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Killing Us Softly
Transcript of Killing Us Softly
Killing Us Softly-4 Advertising's Image of Women
Began studying images of women
in ads in 1960.
Studies women in advertising,
critical studies of tobacco and
Feminist & Cultural Studies Perspective on Media
Advocates importance of
Things to Keep in Mind
How many advertisements do you think you see and hear a day?
Do you think advertising influences the types of products you buy?
What does it mean to be “feminine”, “masculine?”
How does media play a role in our definitions of femininity and masculinity?
Killing Us Softly Clip
111. Body Image
Advertising & Objectification
Women become part of an object or thing
Focus on parts of women’s bodies- breasts
Breasts are used to sell everything
Why Does this Matter?
Advertising & Violence
Problematic because turning a human into a thing is the first step in justifying violence against them
used to justify violence in instances of racism, homophobia, and terrorism
Images of women in bondage & being attacked
Advertising & Body Image
Portraying ideal images of beauty that do not exist- product of Photoshop
Young, thin, white, blonde, blue-eyed
Women measure themselves against these images
Multiple women pasted together to make one “perfect woman”- dove commercial
Dove Real Beauty Campaign Launched in 2004
Dove Real Beauty
“The campaign started a global conversation about the need for a wider definition of beauty after the study proved the hypothesis that the definition of beauty had become limiting and unattainable.
Only 2% of women around the world would describe themselves as beautiful.
Since 2004, Dove® has employed various communications vehicles to challenge beauty stereotypes and invite women to join a discussion about beauty.”
WE ( AS A SOCIETY) Are a Part of the Problem
Popular culture mocks celebrities who gain weight
Contributes to an epidemic of eating disorders
2007 study by the American Psychological Association found: girls exposed to sexualized images from a young age are more prone to 3 of the most common mental health problems of girls and women-depression, eating disorders, and low self-esteem
Advertising & Body Image
Result: Lowered self-esteem of girls and women in society
Raises men’s expectations of women
Judge real women’s looks more harshly
Women are made to feel guilty for eating
Hardly see ads of women eating and if we do...The ads portray women eating as an erotic, “forbidden” experience
Carl’s Jr Ads
Advertising & Sexuality
Images that were traditionally reserved for pornography are now commonplace in ads
Pornographic attitude towards sex
Sex used to sell everything
Advertising & Sexuality
Message that “sex is the only thing that matters”
Sex is reserved for the young and beautiful
Makes people feel less desirable
Linking products and sex
Makes us desire our products more than our partners
What About Men?
Men aren’t as routinely scrutinized in society based on their looks as are women
Women receive the message that they are valued based on their looks
Men are pictured in ads emphasizing strength and dignity
Men are encouraged to be insensitive, tough and violent
Women’s body language gives messages that they are passive and vulnerable
$250 billion/year industry in the U.S.
Average American exposed to over 3,000 ads every single day
Ads do more than just sell products- they sell values & attitudes about how we think we should look/act/feel and who we should be
Why Does this All Matter?
Advertisers profit off of us feeling terrible about ourselves
This evokes public health issues
Violence against women
Obsession with thinness leading to eating disorders
How YOU Can Help
Become aware and media literate
Transforming yourself from a passive recipient of media to an active one
Don’t just accept the messages you see, critically analyze them....
~Who created this message?
~What is the purpose?
~Who is it targeted towards?
~Who benefits?~ Who loses?
Change the norms and attitudes that run deep in our culture so that one day we’ll see less of this...
And more ads like this....
Gender, Race, And Class In Media: A Text-Reader, By: Gail Dines, Jean McMahon Humez
(Critical Studies Approach to Mass Media)
This presentation was created with the use of ideas and concepts presented in Jean Kilbourne’s documentary, Killing Us Softly 4 (2010).