Essay about Sexuality, Ideologies, and Gender Roles in Advertising

1937 Words Nov 4th, 2007 8 Pages
For as long as advertising and mass media have been around, so has their incorporation of sexuality and ideologies. Day after day we are plastered by articles, images, and audible forms of advertising. I would estimate that the average person encounters between fifteen hundred and three thousand forms of advertising each and every day. Of those fifteen hundred to three thousand, it would be safe to say that more than two thirds of them portray sexuality and socially constructed ideals. Men, women, and children are on a daily basis targets of advertisements. As Susan Bordo hypothesizes in her essay "Hungry as Ideology," gender roles are the foundation for what the advertising agencies use to promote and push sales (139). They use the …show more content…
Bordo is a philosopher who focuses on the image of the human body in relation to today's popular culture and society. Her writings are derived from the translations of advertisements that consume the market place and media (Bordo 139). She talks on how our perceptions of women and women's bodies are greatly influenced by the ideals and expectations of the "perfect woman" illustrated in the media. Bordo makes it a point to call out the gender roles and stereotypes embedded in the advertising world and how they shape the way members of society are thought of and accepted both physically and socially. This is clearly stated on page 143 of her essay when she says, "all we experience as meaningful is appearance."
Advertising and media, as mentioned above, are one of the most successful ways of manifesting and controlling gender roles and sexuality. The three advertisements revealed earlier help further substantiate the effect imagery has on determining who we are and how we are supposed to act. The first ad is for a children's Texaco cheerleader fashion model, from the late 1960's. This doll is every man's sexual fantasy in material form in a toy marketed to young girls. Secondly is an advertisement from the 1980's promoting Caress Body Soap and their special limited time only mail-in for "silky soft peach panties." Lastly is an image for Candies cologne from the late 1990's depicting the power it has to rid women of all
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