The Objectification And Dehumanization Of Women In Advertisement

1395 words - 6 pages

Everyday we expose ourselves to thousands of advertisements in a wide variety of environments where ever we go; yet, we fail to realize the influence of the implications being sold to us on these advertisements, particularly about women. Advertisements don’t just sell products; they sell this notion that women are less of humans and more of objects, particularly in the sexual sense. It is important to understand that the advertising worlds’ constant sexual objectification of women has led to a change in sexual pathology in our society, by creating a culture that strives to be the unobtainable image of beauty we see on the cover of magazines. Even more specifically it is important to study the multiple influences that advertisements have on men, women and young girls, all of which will be discussed and analyzed in this paper.
The goal of advertising is inherently to appease a certain customer base in order for those customers to be willing to consume the companies’ product, however, what this appeasement has done is create a “toxic cultural environment”(Kilbourne) in which it is “okay” to objectify and dehumanize women in order to sell a product. Yet, advertising, as a collective whole, sells women the idea that how they look is what is most important because of how they express the ideal image of female beauty. On every cover of every magazine, advertisers portray women in the most ideal, impossibly perfect way possible that tells both men and women what a woman should look like, and that in particular, they exemplify white traits such as light skin, straight hair, and thin lips. However, the “beauty” of women that we see in advertising is not achievable by a normal member of our society simply because the flawlessness we see is often photo shopped and airbrushed.
Thus, this striving for perfection environment that advertising has created has led to women not only purchasing products to change or enhance their appearance, but has also turned to cosmetic procedures and surgeries. In fact, “from 1997 to 2007, these procedures, overall, rose 457% to almost 12 million per year and an increase of 114% in actual surgeries, such as breast implants and liposuction”(Hodgson), all as a result of the influence of the advertising environment. Yet despite these statistics, many people feel exempt from the influence of advertising, this is because “only 8% of an ad’s message is received by the conscious mind, the rest is worked and reworked deep within the recesses of the brain”(Kilbourne). This working and reworking of the ad’s subliminal message of the brain is exponentially increased by the amount of ad’s the average American is exposed to every day. On average, Americans are exposed to over three thousand advertisements per day and will have been spent two years of their lives watching advertisements on the Internet and television by the time they die. This two hundred and fifty billion dollar per year industry that we call advertising profits from...

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