Gender Representation: Males in the Media

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Gender Representation: Males in the Media:

How and why is a social group represented in a particular way?

Advertisements, such as TV commercials influence our views of gender roles in a variety of ways. A Pepsi commercial aired during the 2009 Super Bowl (American Football League) displays mostly middle aged Blue Collar American males as strong physically and emotionally, klutzy, accident prone, and have a “Do It Yourself!” attitude, all as a product promotion strategy. Pepsi highlights the view of how men are supposed are to always supposed to carry through an “Alpha Male” mentality.

In the commercial, Pepsi suggests that men can deal with pain but cannot tolerate diet soda. Thus the creation of Pepsi Max, “the first diet cola for men”, since “Diet Coke” is associated with women (femininity of weight watching). The Pepsi Max commercial presents “typical” masculine characteristics such as being emotionally insensitive and egoistic, tough, action oriented, and brave. This commercial features different scenarios in which men get injured accidentally, due to usually their own or a fellow male's clumsiness or incompetence. In a way, the commercial implies that men are accident prone, have issues with concentration for prolonged periods of time, and simply cannot multi task. After being inflicted with life threatening injuries, they are not hospitalized nor experience excruciating pain, or even respond with “ouch” or profanity, they calmingly respond with “I’m good”, and continue with what they were previously doing. They give an impression of “tough men that can handle anything”. This portrayal of men fits well with what society expects of them and it further outlines the traditional view of how young boys were taught the “right way” to act.

In recent promotional and marketing strategies, portraying the “expected” gender roles is crucial in marketing a product successfully. However, it is not as if media executives forced their ideological...
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