September 16, 2013 Leave a comment
Advertising & Women’s Body Image
Much has been said about certain features of women in advertising. Beauty soaps, career plans, and dietary supplements are among the most common products advertised for women. These represent the enhancements to the features of a woman—beauty, brains, and body. Among the three, body is perhaps the most advertised topic. Advertisers and creative agencies have long ago created a stereotype and established a standard of beauty: the thinner, the prettier.
We live in a world where people generally perceive Kate Moss to be prettier than Melissa McCarthy. We also live in a place where almost everyone finds beauty and elegance in America’s Next Top Model and humor in The Biggest Loser. What is worse is the ads that fill the gaps between these programs show the same idea. Although the messages these faulty ads convey can be generally untrue, women have suffered from their repercussions.
Advertising Can Never Be Real Life
While our business is advertising, we deeply understand that what we see on TV, print, and the Internet are just reproductions of real life. Although this is the case, the effect of what you see on these media can be serious. In the context of this article, advertising presents ideas and ideals that awkwardly aligned with what real bodies look like. Because of this, women, especially the young ones, tend to imbibe the message and do things in order to look like a catwalk model.
The Culture of Using Thin Women for Advertising
You can’t blame advertisers for using thin women to promote their products. If you’re running a business that sells diet pills, you won’t likely use a plus-size girl as the flagship model of your product. The main problem, however, is the way advertisers deliver the benefits of their products. Instead of encouraging the target audience to get thin because it’s one way to ensure health, companies emphasize the consequences of being fat, like not fitting in your favorite dress, not having a love life, and being at the bottom of the social pyramid.
What You Can Do in Your Advertising
You can’t force the companies to change their advertising tactics, although some brands like Dove, come up with campaigns that break the conventions of promoting beauty. As a responsible customer, what you can do is to be consistent with your mindset that beauty, like any other thing in this world, is not absolute.