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The Damaging Portrayal of Women in Advertising

Hey Dude, I'm All Yours. Use Me

Feminist Naomi Wolf says that the beauty myth isn't good for men or women. "It prevents (men) from actually seeing women...in suggesting a vision in place of a woman, it has a numbing effect, reducing all sense but the visual..."

That is, perhaps, one of the most poignent statements regarding the numbification of society because of marketing images portraying impossible-to-achieve beauty and the representation of women as playthings. Granted, marketers are never going to show an ugly slob in an ad because no one wants to see a slob and we all aspire to something greater. But if all we see are unachievable representations of ourselves then certain unhealthy illusions of self are sure to emerge.

About Face, whose mission is "to promote positive self-esteem in girls and women of all ages, sizes, races and backgrounds through a spirited approach to media education, outreach and activism," examines the portrayal of women, specifically, in advertising and comments on how damaging the images can be to the phsyche of consumers. Part of the site has a list of the top ten marketers who, in the opinion of About Face, damage society through their imagery of women advertising.

Written by Steve Hall    Comments (0)     Oct-21-03  

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