Friday, 23 September 2016

Advertising’s Influence on Body Image


Criticism has grown sharply regarding how the media influences our ideas of body image. Since advertising frequently uses our hopes or fears to sell a product or service, so many young people compare themselves to models in ads and are often left feeling depressed about their own self image. Idealised versions of female body shapes portrayed in magazines, posters, the fashion, cosmetics  and dieting industries and celebrity culture has been known to cause in some instances excessive dieting or exercise or even eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia.






Body image revolves around an individual’s perception of their own body and appearance as well as how others see us. Advertising can influence positive and negative ideas, attitudes and feelings of self worth. This generation of teenagers is more vulnerable than previous generations because since birth they are hit with images of so-called perfection on the internet, television, magazine covers and billboards.
Body image revolves around an individual’s perception of their own body and appearance as well as how others see us. Advertising can influence positive and negative ideas, attitudes and feelings of self worth. This generation of teenagers is more vulnerable than previous generations because since birth they are hit with images of so-called perfection on the internet, television, magazine covers and billboards.
Advertising’s Role With Women’s Body Image 
Thin, tall models are frequently promoted in advertising to help them to sell copies of their product or service. Movies, music and magazines provide an unrealistic view of how women should look. The effect of exposure to multiple advertisements promoting beauty can leave many girls and young women with a distorted view of what they are worth. Concepts of beauty are pushed on girls from a young age with products such as Barbie and Bratz dolls. The measurements of a Barbie doll would lead to a serious disease and poor nutrition.
Photoshopping images on computer are also used to enhance a woman’s height and thinness. A nip and a tuck with the click of a mouse can give a vastly different impression of the model than in reality.


Case Study: Dove
Have a look at the advert below for Dove which shows how the beauty industry communicates to many women. 
How are Dove advertising their product? 
What message is portrayed  in both  advertisements? 
Dove Beauty Pressure
Uploaded by  on Oct 2, 2007
Dove Beauty Evolution


Uploaded by  on Oct 6, 2006

Exercise: Write down all the adjustments made to the woman's face in the Dove Beauty Evolution ad



Research Project:
Look up the following searches on Google
1-Kate Winslet GQ magazine. Write up about what happened in your copybook in your own words
2-Find a women's magazine cover off Google images. Write down what it is called
3-Look up Julia Bluhm and Seventeen magazine and write a paragraph mentioning what has happened
4-Look up Teen Vogue protests. Write a paragraph explaining what happened in your own words
5-Write 2 paragraphs about your thoughts on how magazines advertise to women. Think about who is responsible, the magazine or the people who purchase the magazine?








Here is a video entitled ‘Killing Us Softly 4 Advertising’s Image of Women’ by Jean Kilbourne, where it gives a snapshot regarding how advertising is influencing statistics of violence in the USA. We have already been exposed to many of these advertisements with our ability to access more globalised content through our TV subscription packages and access to the internet. 
Uploaded by  on Mar 12, 2010


Class Discussion: Perfection
Split up into groups of 4. Each group takes a question to consider and report on in class.


  • Do you think magazines should take a more responsible role in the promotion of positive images of women? How?
  • A magazine is in the business of selling magazines. Much of their revenue comes from advertising. Would changing the policy of using idealised pictures of women help or hinder their sales? 
  • Who is responsible for these images of so-called perfection, society, parents, the magazine, the manufacturer of the product, the advertiser, or the consumer?
  • Would you buy a magazine with real pictures of real people including all their flaws with no gender stereotyping when you wish to be entertained and amused?


Advertising’s Influence On Males
What does it mean to be a man?
For males ideals of masculinity are often advertised. Advertisements with males often display muscled men, sophisticated men in tuxedos, successful businessmen, cowboys and construction workers. Men are usually shown in these ads to be in charge, confident and alone or displaying their success with women. Many products’ adverts often  play on male hopes and insecurities. The suggestion is that purchasing a product will make the man stronger, more successful and sexier.
Violence is an aspect often used in advertising targeting men. Many video games and films which are violent are used by advertising companies for product placement. Companies are beginning to put their adverts into violent video games that they know may appeal to males.
The issue of masculinity in the media is not discussed as openly as a woman’s perfect body image. Portrayals of what it means to be a man and more worryingly what it means not to be a man are discussed with frankness in this videoclip entitled ‘Tough Guise:Media, Violence and the Crisis in Masculinity’ made by Jackson Katz. It argues that widespread violence in American society, including the tragic school shootings in Littleton, Colorado, Jonesboro, Arkansas, and elsewhere, needs to be understood as part of an ongoing crisis in masculinity.
Class Exercise
Find a magazine cover or advert with a male prominently displayed. Write a paragraph mentioning what the advert/magazine is suggesting.
Pair Discussion
Choose one of the following questions for consideration and to report back to the class 
  • How true do you consider the opening statements of the videoclip that a man has to be tough and violent to be a man?
  • Consider some recent high-profile murders. Do you think think there is a link between media violence and real life aggression?
  • What do you think about the topic raised in this video?

Just who is advertising to who here?
Women are often used to sell magazines aimed at males, examples would be magazines such as Loaded, Maxim and Nuts. Males in advertising are used to sell products to women. Relationships and commitment are often used in advertisements for jewellery for women. Sometimes adverts for males are in females magazines as they are targeting women to buy these products for a male. Children are being advertised to by hotels and car companies to pester their parents into making a purchase.






3 comments:

  1. I feel that this artcilce was very interesting and truthful as people feel that they need to look like people in magazines to fit in.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I find this article very interesing as more and more people feel that they need to look like the top celebs in magazines.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I feel that this article is very interesting as people feel that they have to look like celebrities in the magazines to fit into todays society.

    ReplyDelete

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