This Is How You Should Look: Sexism in Advertising

Topics: Advertising, Mass media, Newspaper Pages: 4 (710 words) Published: March 24, 2015
Rachael Genualdo
English 21A
Anderson E
December 1, 2014
This Is How You Should Look

The representation of women in the media has always been exploitative. Since the introduction of the internet a rapid expansion of available information has given more power to social media. Within the past couple of years the media has managed to degrade women so sufficiently that they are looked at as objects. Women in the twentieth century have been forced to morph themselves into plastic dolls to fit the standards of what a women should look and act like in the modern day world. Advertisement is just one of the many mediums responsible for creating a damaging self-image on women and girls.

Advertisement has created a definition of beauty that women compare themselves to. Many advertisements create a sexualization that teenage girls and even grown women feel they need to live up to. Racy videos and lewd images make women feel like they must conform to the image the media portrays in order to be desirable. As Amy Beck says in her article “struggling for perfection” the media has “transformed [women] into ornaments, valued exclusively for their outward appearance.”(Beck pg.808) Magazines, commercials, pornographic videos, posters, music videos, and photographs, are all aesthetic media that covers the earth; and every single one of them devalues women. “These 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. Sometimes they even sell addictions.” (Berry pg.787)

The effect the media has on females is intensely unhealthy. Women and girls with low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness is one of the major causes leading to eating disorders. They use their bodies “as a mean of expression and self-healing…” (beck pg. 808) turning to bulimia in order to look and feel like the super models plastered in ads across the nation....

Cited: Beck, Amy L. "Struggling for Perfection." Real Essays with Readings: Writing Projectsfor College, Work, and Everyday Life. Fourth ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin 's, 2003. 808-810. Print.
Kilbourne, Jean. "Beauty..and the Beast of Advertising." Center for Media Literacy. 2 Jan. 2002. Web. 2 Dec. 2014. .
Barry, Dave. "The Ugly Truth about Beauty." Real Essays with Readings: Writing Projectsfor College, Work, and Everyday Life. Fourth ed. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin 's, 2003. 787-789. Print.
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