Why We Need Feminism
Whom is Advertising Affecting?
Advertisements effect everyone and anyone. Much of the advertisements used today are targeted towardstereotypic gender normalities(1). So when companies like Old Spice and Burger King hire advertising agencies to promote their product, you will likely see their ads portraying the product in a very stereotypical way to men (i.e., if you do not buy our product then you must be "unmanly"). Likewise, products geared toward women will be portrayed also in a very stereotypical way to reinforce the gender norms we hold in society (i.e., women should be big breasted, but also thin; also they should be the housekeeper, but keep their mouths shut when men are talking, etc...)
There are many ways to get effected by the advertisements such as the use of internet. The amount of internet usage in The United States(2) is 77.6 percent, personal computers 82.6 percent, 81.7 million households with internet access by 2009 and 100.2 million estimated by 2016. Media is also another source of how advertisements can be expressed. Average hours per person per year in U.S consuming media = 1693 hours, 128 consumer magazines, 169 newspapers and this is not including the number of advertisements seen out of the home, the internet, or the radio. Advertisements effect the young, the old, and everyone in between and can easily be accessed by anyone.
*(1) Gender and gender identity. (2012). Retrieved April 15th, 2012, from
*(2) TV basics. (2012). Retrieved April 7th, 2012, from http://www.tvb.org/media/
Who is Benefitting from Advertising?
The only people that seem to be benefitting from using advertisements that degrade both women and men are the companies who create these advertisements. These companies work diligently to first crush your self-esteem, and then provide a solution: buy their product. Whether the product makes you more attractive, healthy, advertisers make it seem like you cannot live without their product. Research shows that, in 2009, the year-over-year percent growth(3) was greatest for YouTube at 572%. Other online websites that grew from 2008 to 2009 were AOL.com (179%), and Oprah.com (57%). Surprisingly, many TV stations have declined in sales, such as NBC by -49%, and MSN by -57%
*(3) News release. (2009). Retrieved April 20th, 2012, from http://www.nielsen-
*(4) Eating disorders: Body image and advertising. (2008). Retrieved April 23rd,
2012, from http://www.healthyplace.com/eating-disorders/articles/eating-
*(Banner Info) Global poverty info bank. (2010). Retrieved April 17th, 2012, from
Why does this Issue Matter?
According to Mediascope Press(4), “the media has put many constraints on how society is able to define the terms woman and man…” Media advertising adversely affects women’s and men’s body images which can and has led to unhealthy behaviors in attempt to strive for the “ultra-thin” and “over-masculinized” bodies. The issue at hand is that these images display false and unrealistic representations for men and women. This issue has placed unnecessary and undue pressures on men and women both to focus on their physical appearances.