Gender Messages Conveyed Through Advertisement
Instances of an advertisement directed toward women are often encountered in daily life. Permanently, the images of women appear in fashion magazines, such as Vogue, and convey gender messages which affect society. Preconceptions raised from advertisements include physical attractiveness, fashionable clothes, the use of cosmetics, and weight loss (Silverstein et al., 1986). Gender messages produce a specific social pattern that forms men’s perspective on perfect women from one side and forces females to comply with advertisement standards (“Feminism,” n.d.). Gender messages directly influence people’s vision and encourage them to follow certain trends in fitness and fashion.
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Analysis of the Correction of Gender Messages with Basic Feminist Ideas
Feminism, as the support of social equality for women and men, often considers gender messages hidden in advertisements as prerequisites for potential manifestations of sexism. Feminism maintains five basic principles, which determine approaches to gender stratification adverse effects reduction (“Feminism,” n.d.). Feminists argue against images in fashion magazines as they put standards, because of which women may be judged and deprived of privileges (Silverstein et al., 1986). The idea of human choice expanding is also contrary to gender messages, which show females as beautiful but weak at the same time (“Feminism,” n.d.). This trend limits women’s rights for human qualities, such as rationality and willingness for competition, deepening generally accepted inequity.
As feminists tend to eliminate gender stratification, they may estimate hidden messages from the advertisement as unfair advantages for women who meet beauty standards. The fourth feminist idea is ending sexual violence demonstrated by men because of the abundance of images, which display women’s bodies (“Feminism,” n.d.). However, according to the idea of promoting sexual freedom, women have the right to control and demonstrate their sexuality, and it aligns with the hidden context of fashionable images (“Feminism,” n.d.). It is possible to notice that feminism does not accept the emphasis on women’s attractiveness.
Both basic feminist principles and advertisements’ messages are subject to the structural-functional theory of gender stratification. According to theorists, society “encourages gender conformity by instilling in men and women a fear that straying too far from accepted standards will cause rejection” (“Theories of gender,” n.d.). The mentioned evidence proves that gender messages utilize this theory to enforce a particular perspective. Simultaneously, feminist ideas are opposed to it because of the potential inequity conceived by high standards of beauty.
Feminism. (n.d.). Pearson College. Web.
Silverstein, B., Perdue, L., & Kelly, E. (1986). The role of the mass media in promoting a thin standard of bodily attractiveness for women. Sex Roles, 14(9), 519-532. Web.
Theories of gender. (n.d.). Pearson College. Web.
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