Women in Advertisements

Essay by ruby074University, Bachelor'sA+, December 2002

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We live in a sexually oriented society here in the United States. Ever since the sexual revolution of the 1960's, sex has become more accepted and sex or sexual images in the mass media has become more widespread. Magazines, television, and the internet display this quite well by constantly portraying pencil thin models with impossibly long legs, perfect complexions, enhanced breasts, and incredibly thick tresses. These women are then illustrated in sexually provocative poses for the purpose of selling something as ordinary as shoes. They are also shown scantily dressed and sprawled in positions of bondage just to sell a product such as lipstick. This is how advertisers have become the single largest contributor to the continuation of female degradation and sexual bias in our society. The way these women are portrayed and most of the messages these advertisements illustrate are both damaging to women and are affecting their bodies, dieting, and sexuality.

Through mass media advertisers sell beauty; they create an unattainable ideal woman, compelling other women to attempt to transform themselves into the model. Advertisers make it clear that their products are capable of that transformation. Over half of the advertisements I have come across have treated women as sex objects. Sexy, scantily clad, gorgeous women drape themselves over a bottle of perfume, shampoo, or a pair of jeans. For example, in both the Herbal Essence commercial and magazine add, a beautiful woman is moaning and groaning as she washes her hair. When she's done, she has a satisfied sexual look on her face. The model then starts caressing herself and her impeccable hair, which she claims on getting from the shampoo. The truth of the matter is her hairstylist gave her the perfect hair, not the shampoo. In addition, the sexual implications are evident, when she...