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The Social Construction of Gender in Advertisements

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    Through advertisements, gender roles have stayed prevalent and have portrayed the notion that “women” are inferior to men. An example would be the portrayal of women in media and in certain cultures where there are restraints on women. Included in this is the aspect of society where women are objectified to the point where they are only seen as tools for use. This is seen in many ads in the modern century that portray women as lowly beings. Advertising contributes to this by portraying the male as the dominant one and the female as submissive in various ads across the world. Another reason is that advertising depicts gender roles to the point where people seeing them begin to subconsciously believe that the concepts portrayed in the ad are true. The ads by Gucci and Fiordelli reinforce gender roles in society by depicting women as submissive and frail.

    The ads by Gucci and Fiordelli reinforce gender roles by appealing to most men’s desires. The message being sent by this is that men are viewed as the alpha where women are portrayed as being inferior. This in turn influences the social patriarchy of society where men begin to believe that men would always be at the top while women would be beneath them. This is seen in various areas of the world where women are discriminated and used by men. Likewise, the ads depict men as being smart and strong while they characterize women as being weak and dependent. What this does is that it causes psychological domination in which men try to manipulate women mentally into believing that they are “inferior beings.” This also plays a role in the narcissism of men where they feel entitled to everything they have. Included in this is the feature of having women beneath them, always obeying their every command. Furthermore, the ads push the ideal that men are overly strong and dominant while women should stick to being vulnerable and submissive. What this causes is the revival of age old perspectives in which women are characterized for their so called feminine characteristics. These messages impact society by morphing the truth into an ambiguous form in which people become ignorant of the truth.

    The next aspect of my ads I would like to discuss is the master and slave feature of the ads. What I mean is that in both instances the ads describe how women are supposed rely on men and depend on them. This can be considered an aspect of social slavery where women are seen as slaves to men. What this does is it increases the degradation of women to the point where they are only seen as commodity. Meant to be bought and sold. A quote in the article “Two Ways a Woman Can Get Hurt” by Jean Kilbourne exemplifies this by stating, “Turning a human being into a thing, an object, is almost always the first step toward justifying violence against that person.” What this describes is that if we objectify women than men would be more incline to do whatever they want with them no matter how immoral. The next particular detail to pay attention to is the obvious sexual domination of the man over the woman. Essentially, creating the sense that women need to be dominated in a manner that conforms to the man’s desires. The emphasis on this is that it causes people to believe subconsciously that women are nothing. This illustrates the fact that in our society many people follow these norms of sexism even if they don’t realize it, an example of this is how women are seen anywhere such as the workplace or home. Eventually, through the oversexualization of women in ads the younger generations begin to believe that this is a norm.

    Also, through the usage of feminine and masculine facial expressions the ads demonstrate the unreasonable concept that men are in command. Firstly, in the ad by Fiordelli the woman is positioned in a manner that doesn’t even display her face. This illustrates to people that the falsified notion that women should only pay attention to men and that they deserve everything. This inhibits social advancements by distinguishing that women are nothing. Meanwhile, in the Gucci ad there is how the positioning of them depicts women as needy and portrays the man as the main provider. The way he is touching her implies the meaning that she is only there to provide pleasure. The positioning allows displays to men that women should be an item that can be used anytime. Another quote by Jean Kilbourne describes this by stating, “Sex in adevrtising is pornographic because it dehumanizes and objectifies people, especially women, and because it fetishizes products, imbues them with an erotic charge-which dooms us to disappointment since products never can fulfill our sexual desires or meet our emotional needs.” In reference to culture, we can also understand that in the world today we see a very sexualized culture that is more fixated on physical features. This sexualized culture impacts society by creating ethical and moral dilemmas that challenge the notion of an equal and fair world.

    The last feature of my ad that displays gender roles is where the woman is laying on the ground while the man is sitting on a luxurious chair. What this describes is that men seem to have more opportunities and that they are the ones with money. Simultaneously, it seems that the woman is not even trying to get up or move. Rather it seems that she is crawling towards him. This depicts women as uninterested and always beneath men. In society we see this everyday in areas such as the workforce, government or even education. This implies the notion that men dominate the high places and that they should hold places of power. The message being reiterated by this concept is that men are more prone to being up top and that women should conform themselves to being at the bottom. This affects society by making those without an untrained eye to believe this misinterpretation of the truth.

    One other part of the ad that can be analyzed is how in both ads the people in them are models. Due to this, we can digger deeper into how the ads indulges the ideology of perfection in a world that is filled with imperfections. In terms of gender roles, the usage of models demonstrates to women that they should be like this woman even though this is false. Essentially, creating the sense that women are drawn in by the models to act as they do and to behave as they do. With this in mind, we see that in the culture today where women are more prone to backlash if they don’t dress up or act like a woman. Also, add in factors such as behaviors and lifestyle which are incorporated into these ads that display people who seem to be well off. By displaying these factors both men and women are drawn in to this ideology that they should be like this and thus why they buy these clothes or act like these people. Lastly, personal factors is another thing that is important to look into because of how through the environment you grow up, you can become more susceptible to believing the messages depicted in the ads.

    Advertisements have caused a misinterpreted view of women in modern society. Due to this women are portrayed in modern advertisements as weak and submissive. This in return only depicts something that is wrong which causes gender biases around the globe. Essentially, gender biased ads influence society by characterizing women while influencing a new generation to believe that these ads are true. With this depiction of women, society will never be able to advance and if we can’t stop objectifying women than can we ourselves be considered a modern society.

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