Saturday, March 19, 2011
Who have the power to decide which types of ads are run in media? Big business advertisers do. They control the editorial content of any publication. They give us the message of the notions that what femininity is and what masculine is. They tell us that there is a big difference between female behavior and male behavior, which men should be strong in order to control their work, and women should be a housewife. Moreover, “Men are dominant and women are passive and subordinate.” (53, Cortese) Can we change media industries? Steinem does. She does not want her publication to sell products that may not be in interest of women. So she decided to pull advertising from Ms. Magazine. Women magazine is an important agent for chaning women's roles.
However, many advertisements in women’s magazines are beauty products. It is hard to get advertisements for electronics in a women’s magazine because the old perceptions root in people’s mind deeply. People tend to believe that “women don’t understand technology.” (114, Steinem) Even they want to buy one; they will ask their husbands or boyfriends to make a decision for them. Moreover, “men were thought to make the brand decisions, even if women did the buying.” (116, Steinem) For example, car companies use attractive women to sell their cars in order to target to men. Even though, many women also own cars.
On the other hand, we are being brainwashed by the media for a long time. We get “the most powerful education force in society.” (121, Kilbourne) In addition, we learn how to behave from media because “the ads sell a great deal more than products. They sell values, images and concepts of success and worth, love and sexuality, popularity and normalcy. They tell us who we are and who we should be.” (121, Kilbourne)
Almost every magazine has a beautiful, young woman who has long legs, big breasts, perfect skin, beautiful hair and nails on the cover. As a woman, I have been told that if I have a beautiful face, a great body, I could have any man I want because men like perfection. The face of a woman is usually considered as a mask. The body of a woman is usually considered as an object. I have been taught that a woman “will not be desirable to, or love by men unless they are physically perfect.” (54, Cortese) Moreover, today, young men tend to think that women should be thin, should have slim legs and flat stomach. Therefore, we have to worry every minuscule line and our weight.
We can not enjoy eating food because we have been told to control our weight. “‘Control’- a word that rarely used to appear in commercial contexts.” (105, Brodo) At the same time, Ads keep telling us how danger the food is for women. On the other hand, men are encouraged to eat. “Men’s lives are out of control, including our well-documented food disorders; they frequently incorporate the theme of food obsession into o their pitch.” (105, Brodo)
However, no matter how hard we try, we will never look like those models in magazines. We will never be perfect. Even we spend a lot of time and money on cosmetics. In fact, we ignore our real self and the real fact. In real life, no one is perfect. “Even the models themselves do not look in the flesh as impeccable as they are depicted in ads.” (54, Cortese)
Women and children are always used as sex objects in ads. Advertising “contribute to them by creating a climate in which the marketing of women’s bodies-the sexual sell and dismemberment, distorted body image ideal and children as sex object- is seen as acceptable.” (125, Steinem) Media creates and reinforces the stereotypes. We usually see some young girls who have adult hairstyles and makeup, or even without clothing are used in advertising. According to Scientific studies, it shows that”women are shown almost exclusively as housewives or sex object.” (122, Kilbourne) In contrast, “men are almost never shown lavishing time on cooking.” (121, Brodo)
Violence always has played a role in media. “Media violence teaches us aggression as children.” (67, Cortese) Media always affects our attitudes and behavior. It is an important factor in inciting on violence. “Images of aggression and violence arm men with self-esteem, security, and a socially validated masculine role.” ( 72, Cortese) Women are always victims. They were often battered or raped by their husbands or boyfriends.
I believe that there are many women like me, who do not have a great body, large breasts and long legs. But we are also beautiful. As a woman, we have to love ourselves and protect ourselves.