Monday, June 28, 2010

The 'Norm'

It is a sad world we live in as women to see the effects that these 'beauty norms' have on young women. Beauty norms within Western society today describe the ideal woman as being thin, slender, fashionable, fresh, young, tall, with smooth, tan skin, sleek and shiny hair with a perfectly structured face. The quest for young women today to become that fictional character consumes their thoughts, actions, fears, and goals. This in turn causes young women to struggle with self-doubt and a negative body image that leads to eating disorders and a dispirited personality.
The cause of this stems from advertisements in the media today. They have continuously pushed this fictional character into the everyday view of young women and it has reached a point in which we cannot escape seeing it everywhere. We see it on the television through countless t.v. shows and commercials, we see it on the big screen when we go to the movies. Even in places that are seemingly less likely, we are still subjected to seeing this women everywhere we go. Examples of this range from the airbrushed-to-perfection women on the cover of a magazine in the dentist office, to the women flaunting her body up on the roadside billboard on the way to your family vacation, to the smiling and vivacious woman cut out of cardboard holding an ice-cold beer in your local grocery store.
Young women are subject to seeing this virtually everywhere and the fact that this has gone so easily undetected by so many members in society has only allowed for more extreme uses of this woman in advertisements everywhere.

More times than not men, not women, are the ones that our advertisers have in mind when deciding on their angle of advertising. Even when the audience is female, such as this Dolce & Gobbana ad for woman's clothing, the men here are portrayed as dominate over the woman.

Finally, this Burger King ad that ran exclusively in Singapore and never was released in the United States is an example of the extreme lengths advertisers go to at the expense of women. Clearly this sexual innuendo is aimed towards their male audience with no regard to the effects of female objectification it carries.

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