History of Media Representation of Women in Commercials
Advertising commercials appeared not so many years ago; yet, they became another object for manipulating gender roles. Through the history of media, the females played different roles. Nowadays, despite the rise of feminism and female activism, the media objectification of females is still present.
The history of female objectification in media dates back to the 1950s when sexism was quite a common issue. The woman was expected to take care of the house and children and be a kind of sex machine for the man to use them. In other words, whereas the man was a subject, the female enjoyed the role of being object with the help of which the males could satisfy their needs (Dale). In the 1950s the advertisements presented the females to be the wives totally occupied with the idea to satisfy their husbands, how to impress and influence them (Dale). The vintage ads definitely confirm the point, since they represent the posters saying «Men are better than women».
The females’ movement, which originated in the 1960s and 1970s, eventually led to the significant transformations concerning females’ status. Particularly, they gained the right to claim equal educational opportunities, career opportunities, and ability to participate in organized sports, freedom of choice (Grinberg). The shelters for abused females and children were also nationally created. However, these changes did not concern the media and advertising, which still portrayed the females to be perfect wives, extremely fragile for female activists.
Nowadays, despite the overall progress, many campaigns involve the females to be objects. The marketing and advertising experts frequently comprise of the females and the parts of their body into the ads targeting men. They assert that the latter tend to be a better attraction for them. For example, the advertisement of the Aston Martin Company portrays the female and the car saying that there is no big deal whether one is not the first one for them, the car and the girl if it is the car manufactured by Aston Martin Company (Chaudhary,). The advertisement actually equates the female to the car, the object, and sets certain stereotypes regarding the treatment of the females. Another scandalous ad refers to the Fluid clothes. It portrays the man and the beaten female saying that no matter what one is doing, he has to be in perfect outfit. (Chaudhary,)
Obviously, such advertisements reinforce negative stereotypes and behavioral patterns within the society. The ad, which concerns the clothes, demonstrates that the domestic violence is common for the American families and for someone it is the norm of life. The equaling females and objects might result in treating females to be the objects. In other words, the men can beat them; throw out if not needed, use etc. Such advertisements presume that the females have no dignity, rights, freedoms or value. There are certain positive tendencies in the movie-making industry; however, they are not enough significant to bring the nation-scale change in the coming years.
To conclude, the females’ objectification in media and advertisements has a long history. Since the very beginning of it the industry served the men’s interests; therefore, certain standards definitely need a revision due to the changes, which have occurred concerning the status of the females. The objectification of females should be prohibited to be a part of the national program supporting genders’ equality. All of this will contribute to the more dignity and human-oriented treatment of females.
Chaudhary, Swetambara. «20 Highly Sexist Print Ads That Objectify Women». 4 Mar. 2015. Web. 5 Apr. 2017
Dale, Elizabeth. «Brains and Boobs: A Case for More Study and Less Staring». The Huffington Post. 2 May 2016. Web. 5 Apr. 2017.
Grinberg, Emanuella. «How to create ads that don’t objectify women». CNN. 18 Feb. 2016.