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Advertisment and Women - Essay Example

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Yet, it is hoped that this section will provide details regarding certain important aspects of women's portrayal in advertisements and the sheer range of visual examples provided will leave the reader with a taste of the contemporary scene.Regarding portrayal of women in 1950, they found out that advertisements featured most women in non-working roles and often at home. When working, women were shown as low-income earners, in secretarial, clerical or blue-collar positions.It was found out that often the presence of women was not substantially related to the product being advertised. It was also seen that it seemed from advertisements as though women have limited purchasing power, since they were shown as decision makers only for small-ticket items for the home.It was found out that in 1970, advertisements emphasised that a woman's place was in the home, though there were 29 million women in the labour force at that time. Women were shown as independent only when inexpensive items or simple decisions were involved, sending the message that women do not make important decisions or do important things. It was observed that Women were generally isolated from their sex within the ads, thus signalling that women are dependent and constantly require men's protection. In addition, Women were often found in decorative roles having little relationship to the product, thus saying that men regards women primarily as sexual objects and are not interested in them as people.

In contrast, the portrayal of men (Lovdal, 1989) was as independent people who are intelligent and fully involved in a career. Men, shown in authoritative positions, were depicted 78% of the time in out-of-home settings.
Belknap and Leanord II (1991) analysing women's magazines from 1940-70, discovered that the feminine ideal was one of child-bearer, child-rearer and homemaker, with the advertisements depicting women as possessing characteristics of passivity and dependency. For example, in the advertisement shown here, the quote runs, "you trust it's Quality", implying that the woman as a nurse or helper is someone you can trust. Even in MS, a more progressive magazine, Ferguson (1983) found that "a woman's nurturance role and seeking after men was a pervasive goal."
In a study conducted on the relationship between women, health and advertisements (Hagiwara, 1992) it was found that women and men both appeared in photographs, women were generally placed in the passive/submissive positions. In National Fitness Trade Journal and Natural Body Fitness, more than 80% of the photographs placed women in passive/submissive positions. It was also discovered that of those photographs displaying both men and women, in no cases were men placed in passive/submissive positions. Further, in a majority of photos, women were placed in inactive poses, that is, they were shown "posing". 2Shape and Natural Fitness provided the highest percent (28%) of the women in active or exercising behaviour. There were no ads in Men's Fitness portraying women in active o ...Show more
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This chapter deals with the period which has seen more upheavals than those of the other two sections put together.Revolutionary changes in communications and technology, the huge success of the Women's Liberation Movement…
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