Portrayal of a Woman

March 12, 2007 at 11:25 am (Soc3390)

I am so happy that Paul put the article All of Your Insecurities Wrapped Up in a Thirty Second Spot in the syllabus. After reading just the first paragraph I was aware that this was possibly the most important article I have read in the class to date.

I am so appalled by the sexist and condescending way women are portrayed in ads. I mean you can’t watch a series of commercials without stumbling upon a “perfect” woman being treated as nothing more than a sex symbol. The images are everywhere and it makes young and old women alike very conscious of their alleged shortcomings.

The truth is that sex does sell especially when it’s a hot brainless female in a low cut skirt and mini skirt. And because people are buying the products that these women are selling there will be no shortage of women being exploited by numerous aspects of the media.

What really bothers me about these women is like the Abby article says women are looking to these females as inspirations and are comparing themselves to an ideal that will be impossible for them to duplicate.

I am happy to say that some companies have recognized this abomination and have tried to depict real beauty in their ads in an attempt to rectify the self esteem issues they have created. In fact Dove has created this ad to show how impossible it would be to mimic or recreate some of the “beauty” found in the media.

Dove is making a bold statement with this ad and I think that it really helps females distinguish what is real and what is falsely created. I think that females of all ages can look at this depiction of “beauty” in the media and will realize that attaining this ideal look is extremely unrealistic. 



  1. butterflyxo said,

    I agree that is article was enlightening and important to be aware at the bias in our media today. Even looking back to last week or even the week before with music videos and the movies, what we see and hear are not always accurate depictions of real life or the real world. Women are usually portrayed to be passive and under the control of the breadwinner man. To me at least, this seems to be significant message in a lot of commercials. I guess I am getting a little off track here, and heading away from the article, but when we think about women and cleaning commercials, the two practically go hand in hand. Very few cleaning commercials show a male scrubbing the kitchen floor or bathroom tiles. Women in movies and commercials, in a general sense that is, all usually thin, disgustingly thin and don’t look anything like them in daily life or have achieved their bodies via unhealthy methods. The sad part is we don’t see how happy or unhappy these people really are. Although all our insecurities may be wrapped up into a thirty second spot, it doesn’t mean that the people in the commercials have just as much insecurity. I don’t remember the percentage, but quite a large number of those that do commercials and are thin, etc, are extremely unsatisfied and unhappy with their lives.

  2. bunny08 said,

    When I read this article, I felt the same way. It is an important article and is so true. Women are almost always used as sex symbols because sex does sell. The advertisers know it will grab the attention of everyone, but this is so sad. Why can’t people sell their products based on its quality instead of relying on the sexy portrayal of women.
    Also, something interesting someone once pointed out to me, there is rarely a commercial without a woman in it. Watch for this and you will see it is VERY true, even if she is only there for a moment!!!

  3. lilroxy said,

    It is so frustrating to see the media portray women in such sexualized and overly-feminine ways. Not only does it make other women (who can never attain this image of idealized beauty) unhappy, but it undermines women. In the media, it seems like women are usually acknowledged and applauded for their beauty and femininity, instead of their skills, intelligence, etc. and this bothers me. I think it is great what Dove is doing, and I think more companies should take the initiative to promote the message that beauty isn’t everything, and that beauty is about more than just being a rail-thin supermodel. Great post!

  4. firefly18 said,

    First off, I totally agree with everything that you guys are saying, women are becoming sex objects in the media because it does indeed sell. Also that Dove has done wonders for bringing out some truth and showing viewers that these images are false and unnatural. BUT I in no way believe that Dove deserves any credit for it! Dove is just looking our for themselves, the whole reason that they through this commercial at us was to gain our support, which ultimately leads to buying thier products. They don’t say send a cheque to our charity or “Girls Help Center”, but buy our products!!!!

  5. yabbadabbadoo said,

    I agree with you 100% that sex does sell, I mean look at the advertisements for those pizza hut bites pizzas with Jessica Simpson…you wanna talk brainless female…anyway, some of the ads even had her in her daisy duke shorts and then who could forget the red bikini? I think its sad that we live in a world where sex is such a huge part of marketing…kinda makes me wonder where it is going to eventually lead to? I mean its a bonus for those of us who notice it unfortunately for those of us who don’t notice, what can we possibly do to over throw the media? This is where ads like the ones provided by Dove prove themselves to be beneficial and hopefully we can get more advertisers to take this approach and “spare the youth” of today and tomorrow. Good Post!

  6. bananaramma said,

    The beauty in the media is very unrealistic. Women are portrayed very stereotypically in ads as are men as well. Lots of ads show guys as being stupid. I think that the stereotyped woman is more prevalent but in general ads stereotype everybody. I have seen that dove ad on someone else’s blog, it is very cool and makes me look twice at the glossy model photos selling me makeup. I don’t need coverup to smooth my complexion I need digital enhancement, which is ridiculous.

  7. dream8 said,

    I agree as well and it is also important to note that many females see these women in these cute mini skirts and so on and acting oh so perfect but what they dont realize is that that commercial or ad is not even real at all. Chances are pretty good that that women’s face and body got photo chopped or was fixed up by the helpful hand of a computer. But, the problem is that women don’t realize this and just take these kinds of ads or commercials at face value.

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