My blog is about the daily advertisements that are socially constructing the images and ideas of gender while being portrayed through the media. In this blog I will compare and contrast the gender representations that the media displays through these advertisements. At first I only started this blog simply because it was a course requirement for my class Gender and Pop Culture. However, being that I am very interested in what advertisements have to say about the way people should live (what's in and what's not), I chose this topic for my blog because I want to reflect on the everyday gender stereotypes that people do not normally see because they are blinded by the clichés of society.
As obvious as it truly is, advertisements are everywhere and used to each companies advantage. Most advertisements are well thought out and planned to enhance the companies profits and publicity; even if that means having to break a few backs (or say perhaps innocent minds) just to make a million dollars. However, it's not the adults or elderly that are mainly affected by these gender stereotypes, it's the children and teens that are looking to these images in determining their own identity, i.e., sex, nymphomania, women consumers. In his article, Cultural Studies, Multiculturalism, and Media Culture, Douglas Kellner states “Media Culture provides the materials for constructing views of the world, behavior, and even identities. Those who uncritically follow the dictates of media culture tend to ‘mainstream’ themselves, conforming to the dominant fashion, values, and behavior”. The young people of today are the ones who are “tending” to materials given by these gender stereotypes in advertisements, showing them what to look like, how to dress, and how to behave.
Many advertisements, such as Herbal Essence, demonstrate women and femininity as a symbol of chaste sexuality; in other words, nymphomania. Some advertisements show women having orgasmic reactions to simple hair and body wash. For example, one slogan for Herbal Essence body wash says “Our New Moisture-Rich Lather Turns H2O into H2Ohhhh!” This also shows a half naked woman, only covering her breasts and vagina, which appears to show the woman as happily laughing and enjoying the body wash. Another Herbal Essence advertisement for hair wash shows a woman with a big smile, finger in her mouth, hair over her face, and eyes closed. The slogan for this particular advertisement says “This is the look of a totally satisfied woman.” What are these advertisements really saying to young people? Is this sending out a negative message, that women are clueless nymps who have orgasms to body wash and shampoo? Need I say anything else?
What is most important is who is looking at these advertisements. Consequently, if every little person is looking to these images then society will not progress in changing the minds of people who unconsciously stereotype gender; scholars, professors, and college students alone can not stop these stereotypical images. (These are the kind of issues in advertisements that I will be addressing in my blog.)
Kellner, Douglas. "Cultural Studies, Multiculturalism, and Media Culture." Gender, Race, and Class In Media (2003): 9-19.