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Women’s Portrayal in Advertisement

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Essay title: Women’s Portrayal in Advertisement

Women’s portrayal in advertisement

Women have always been portrayed certain ways when it comes to advertisements. No matter what the product is that is being sold women have been looked at in particular ways. There isn’t just one stereotype that’s placed on women but numerous stereotypes. Women have been used in advertisements for many years being portrayed in ways that reflected what an acceptable female should be. Women have always been looked at as someone who cares for the children, cooks the food, cleans the house, washes clothes, and stays home. Even in today’s society women are still looked at as objects or portraying particular roles. Advertisements have always had a particularly powerful impact on reinforcing our gender-role attitudes, values, perceptions, beliefs and behaviors.

If you look at ads from the 1920’s until the 1950’s women are largely portrayed as some one who doesn’t work but stays home with the children and cleans. But as time goes on and women gain more rights and liberties, the way they are used in advertisements also takes another direction. Women are started to be used in racy provocative ads as well as being shown doing things considered to be masculine. According to Erving Goffman’s Gender Advertisements: “From the 1950s through the 1980s researchers have found a lessening[sic] of advertising images showing women in the home or in family settings, and an increase in the number of women portrayed in work roles. But, consistently the researchers have found an increase over

time in the number of women shown purely in decorative or ‘alluring’

roles in the ads.” (Goffman 5).

The ads that have been chosen to be compared and contrasted are ads from different eras in time. The first advertisement is an ad from a 1946 Bon Ami cleaning product. This ad shows women as care takers whose job is to clean, while the man in the ad is getting ready to go to work. The woman is skinny and you can see the man and woman in love on the right side of the ad. You can also see the female on her knees with her cleaning rag and solution scrubbing the bathtub, where the man is wearing a nice suit and tie getting cleaned up for work. Even back in the 1940’s women had a certain look that was considered “pretty”. According to Scott A. Lukas P.h.D, “As we unfortunately see in all forms of media, the roles of women in print advertising are stereotypical and limiting. Studies such as Courtney and Whipple (1983) and Barthel (1987) confirm that the association of women and specific domestic roles has been solidified in popular culture, particularly advertising.” (GenderAds). The studies conducted by Courtney and Lockeretz analyze magazine advertising

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