Women in Advertising
Television commercials frequently portray women in submissive traditional domestic roles. Beaudoux provides an example of an Argentine cleaning product Cif advertisement (ad) portraying that women still fulfill their traditional domestic role of cleaning the house. In the commercial ad, a princess is depicted cleaning the floor in the presence of unhelpful prince. Further, evidence of sexism in commercial ads still exist depicting men as familial superheroes. In this case, Beaudoux mentions the Mr. Muscle ad of 2010 in which the principal masculine character explains how to use a cleaning agent. From the example, it can be deduced that the male character stereotypes the female in the ad by explaining how to use the product yet the former does not do any domestic cleaning. Consequently, ads depicting women as independent thinkers and decision makers exist. The Economic Times outlines the Titan Raga ad in which a sturdy and independent woman capable of making her own life choices is depicted. This example embodies the changing gender stereotyping focused on depicting women’s aspirations and their quest to take control of their lives.
Women are equally depicted with a Barbie doll image in commercial ads. In the Kmart ad, Sofia Vergara is captured in an alluring position on top of furniture (Sheehan 77). As such, the alluring or intimate portrayal of women is common in commercial ads featuring women in decorative roles. However, Sheehan believes the Barbie doll image is an aggressive depiction of women because it focuses on women’s lips, breast, and the groin section. Besides, the implicit message communicated in ads consisting of men and women is that the latter is passive and submissive in the society. In this manner, women are dependent on men in varied activities and submit to the latter’s demands as insinuated in the Mr. Muscle ad mentioned above. Finally, advertisers retain the responsibility of portraying both genders in manners that promote their wellbeing. The ads should ensure equality for both genders by involving men and women in ads that depict equal positions of authority to break down gender stereotypes stifling prosperity and growth of people.
Beaudoux, Virginia. “How Media Sexism Demeans Women and Fuels Abuse by Men like Weinstein”. The Conversation, October 18, 2017. https://theconversation.com/how-media-sexism-demeans-women-and-fuels-abuse-by-men-like-weinstein-85789. Accessed October 16, 2020.
Sheehan, Kim. Controversies in Contemporary Advertising. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2014. Print.
The Economic Times. “6 Indian Ads That Broke Gender Stereotypes over the Years”. The Economic Times, March 8, 2017. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/advertising-marketing/6-indian-ads-that-broke-gender-stereotypes-over-the-years/breakingstereotypes/slideshow/57539044.cms. Accessed October 16, 2020.