what all females should want to look like. When it comes to the male figure in advertisements, it is a different picture.
Representations of men in media have a different approach—they tend to focus on strength, power, physique, independence, etc… The first ad portrays a clearly athletic, strong, male individual. His expression is one of determination and focus—He’s not going to let anyone get in his way. He is aggressive, and overflowing with testosterone. It is unclear what the product is, something to do with athletic performance. The next image is fitted with the caption “Always A Champion”, making it simple to realize this ad is all about the male ego. This man has a very intimidating expression, one of strength and—almost anger. His positioning shows off his clearly muscular arms and his aura is almost overpowering. In both images, the idea that a true man should be strong, aggressive, etc… is presented. For any normal male individual viewing this ad, he would feel like that is what he should...