Essay Just A little Gay

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Over the past years, mainstream advertising campaigns have shifted their rhetoric to include a focus on non-heterosexual identities, working toward normalizing these within the mass consumer audience. Yet these campaigns propagate representations that are not entirely consistent with how members of non-heterosexual communities identify and define themselves. In this paper, I will argue that mainstream advertising campaigns work to shift the mass consumer audience's perception of non-heterosexual identities from one that is stigmatized to one that is inherently stereotypical and not entirely representative of these communities at large, creating acceptance at the expense of understanding. Thus, by consuming these media images, mainstream …show more content…
Just as with standard representation of heterosexual identities in mainstream advertising is one forever focused on youthfulness, glamour, fitness, and always perfect skin, the representation of non-heterosexual individuals is caught up in a similar rhetoric that spouts a white, well-muscled, handsome, well-educated, and white-collar professional identity:
Gay marketing not only promotes a minoritized view of gayness but also, with other media practices, further differentiates privileged, sexually discreet, gender-normative gays from everyone else. This limited view of the ideal gay consumer is in part a product of the norms of marketing in which… older people, poor and working-class people, and a host of other less privileged sectors of society are unrepresented or invisible. The life worth emulating in mainstream marketing is the affluent life, irrespective of sexuality (Sender, 2013, p.237).
Thus, it is only those non-heterosexual that fit within this mass media sanctioned mold that are acknowledged within advertising campaigns. This trend is corroborated in a 2008 study by Saucier and Caron (2008), which showcases the continuance of non-heterosexual advertising rhetoric focusing on appearance perfection and above-average wealth, standards that are not the norm in the widespread non-heterosexual community:
[In mainstream advertising], men’s bodies are objectified and made into a superficial image. Much of what being a gay man is relates to travelling and what

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