The Power of the Media

Topics: Advertising, Mass media, Woman Pages: 5 (1980 words) Published: March 27, 2012
The Power of the Media
In Susan Douglas's essay "Narcissism as Liberation", she covers the topic of the power of media on American culture. Douglas approaches this topic in a way which grabs her audience's attention quickly. She discusses an advertisement in the first paragraph of her essay. This advertisement is a very popular one among American Society today, especially women. Through discussing such a popular advertisement so early in her essay, Douglas not only grabs her audience's attention but she is able to introduce her audience to the basis of her essay and begin her argument. Douglas argues throughout her essay how the power of media has such a strong influence on American culture today. She points out certain advertisements that display this idea to the fullest which helps her audience recognize and relate to the idea Douglas is trying to communicate to her audience. After doing this Douglas is able to go into detail with her argument and share her views with her audience. Douglas's conclusion is very simple, she leaves her audience with a question concerning the essay which is to help each individual reader create their own opinion on the power of media and it's effects on American culture today.

Douglas clearly communicates her stance on the issue of the power of media throughout her essay. She believes the media has an extremely strong effect on American culture today and she does not believe the effect is a very good one for society. The media does an excellent job of pulling society into the advertisement which results in sales. The media also does a very good job in making society believe that not using a certain product and not achieving the most recent physical "look" makes you worthless and not desirable. This is Douglas's argument summarized, but it is exactly what she tries to communicate to her audience throughout the whole essay.

The way Douglas presents her argument is extremely helpful in guiding the reader as an individual to their own opinions on the issue. Douglas points out one particular ad, (p. 118), which displays a woman showing her backside, which is completely firm and free of any marks which would make her "undesirable". The cause of this, according to the advertisement, is because she uses the product Biotherm which is supposedly the solution to cellulite. This advertisement can relate to any woman, young or old. Media has made women believe that being thin and firm is important and if you are not you will not be desired by anyone. This is a very serious issue women are dealing with today. Young women as well as old are starving themselves to achieve this look of perfection which in turn is slowly killing them. This issue of being thin is not only an issue for women but also men. Men also go to such extremes as becoming anorexic or bulimic to be thin. Products and advertisements such as this one play a key role in the lives of many people and is destroying them mentally and physically. Today people do not like you because of what you may have to say but what you look like. Advertisements are truly a key factor in the thinking style of society today.

The first advertisement I chose is directed toward women mainly. This advertisement was in a fashion-based magazine. The advertisement is for Calvin Klein clothing. Kate Moss, the model wearing the clothing, is well known for many of her appearances in Calvin Klein advertisements. Kate Moss is extremely thin and very unusual looking. In this particular advertisement she is fully clothed in a black outfit. The outfit is very plain. She is wearing all black and her face is very pale; she almost looks ghostly. A silver belt is wrapped around her little waist to accent the outfit. There are only a few things that will promote the sale of Calvin Klein clothing from this advertisement. The fact that Kate Moss was chosen to display the clothing is one plus for the company. She is very thin and is considered beautiful among many...
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