Cultural Myths and Advertisements Go Together

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In companies wanting to be successful they have to attract customers somehow into buying their products. The most effective way to do so is to advertise/promote the product through TV, magazines, or billboards. These advertisements later lead to people having cultural myths, “a story or idea that explains the culture or customs of people” (Davis). A cultural myth is a traditional story that holds special significance for the people of a given culture. “Myths are the motivating stories or ideas common cultural practices”, said J. Francis Davis in the article Power of Images: Creating the Myths of Our Time. In this paper, I will identify 2 cultural myths, “your body is not good enough” and “Happiness, satisfaction and sex appeal”, discuss how 2 ads for Garnier BB Cream and Closer perfume by Halle Berry appeal to these myths.

Body Is Not Good Enough: “Instant Perfection”

One cultural myth is your body is not good enough. Not being pretty, young, smart, thin, tall, tan enough are some that go with this myth. Which are ultimately to buy a product to be good enough. J. Francis Davis mentions, “…in our culture pictures have become tools used to elicit specific and planned emotional reactions in the people who see them.” There are so many things in the media that could make even a confident person not feel good enough after seeing all the advertising about it.

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An example in Cosmopolitan magazine is a Garnier BB Cream ad. On the left side of the page there is a white woman, possibly 30’s, a huge smile on her face. Before and after shots are divided down the middle of her face. In the before shot she has different blemishes, in after shot skin is clear, looks perfect. On right side of ad there is a description of product which states that the product evens tone, hydrates, renews, protects, and brightens.

I personally took the time to go purchase this product because I was a little unsure that this BB Cream would actually do all the things it says. After trying it out on my face I would say that this product does in fact even skin tone, hydrate; it made my skin feel fresh after application, brighten, and protect. After trying it out for a few days there was only one thing I did not notice which was; renew. Overall I was somewhat satisfied with the Garnier BB Cream: Skin Renew, but just like how this ad convinced me to want to try the product that is basically how it is with other women when the ad is pretty much saying that you have to change in order to be accepted.

Happiness, satisfaction and sex appeal: “The New Scent of Attraction for Her” The majority of women make being attractive, looking good at all times or having all attention on them a big priority. They would all want to look perfect like super models or actresses. For example in Cosmopolitan Magazine there is an ad for the famous actress Halle Berry’s perfume “Closer: The New Scent of Attraction for Her”. Halle Berry is the main focus on the ad; she is wearing a white button up shirt, sleeves rolled up to her elbows, completely unbuttoned, somewhat open where her bra is visible. She also has a black tie around her neck and what looks to be a shirtless man holding her by her waist. While on the bottom right corner is the perfume bottle.

The ones selling this product obviously want to grab your attention by Halle Berry being practically the main focus. People viewing this advertisement will only be focusing on the attraction of the image, how they would love to look like her and by buying the product it might boost up their confidence. Sometimes one could be too focused on the image that they forget what the product even was.

In the article Jesus is a Brand of Jeans by Jean Kilbourne she states that, “Women’s bodies – and men’s bodies too these days – are dismembered, packaged and used to sell everything from chainsaws to chewing gum, champagne to shampoo. Self- image is deeply affected.” This advertisement is showing that one of the only ways to be happy is by sex appeal.


In conclusion, I think images play an enormous role in advertising. Images are what help sell, nut they also can affect how people see themselves.

Works Cited

  1. Jean, Killbourne. “Jesus is a brand of jeans.”(2006) n. page. Print. .
  2. Davis, J. Francis. “Power of Images: Creating the Myths of Our Time.” Center for Media Literacy. (2002-2011): n. page. Print. .
  3. Garnier BB Cream: Skin Renew. Advertisement. Cosmopolitan. October 2012. 65. Print. Closer: By Halle Berry. Advertisement. Cosmopolitan. October 2012. 129. Print

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Cultural Myths and Advertisements Go Together. (2016, Aug 27). Retrieved from

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