Gender Issues in Advertisements

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Bachelor'sA, November 1996

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Gender Issues in Advertisements

Women grapple with their perception of a ideal body because of society's imposed ideals. Goffman analyzes advertisements according to gender stereotypes of men and women. He addresses these issues in a slide show containing advertisements of women in which the body images are unattainable. The male ideal is imposed upon women through advertisements. Women traditionally take on the submissive role and exist solely for the purpose of the male sexual fantasy. The Milk advertisements exemplify a stereotype of women in our society. To promote a product such as milk, the advertisers play on the fears of women as well as their need to be accepted by men to spark a consumer interest.

One of the ways that advertisers depict gender roles is through the use of a famous female model. Models generally have 15% of the national average body weight distribution, therefore making the ideal essentially unattainable.

In their frustration, women turn to the product, in this instance milk, for a way to correct their figure, perceived as unattractive. The advertisement does its job of gaining customers, but does it remain morally faithful? Kate Moss's naked body representing milk, a drink most people associate with childhood, attempts to reverse the product's image. Now milk is grown-up and maybe a little sexy.

The sexuality of the advertisement is evident because the model is naked. Her hair is semi-wet, alluding to the fact that she just took a shower. The shower makes her feel fresh and pure, just as the marketing professionals want the public to feel about milk's potential effect. One of the ways of looking at the advertisement is from the standpoint that sex is 'in.' This particular advertisement focuses upon trends because Kate Moss, being the spokesmodel for Calvin Klein jeans, exemplifies...