Media's Representation Of Old Gender Stereotypes

1471 words - 6 pages

In todays society, it is very simple to fall into the falsified world created by the media. At a very young age we are bombard and exposed to various forms of media that imply stereotypical messages. These messages communicate how men and women are perceived within society. In 1991 Katha Pollitt developed The Smurfette Principle - the theory that the media’s portrayal of gender has influential effects on children. This principle continues to present itself in modern forms of media, not only impacting children but adults as well. Society teaches, through forms like the media, a distorted view of how genders should behave. Children from a young age are influenced by these representations of sex and gender and as they grow, behave in ways that transcend from what they have seen in the media, consequently impacting adulthood. The hundreds of advertisements that humans are exposed to daily are extremely impactful on how they perform sex and gender roles in society, one particular commercial stands out: “Tide and Downy Presents: The Princess Dress”. This commercial gives the audience a brief look at the life of a stay at home father partaking in his daily duties. This advert contrasts the typical portrayal of sexism in day-to-day activities and emphasizes the everyday roles and realities of men and women. This advertisement, in the form of a commercial, forces viewers to understand and absorb the powerful message that times are changing and we do not have to conform to societies conventional image of a man or woman. As Pollitt used forms of media to emphasize her concept over two decades ago, today one can do the same with commercials like Tide and Downy.

The Tide and Downy commercial “ The Princess Dress” best describes Pollitt's ideology that the media’s way of portraying men and women have influential effects on children. Moreover, this theory can also be applied to adults. It is evident that media helps create the image of a man and woman through the inaccurate representations taught to its audience. This commercial goes against the traditional gender norms and proves that society is not confined to the conventional image that is epitomized by the media. “ Monkey see, Monkey do” is a commonly known cliché that best depicts how children and even adults will duplicate one another's actions just because they believe it is the acceptable thing to do. This can relate to how the media influences its viewers behaviours and can have both a positive and negative effects depending on what is being represented and interpreted. Tide and Downy’s advert is revolutionizing how genders are portrayed and trying to actualize reality. Society is making progression towards changing the way media portrays men and women due to the unhealthy superiority it has. This advertisement is one of few that goes against the expected and supports the unexpected. Advertisements are gradually being modified to demonstrate modern day forms of sex and genders roles. The Tide...

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