Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women with Jean Kilbourne

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Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women with Jean Kilbourne
Many people hold the belief that advertising does not affect them, stating that they are the exception to its influence. However, Jean Kilbourne challenges this assumption in her shocking 1999 documentary called Killing Us Softly 3: Advertising’s Image of Women. (Ridnor, 2010).

Jean Kilbourne is perhaps best known for her videos that are based on her lectures. She is a former magazine editor and her ‘Killing Us Softly” video series on sexism in advertising was inspired by the numerous advertisements she reviewed. According to Ridnor, Kilbourne argues that the portrayal of women in advertising is not only negative, but also related to violence against females.

According to the Internet Movie Database website, Killing Us Softly is Jean Kilbourne’s pioneering work helped develop and popularize the study of gender representation in advertising. Her award-winning documentary films have influenced millions of college and high school students across two generations and on an international scale. In this important new film, Kilbourne reviews if and how the image of women in advertising has changed over the last 20 years. With wit and warmth, Kilbourne uses over 160 ads and TV commercials to critique advertising's image of women. By fostering creative and productive dialogue, she invites viewers to look at familiar images in a new way that moves and empowers them to take action. (IMDb, 1999).

Jean Kilbourne’s campaign against these advertisements brought an impact to the masses especially the young adults. She wants to impart her belief on the importance of natural beauty instead of photo shop enhance beauty. Her conviction on this particular situation about the different company advertisers is that they have dehumanize the women in the ad. It creates a climate in which women’s self-esteem is affected because their body is turned into different objects or being modified/altered.

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