In American society there is an extreme imbalance of power between men and women; with men possessing almost all of the power it leaves women with little to none. The small amount of power that women do possess exists solely at the decression of the men who granted them the power to begin with. This inequality between men and women has been the status quo for centuries and unless there is a radical change, this imbalance of power between the sexes will continue for centuries to come. To shift the balance of power so that it is more equal, individuals must be aware of the inequality and where the ideals perpetuating the inequality come from. Advertisements are the primary influences that perpetuates the inequality between men and women by objectifying women; to shift the balance of power, the power must be taken from advertisements and neutralized by giving the viewer the power to see through the myths and ideology of the ad. In "Undressing the Ad" by Katherine T. Frith she discusses the impact of advertisements on individuals and provides the tools for individuals to take the power and impact of the ad away by teaching the reader to break the ad apart and dissect not only its intended but also its implied meaning. Advertisements are created to sell a product by making it seem that it is necessary for the individual viewing the ad to purchase the product. In many ways advertisements manipulate people's ideas and beliefs without their knowledge by using certain stereotypes and ideologies as their backdrop.
There are three parts to dissecting the Ad, the first part is to get the overall impression that the ad gives the reader. Part two is finding the advertiser's meaning behind the ad, this is typically what the ad is selling; The final part is to find hidden ideological and cultural meanings in the ad, this is done by changing the ad mentally through picturing different people in the ad in different roles. Part three is the most important because following this...
Cited: Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. London: Penguin Books. 1972
Frith, Katherine T. "Undressing the Ad: Reading Culture in Advertising." Undressing the Ad. Ed. Katherine Toland Frith. New York: Peter Long Publishing. 1998. 1-17.
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