Today, advertisements have become inseparable part of any form of media like magazines, radio, television and even the Internet. According to recent studies, gender and racial biases are increasingly becoming common in advertisements. Advertisements are considered as an important cultural representation of the society.
Portrayal of women
Women are generally portrayed as beautiful objects whose principle goal in life is to attract the attention of men. In most advertisements of home appliances or cooking ingredients, women are shown as people who satisfy their husbands by managing their home environments and looking after their children. In other ads promoting beauty products, men are shown as returning home to find their wives fresh with fragrance from using the products, and they show their appreciation by attempting to establish physical intimacy, which means women are just objects to satisfy the sexual appetites of their husbands. Many scholars claim that men derive pleasure by gazing at women. Most men believe that women enhance their beauty so that they can attract men, and so they look at women to judge them according to their physical beauty (O’Barr, 2011).
In this Fair and Lovely beauty cream advertisement (Fair and Lovely, 2010), the female model is shown as having dark skin and wearing an Indian attire. The father is shown disappointed with her and craves for a son. The feeling of dejection and low confidence is clearly depicted in her expression which changes instantly after she used the cream that enhances her beauty by making her skin white and removing the marks from her forehead. She soon gets a job as air hostess and is shown as a confident lady in Western clothes.