Research Project: Women In Advertisements Essay

2663 words - 11 pages

As we dive farther into the 21st century the way we communicate with mass media is also evolving. Newspapers are dying in the print form and making a transition to the online platform, TV is also switching online so consumers have the freedom to watch at their own convenience instead of following the TV guide, and much of the media is fading into the hands of the public and they are gaining control due to camera phones and blogs. But advertising is one aspect of the media that still can afford to put its efforts in every medium, including magazines. Although print magazines don’t have the power they once did as everything changes to online, I still think they are very impactful, ...view middle of the document...

It also is implying that women make a lot of mistakes or errors, but they can’t mess up beer, so that’s why their product is desirable.
Similarly in a Kenwood Chef advertisement (Figure 2) it says, “The Chef does everything but cook—that’s what wives are for!” Although reading this it seems like it could be a considered joke, it still reinforces what the message says. The idea it’s communicating is that women are only supposed to cook and supply for their husband.
Although today advertisements like these would not likely be published, researchers Martina Infanger, Janine Bosak and Sabine Sczesny said in their research from 2011 that women are still portrayed in communal roles, “These communal portrayals depict women as possessing stereotypically feminine traits, such as being gentle, shy, helpless, dreamy, submissive, dependent, and subservient to men” . Advertisements today will not show these portrayals as overtly as they were in the 1950’s, but they are still there and according to researchers they are welcomed by society as they have found overall there is a positive reaction to these stereotypical portrayals of women over counter stereotypical portrayals . So even though women are more present in the workforce, and have become less dependent on men, advertisers are still portraying those roles, which reinforce these gender stereotypes .
Women are still underrepresented in competent, dynamic and efficient roles . But there is also a different way women are represented in advertisements. According to research by Katharina Lindner, advertisers are using more subtle ways to stereotype women. She says women may be portrayed more as professionals in the media today, but there has also been a significant increase in sexualized images of women in advertisements that show them as “mentally removed from the situation at large” . Instead of blatantly having text in the advertisement saying how women should act, or what their place is in society like the advertisements from the 1950’s, today’s advertisers are subtly adding sexual content into them, so the audience is less aware. It is affecting them more subconsciously, but its still a way to give the message that women are to be submissive to men. Jean Kilbourne from the International Journal of Advertising thinks this form of advertising crosses into the lines of pornography and says that in today’s day and age, graphic sexual images seem more extreme, more pervasive and more deliberate than ever before. Photographs that used to belong only in pornography are now extremely common in family magazines and newspapers, television, billboards and online .
Gender stereotypical advertisements do still exist though and women have negative perceptions towards their presence in advertisements . But that does not stop advertisers from portraying those stereotypes in their photographs. According to a study done by Lindner, 78 percent of advertisements in magazines from 1985 to 2002 portrayed women in...

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