Essay about Women and Advertising
2280 Words10 Pages
In the year 1999, $120 billion was spent on marketing products to consumers (Killing Us Softly 3). Along with products, the advertising industry sells the intangible: “Ads sell a great deal more than products. They sell values, images, and concepts of success of worth, love and sexuality, popularity, and normalcy. They tell us who we are and who we should be. Sometimes they sell addictions” (Kilbourne, Beauty and the Beast). When the average person is bombarded by 2,000-3,000 ads a day (Kilbourne, address), it is impossible to remain unaffected by the aforementioned concepts and stereotypes (Still Killing Us Softly, video). Ads use insecurities to promise betterment with the purchase of a certain product. They are breeding grounds…show more content…
There have been many people who claim that advertising doesn’t affect them; they say that they don’t let the images of advertising affect them and they don’t buy into what they’re being told. $28 billion was spent on cosmetics last year (Ode, Mirror, Mirror). If no one buys into the idea that beauty is essential to happiness and success, no one would be spending so much money on products manufactured to enhance a woman’s looks. Advertising enforces and teaches damaging stereotypes. “After all these years, advertisers have shown women in almost every mode possible… it amazes me, though, that after all of these stereotypes, advertisers have yet to come up with a realistic woman that will leave no hang-ups or illuminate unnecessary insecurities (Friedrich).” Women are told through ads that they should first and foremost be beautiful and thin. Women are taught to seek power through beauty. Seldom is a woman encouraged to seek power and security on her own grounds, and it is hardly ever looked upon with approval when one does (Friedrich). However, men are encouraged to seek power through materialism: something that they can control much more easily than a woman her beauty. Almost all domestic items sold in ads are geared towards women (Still Killing Us Softly). The stereotype of the “domestic woman” still remains while the reality of
Women In Sports Advertisements Essay
How have women been portrayed in sports advertisements? Before I started school, I spent a large portion of my days outside, being an active child. I continued to be active throughout elementary school, and then in middle and high school I joined just about every sports team I could, including: cross country, golf, volleyball, gymnastics, and track. I consider myself lucky to have been given so many opportunities, since women were unable to participate competitively in sports until the 1900’s. I have always been interested in sports and living an active lifestyle, so when I reached high school and became more competitive, I wanted the best equipment to reach my athletic potential. I did some research and asked friends and family which brand of sports equipment and athletic wear they would recommend; many said Nike. This is understandable, because Nike outranks many competing companies due to its brand becoming a community of loyal customers, who continually buy quality products from a company that adapts to the times, and outperforms their competition. When I looked at Nike’s advertisements, however, I found the men’s advertisements to be athletic and inspirational, but the women’s were seductive and sexualized. Women have been given more rights since the 1900’s, and are hypothetically equal to men, but there is a difference between how they are portrayed in advertisements. Are women portrayed in all sports advertisements as sex objects, and if they are, why are women portrayed in a different way than men are in advertisements where many would think they’d be portrayed similarly?
To explore answers to these questions I read the Journal of Sport & Social Issues article "That's Who I Want to Be: The Politics and Production of Desire within Nike Advertising to Women.” This article seemed to be most related to my topic and is a credible source. Author, Michelle T. Helstein, wrote this article in August of 2003, when she was a doctoral candidate in the faculty of physical education and recreation at the University of Alberta. She wrote this article for those who wish to study Nike’s advertising of women, and how their advertisements affect women. Another secondary audience is women who struggle with body image, or who wonder what a good body image is. Helstein studied Nike’s advertisements because she thought the ads made women feel the need for excellence in athletics and promoted Nike as a tool to help women achieve this level of excellence. Nike’s advertisements encouraged women to work on themselves and their bodies so they could show off their better self.
Michelle Helstein opens her article by exploring how Nike began making products for women and including them in their advertisements. Advertisements by Nike were not directed towards women until 1987. Their first advertisement for women was found offensive because it ended by chiding women for eating like pigs. Nike then changed tactics and made ads that encouraged women to exercise and eat...
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