Essay about The Marginality of Women in the Media

864 Words 4 Pages
Historically, women have been marginalized and underrepresented in many areas of the mass media, most predominately advertising. Billions of dollars annually are allocated for businesses in marketing schemes and advertising. They include subliminal messages, which most likely are geared directly at a particular gender. With society becoming more aware of the influence of the mass media, and exposure increasing, inaccurate views of gender continue to twist reality by altering viewer perception. These gender stereotypes, both visible and invisible, need to halt the casting of women in traditional and inferior roles, and begin placing them in equal roles comparable to that of their male counterparts.

When one thinks of the decades of
…show more content…
Anthony Cortese states in his book, Provocateur, that if Barbie were blown up to life-size "her measurements would be 38-18-34" (Cortese, 2005: 62). Recently, because of feminist complaints, Barbie has undergone a makeover slimmed her bust and thickened her waist, which sadly, resulted into losing her longtime lover, Ken.

Even though Barbie does not fit into the strict sense of advertisement it does impose a stereotypical impression at a very early age. One should realize that the cognitive level of adolescent girls is very high and because of this, advertising can be a potent messenger. Kilbourne agrees and states that "girls are extremely desirable to advertisers because they are new consumers, are beginning to have significant disposable income, and are developing brand loyalty that may last a life time" (Kilbourne, 1999: 131). Advertising agencies view women as a profitable source, using them as both consumers and producers.

In 2004, Paris Hilton was used to promote the Six Dollar Burger from Carl's Jr. Scantily clad in a leather bikini, washing a Bentley, the burger was only secondary in the ad. The commercial was eventually discontinued and Ms. Hilton has not been asked to do another advertisement for the company. Carl's Jr. is only one of thousands of companies using women as stereotypical sex objects to sell their product. Not all advertisements are so overtly sexual, but the

Related Documents