Jean Kilbourne’s film, Killing Us Softly 4, depicts the way the females are shown in advertisements. She discusses how advertisement sell concepts of normalcy and what it means to be a “male” and a “female.” One of her main arguments focuses on how women aspire to achieve the physical perfection that is portrayed in advertisements but this perfection is actually artificially created through Photoshop and other editing tools. Women in advertisements are often objectified as weak, skinny, and beautiful while men are often portrayed as bigger and stronger. Advertisements utilize the setting, the position of the people in the advertisements, and the products to appeal to the unconscious aspect
In our society today a business is not a business without an advertisement. These advertisements advertise what American’s want and desire in their lives. According to Jack Solomon in his essay, “Master’s of Desire: The Culture of American Advertising,” Jack Solomon claims: “Because ours is a highly diverse, pluralistic society, various advertisements may say different things depending on their intended audiences, but in every case they say something about America, about the status of our hopes, fears, desires, and beliefs”(Solomon). Advertisers continue to promote the American dream of what a women’s body should look like. They advertise their products in hopes for consumers to buy them, so they can look like the models pictures in the ads. Behind these ads, advertisers tend to picture flawless unrealistic woman with the help of Photoshop. In our society today to look like a model is an American dream and can be the reasons why we fantasizes and buy these products being advertised. “America’s consumer economy runs on desire, and advertising stokes the engines by transforming common objects;signs of all things that Americans covet most”(Solomon).
Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly surrounded by advertisements. On average, we are exposed to approximately 3,000 ads per day, through logos, billboards, and television commercials, even our choices of brands. But in today’s society, one of the most used and influential tools of advertising are women. But the unfortunate thing is that women are not just viewed as actresses in these ads but as objects for people to look at, use, abuse, and more. In her fourth installment in a line of documentaries, “Killing Us Softly 4,” Jean Kilbourne explains the influence of advertising women and popular culture, and its relationship to gender violence, sexism and racism, and eating disorders.
Jean Kilbourne is an advocate for women and is leading a movement to change the way women are viewed in advertising. She opens up the curtains to reveal the hard truth we choose to ignore or even are too obtuse to notice. Women are objectified, materialized, and over-sexualized in order to sell clothes, products, ideas and more. As a woman, I agree with the position Kilbourne presents throughout her documentary Killing Us Softly 4: The Advertising’s Image of Women (2010) and her TEDx Talk The Dangerous Ways Ads See Women (2014.) She demonstrates time and again that these advertisements are dangerous and lead to unrealistic expectations of women.
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
In 2016, the United States spent 190 billion U.S. dollars on advertisements, almost double the amount of money on advertising than the next largest ad market (Statista). These ads advertise a multitude of different products. The ads are exposed to society in many different ways, from the breaks in between songs on the radio, to the ads shown online. Ads are targeted to a specific group of people, usually, the target demographic the brand wants to buy their product. Brands will often use women’s bodies in a sexual way to get people to stop and look at their ads. Over the last few decades, speakers and activists have seen advertisements becoming more sexual and more demeaning towards women. Activist Jean Kilbourne has been analyzing ads and has been bringing awareness to this issue for years through her four documentaries. In her documentary, “Killing Us Softly 4,” Jean Kilbourne asserts women’s bodies are often dismembered, portrayed with an unattainable, “ideal” body type, and despite advances in the women’s movement, the objectification of women in ads have gotten worse. The two images below illustrate these ideas.
Sexist ads show that society is dominated by the same masculine values that have controlled the image of women in the media for years. Sexist advertisement reinforces gender stereotypes and roles, or uses sex appeal to sell products, which degrades the overall public perception of women. The idea that sexism is such a rampant problem comes from the stereotypes that are so deeply embedded into today’s society that they almost seem to be socially acceptable, although they are nowhere near politically correct. Images that objectify women seem to be almost a staple in media and advertising: attractive women are plastered all over ads. The images perpetuate an image of the modern woman, a gender stereotype that is reinforced time and time again by the media. These images are accepted as “okay” in advertising, to depict a particular product as sexy or attractive. And if the product is sexy, so shall be the consumer. In the 1970s, groups of women initially took issue with the objectification of women in advertisements and with the limited roles in which these ads showed women. If they weren’t pin-ups, they were delicate
In today’s society companies are using advertisements to sell their products and get the word around to have consumers buy their products. Companies have been getting really competitive with their advertisements to make them stand out and pulling people in to get them to buy stuff. The advertisements that stood out were the one’s objectifying women and portraying them to be the house wife or considered “easy”. They are also showing women to be less intelligent or less important than men are portrayed in the advertisements. Advertisements today have been targeting women to be the face of their product and having them wear less clothing to have it be appealing to the right audience.
Advertisements are made to grasp a consumer’s attention to the item the creators are selling, and sometimes the decide to objectify an entire audience in hopes of receiving attention from the male population. Studies have shown that as time passes, women become less affected and offended by the oversexualization of women in advertisements. Therefore, women have become desensitized to their objectification, to the point they now view it as normal. During the initial period of the hypersexualization of women, advertisements about women in traditional roles such as housewife or being in the kitchen, receded. In 1991 a new wave of feminism appeared, where women are trying to reclaim their bodies by embracing sexuality, while it is a good concept,
Advertisements have an impact on individuals in society, regardless of what the ads are trying to sell or promote. Certain advertisements force the idea and image of what true beauty “actually” is. These advertisements portray the ideal body which makes a majority of women strive to attain that look, by any means necessary. However, The Dove Beauty Campaign, Real Beauty, revolutionized society’s idea on beauty and allows women to feel beautiful on their own. Dove’s campaign presents the idea that women do not need dozens of cosmetic products to feel beautiful; instead, they should “love the skin [they are] in” (Dove). Virginia Postrel, writer for Bloomberg View and author
The long history of advertisement and its featured meanings have enduringly created the standards in society. The displays they entail create a desire for its viewers to conform to the images presented therefore denying the reality to achieve profit. From the choice of clothes, romantic relations, and even the structure of the frame, our decisions are tuned to what is displayed through these advertisements. Consistently, the display of women as desirable objects has created correlations to social norms and the principles which surround the meaning of feminism across the globe. These standards create an image of what a real women should look like however the displays are not factually so. Essentially, advertisements omit the written agenda of women being equal citizens to men. Like many arguments which spark movements, the place of women in society has periodically been up for debate. From the era of corsets and Virginia slims to lip injections and breast implants, the media suggest women change their natural born selves into desirable displays. In this analysis, I examine Jean Kilbourne’s Killing Us Softly 4 discussion at the TEDxLafayette Conference and the advertisement views presented in her speech. In Kilbourne’s presentations she suggests the prominence of how we look and that from adolescence “we must spend numerous amounts of time, energy and money to achieve this look”. The purpose of this study is to understand the ideology of how the media frames a “realty” for
Advertisements are the powerful means of communications that not only promotes the products, services, goods; but alongside promoting cultural and gender symbols. Advertising has long been criticized for the insensitivity to minorities, women, immigrants, the elderly and a myriad of other groups. This insensitivity in advertising has being adversely affected the societal perception towards these groups particularly women. Too often women are portrayed as either subservient house wives who are only for looking after their husbands, children and in-laws. Their role has further derided by merely portraying them as the objects to satisfy male desires and pleasures. If we believe that advertising has the ability to shape our values and our views of the world, then it is essential that advertisers should become aware of how they portray different groups.
Advertisers often emphasize sexuality and the importance of physical attractiveness in an attempt to sell products, but researchers are concerned that this places pressure on women to focus more on their appearances. As stated in an article from Body Image and Advertising, the average woman sees 400 to 600 advertisements per day and by the time she is 17 years old, she has received over 250,000 commercial messages through the media. While only 9% of advertisements have a direct statement about beauty, many more implicitly emphasize the importance of beauty- particularly those that target both women and girls. (HealthyPlace)
Advertising has changed in many ways over the years, growing and maturing to show us what we should be. Because our own self-esteem is not enough, we rely on advertising to tell us what is beautiful and what is not. Whether we realize it or not, beauty is ultimately defined for us. Products are advertised all around us, telling us that something in our life is missing because we do not have a certain product in our possession. Ranging from make-up to plastic surgery, most of this advertising is geared toward women. This can be shown through the advertisements analyzed in this essay. Both ads depict women who are approachable. The older ad depicts simplicity and innocence, while the current ad shows a more complex, sexual look. The images
In terms of women and sex appeal, the world of advertising has changed a considerable amount. Many of the advertisements which are seen in newspapers, magazines, and television fail to portray women in a more positive light. The image of females in numerous advertisements are merely viewed as fascinating "objects" while they are also being displayed in a fashion that is supposed to appeal only to men, i.e. exploitation of the body. Though these types of advertisements are very effective at selling their products to consumers, it seems as if the minds ' of women, especially younger women/teenage girls are being corrupted as they are pressured to live up to the ideal image: sexy and thin with a little extra curves.