Women?s Bodies in Sports Ads Within the general subject of women and sports advertising, I focused specifically on how women?s bodies are depicted. Using ads from recent copies of Shape and Sports Illustrated for Women, I looked at the photographic and ideological techniques that advertisers use to create the standards, which represent female athletes. Ads are rich in cultural narratives created from multiple dialogues about the roles, athleticism, and sexuality of women. Despite the complex nature of the subject matter, these ads depict a very simplistic story. Traditionally, women were not supposed to be strong, because it violated the conventional feminine identity, but in the last decade there has been a cultural shift away from this ideology and an effort to include women in sports, clearly boosted by the title 9 legislation. Yet with in the mass media, not much has changed; it is just coated differently.
This advertising in women?s sports is less about the sport itself and more about being a woman.
Gender marketers are desperately maintained in women?s sports advertising through the images, text, and ideology. Recently cutting edge advertisers such as Nike are distinguishing themselves by not relying on the stereotypes, though a majority of this advertising does still exist. The media?s representations of female athletes tend to draw upon the ideal of a woman?s natural beauty, instead of the athletic capabilities and power of the female body. They focus on sexuality, by photographing women bending over concentrating on the lines of her legs and articles spend entirely too much time talking about women athlete?s outfits or nails, thus minimizing her athletic talent.
Sexuality emerges from every single page of sports ads. There is very little difference between ads in fashion magazines, sports magazines, and pornography. The female body is trapped within male ways...