What do advertisements tell us about women? It tells us that looks are important. It shows a timeline of how this world has evolved since the beginning of times. The media has encircled us with the image of what feminine beauty should look like and what others need to do to get it.
Throughout the years, there have been images of women portrayed in newspapers, magazines, television, and movies. Women are seen as thin, chubby, good, witches, evil, and of course sexy. These sometime objective views make women look at their physical appearance and want change based on what the media displays as ideal beauty. Fashion and beauty magazines, through advertisements, endorse what or how women should look. This is unrealistic media. Ideas like, “Hey ladies if you eat like a pigeon you too can be light as a feather.” Some women are vulnerable while other women who see or hear such messages show more buoyancy. It would be hard to believe that mass media doesn’t affect women some of the time if not all of the time.
While being drawn in by the television, magazines, and social media’s advertisements myself, I also see how such ads affect younger children. I have seen these effects on my daughter. She is a social bunny at the age of eight. To her and most of her friends, it’s all about the clothes, hair and who you decide to be friends with. Your decision to be friends with somebody goes back to the other person’s appearance. My daughter will not wear a certain pair of shoes because she’s afraid that she will be laugh at or talked about. This is a immense concern for me being that she’s only eight, and who cares, but also the fact that you can’t be yourself or show your character because of someone else’s views. What happened to sayings like, “Shake my hand, be my friend. Please don’t eat out the garbage can.” People like that showed ideal beauty.
Whether it’s the Victorian look, the 1920s tanned skin, or the super thin 1960s supermodel, advertisements and other types of have played a huge role on how the world view women. The young and innocent look still dominates the media world. Yet women have also defined their own appearance of how they want the world to view them (Mankiller, Mink and Navarro). There are positive images of women in the media. We do see the strong, confident, curvy, and outspoken advertisements. Women don’t have to be told their beautiful in order for them to know they are (Harper and Tiggemann). No it doesn’t hurt to hear it either.
The media’s standard of ideal beauty is idealistic for a lot of women in society. The negative effects on young girls and woman have been researched for years. Being informed on why society takes these images and compare them to their lives, is just a small way of trying to understand the dramatically impact. Learning more about the misrepresentation and the mass influence on society will help everyone better understand why this happens. , better yet, why does society accept it?
Harper, Brit and Marika Tiggemann. "The Effect of Thin Ideal Media Images on Women's Self-Objectification, Mood, and Body Image." (2007): n.p. Mankiller, Wilma, et al. ""Images of Women." The Reader's Companion to U.S. Womern's History." 1 Dec. 1998. SIRS. 14 Feb. 2012.