1: Pages Title and Author | 2-5 “Beauty is Ugly: Analyzing the Perception of Women Through Social Media” by Gita A. 6-9 “Untitled” by Colin A. 10-13 “ Misguided Media” by Haley A. 14-19 “Influencing the Eye of the Beholder” by Courtney B. 20-23 "The Power of the Media” by Jeffrey C. 24-27 “Women Throughout the Ages” by Brianna D. 28-35 "White Noise: The Impact of the Music Industry on Society” by Nathalie D. 36-41 “Looking Past the Looks” by Ekaterina D. 42-47 “Woman’s Forever Changing Roles” by Virginia F. 48-51 “The Manipulation of Women in the Visual Media” by Catherine F. 52-55 “Mislead by the Media” by Amanda G. 56-59 “The Rise of the Self over the Years” by Jack J. 60-63 “Women in the Media: The Ultimate Sales-Persons” by Lynn K. 64-67 “The Journey of Environmentalism” by Tyler K. 68-75 “Defining our Ability” by Morgan K. 76-79 “Twisted Beauty” by Spencer L. 82-87 “Indoctrination” by Stephen M. 88-91 “Subordinate, Stunning and Stuck in the Home: A Look at Women in Advertisements through the 50s, 60s and today” by Lainie N. 92-95 “Worth her Weight in Beauty” by Jack O. 96-101 “Women through the Eyes of the Media” by Katie P. 102-105 “Changing Your Perceptions-One Advertisement at a Time: A closer look at how the media has used propaganda to predetermine the roles of women in the workplace since World War II” by Stefan P. 106-109 “The Manipulation of Society by Visual Media” by Harriet P. 110-113 “The Fluctuating Media” by Molly S. 114-117 "Media’s Impact on Women” by Zeph W.
2: Beauty is Ugly: Analyzing the Perception of Women Through Social Media by Gita A. | It is said that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” But is this true? The concept that “beauty” has no definition attached to it, and comes to mean something unique to each individual, is an idealistic view of an imperfect world. In reality, the “eye” of the beholder is impaired, as the clear vision of the individual is obstructed by a lens created by society. From World War II to present, this lens has only thickened, becoming more heavily clouded by increased media exposure enabled by technological innovation. Entertainment and advertising have perceived a standard of beauty, especially for women, that has become inescapable in daily life. While modern times are supposed to have brought women closer to equality, they have also become increasingly hindered by the importance of physical appearance, disproportionally stressed in today’s society. Despite alleged advancements in women’s rights since World War II, the rapid growth of social media has imposed a female body image that has come to define and control our generation of young women. | During World War II, the need for workers facilitated an emphasis on female ability in propaganda. Beauty in women was evidently valued, but a woman’s ability to work was simultaneously promoted. The image of Rosie the Riveter, which has become a cultural icon in the United States, features a woman raising a powerful arm. Her chin is lifted and her posture robust. There is strength in her face and stance, emulating the confidence and capability of a female force. Although her eyes and lips are well-defined and still to be considered beautiful, her features are not the focus of the print. Her hair is wrapped up in a cloth suitable for working, and while a few pretty curls escape this handkerchief, the concealment of her hair contrasts with the typical emphasis on a woman’s hairstyle. Her blue collar shirt is synonymous for a blue collar worker, suggesting that a woman is very much capable of physical labor and contributing substantially to | the war. Her shirt is clean well-fitted, but does not exploit the female figure in ways now considered normal. The bold text, “We can do it!” suggests a “we” of not only Americans in the war effort, but women in a movement for self-empowerment. However, media from the World War II era was not a complete exception to the beauty-centric trend of marketing. A 1942 poster by John Philip Falter promoted WAVES, an acronym for Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, a division of the U.S. navy during | the war. Although the woman wears a navy uniform, her face is still feminine, with defined cheekbones and glassy eyes. Her fingernails are painted and unscathed, unrealistic for a worker, but still a quality heavily associated with women. It is significant to note that, though her hands are clean and polished, they are at work, operating the radio. The background of the poster is black and indefinite, perhaps symbolic of the darkness of war. Light falls only on the face and hand of the woman, giving no emphasis to her clothing or body, but instead highlighting an expression of seriousness and fingers at work. WAVES and other women of war organizations were able to capitalize on
3: female skills, giving them roles in communication, as featured. Through ads of this genre, World War II propaganda shows female ability and beauty in conjunction. In a separate print by Lawrence Wilbur for the War Manpower Commission, a beautiful and self-pitying woman is chided with the text, “Longing won’t bring him back sooner.” The woman is the quintessential World War II wife, with neatly curled hair and cheeks almost as red as her lips, coated in lipstick the same shade as her polished nails. She clutches papers in her hand, presumably letters from her husband at war. She looks off into the distance with desperation, and the whole illustration is staged in an intentionally exaggerated way. This advertisement mocks the idleness of war wives, encouraging women to make use of their own skills. Media of this time period is openly reproachful of women who accept the simplistic “stand there and look pretty” way of life, due to the sheer need for a female work force. While World War II propaganda sustained qualities of beauty and femininity like all media throughout history, a woman’s ability and potential were especially at the same time. As World War II passed and the US progressed into the 1950s, the need for female strength lessened; inversely, the media began to illustrate an new ideal woman, fragile and defined strictly by physical beauty. The 1951 "Ann Delafield Reducing Plan" advertisement from LIFE Magazine is only one of many weight-loss products that was heavily marketed to women during that time period. Following full-page spreads featuring the | quintessential beautiful woman of the time period, this weight reducing plan advertisement seals the stamp on the social media's subliminal attack on the female body image. The advert -isement even displays "before" and "after" measurements, as if explicitly setting acceptable standards for female proportions. The woman in the “before” picture is marked by a hunched posture and lack of heels. Her face is turned away, and though her features lack definition and makeup, it is clear that she is not smiling. In contrast, the “after” photo features a bright-and- smiling woman, clad with a pair of heels and a nicer stance, as if to imply that one can only be happy after losing sixty-five pounds. The slogan at the top of the page, “New, easy, natural way to lose weight and gain a richer, fuller life,” only furthers ingrains a feeling of self-dissatisfaction that drives women to buy the advertised product. Ironically, the phrase “richer and fuller” is used to describe a life after weight loss, while these adjectives are more naturally associated with an unrestricted diet and lifestyle, the opposite of ad’s campaign. Not only did beauty become defined by small waist sizes, but its definition extended to all things pink and pretty. The cover of the S eptember, 1954 edition of Seventeen Magazine captures the essence of “pink and pretty” succinctly. Seventeen Magazine, first published during World War II, targeted teenage girls as it continues to do today. The model
4: wears a pink gown, exploitative of her thin frame, and with ruffles impractical for all things productive. Her hands are protected by white, silk gloves, proposing that a woman need not use her hands, or dirty them, because of her fragility. This contrasts with media of the World War II era, where the prevailing theme was more along the lines of “all hands on deck.” The Seventeen Magazine cover girl holds decorative flowers in her frail hand, also pink, which bear some resemblance to a feather-duster, but otherwise serve purely ornamental purposes. The subtitles on the page, among them, “Posture pointers to make you prettier,” all revolve around physical presentation, whether of clothing or etiquette, that allegedly contribute to higher value as a woman. Magazines like Seventeen, emerging in numbers after the war, chose to focus on topics of beauty and materialism rather than intellect or talent. This caused audiences to conform to a beautification-centric and materialistic lifestyle. In a makeup advertisement from a 1951 edition of LIFE Magazine, an artificially perfect face sells Maybelline products. The penciled eyebrows, thick lashes, and colored lips of the model lead women to believe that a natural appearance is not satisfactory. The text below the ad reads, “Smart women insist on Maybelline.” Not only does this phrase use appealing description to entice consumers, but it associates and even limits a “smart [woman]” to beauty, an idea strewn for decades to come. Post-war magazines began to neglect a woman’s mental and physical capabilities in favor of appearance.Beauty products including cosmetics, hair accessories, and even fashion styles, are sold more easily, as they give consumers a false sense of | attainable worth and self- improvement. Knowledge, on the other hand, is more of a long-term investment and is too abstract to purchase. After World War II, social media evolved to encourage attributes of physical beauty over intellect, a shift found irreversible in later generations. In the decades leading up to modern times, the perception of beauty, progressively imposed by the ever-expanding reach of social media, has come to restrain young women today. In today’s American lifestyle, the average teen or adult will spend more than five months a year consuming social media in the forms of television, music, movies, magazines, and the Internet (Miss Representation). Due to the violent objectification of women in the media and the pressure for a specific physical appearance, women are highly vulnerable to the effects of social media overexposure. Take for example, the show, Gossip Girl, which averages two million views per episode on the CW. The drama follows the lives of privileged, but perhaps more vitally, attractive, young adults living in Manhattan. Not only is the show the epitome of the phrase “sex sells,” but it gives unrealistic view on the appearance and livelihood of ordinary people. In the cast photo for the show, the girls are similar in their thin form, all with short dresses, heels to match, and heavily stylized hair. All of the characters are posed with confidence and sexuality, and it immediately becomes more difficult to envision a self-assured, beautiful young woman who looks anything different. It is concerning that Gossip Girl and similar shows, such as Sex and the City and 90210, to name a few, are creating a
5: generation of girls who are dissatisfied with their own physical appearance--regardless of whether this dissatisfaction is conscious or not. Due to publicization by the inescapable media, the lives of celebrities inadvertently influence the general public. Oprah Winfrey, often cited as the most influential woman in the world, is respected by millions. Despite this, in a 2009 edition of The Oprah Magazine, she appeared on the cover, addressing her own weight gain. Oprah’s body has been discussed thoroughly by the media, despite her world-changing achievements in philanthropy and inspiring personal struggles against adversity. The cover shows two photos of Oprah, one from 2009, next to a thinner, happier Oprah from four years earlier. The caption reads, “How did I let this happen again?” It is disappointing that the media is fixated on the physical appearance of Oprah, whose achievements extend so far beyond looks. If even a woman as capable as Oprah Winfrey is subjected to physical judgment, women everywhere will be restrained by their | physical insecurities. It seems that all female role models, however talented, are still judged based on their body. Beyonce and Carrie Underwood, both star singers, are featured on the cover of US Weekly in revealing swimsuits, with the bold text, “2010’s diets that work: How stars get thin fast.” In the media, their beautiful voices become irrelevant, sending a message to young, aspiring singers, that beauty takes precedence over talent and intellect. It is the subliminally powerful authority of the media that provokes deep insecurities in women, driving them to the extremes of anorexia and bulimia when their self-dissatisfaction is overwhelming. According to the South Carolina Department of Health, over eight million Americans have an eating disorder, with a seven to one ratio of men to women. More shockingly, the study shows that over 50% of girls between eleven and thirteen see themselves as overweight. Negative body image, caused by comparison with unrealistic perfection seen in the today’s media, shatters the confidence of girls, inhibiting them from fully pursuing their aspirations. Beauty has become an ugly idea. From World War II to present, the media has increasingly warped the public perception of beauty, causing women to conform to the images they depict. Modern society is supposed to have progressed since days of inequality, but despite equal legal rights, women remain inferior through their objectified representation in the media. Young women of this generation, more than ever, bear the pressure of society to meet physical standards of worthiness. In order for women to overcome the boundaries set by social media, they must create a new concept of “beauty” that values intellect, skill, and morality. Women will not truly be equals until the outdated and limiting definition of beauty is overcome and redefined.
6: Colin A | Our society has become a place of mass communication, centered around the media, one of the strongest forces in the world. Technology feeds the fire, promoting its influence with the rising importance of television, computers, and smartphones where advertisements dominate the screen. A strong example of how the media has helped shape our community is the progression of mankind’s perception of women. Women have worked their way to | equality with men; however they cannot defeat the unshakable concept that looks are everything. As WWII came to an end, the media dismissed ideas about women in the workforce and replaced them with the household wife, while constantly promoting the still embraced image of impractical perfection. During much of WWII, the media encouraged women to help with the war efforts while maintaining the value of beauty. Amid a time when millions of men were fighting the brutish Nazi forces, women were expected to step into the previously male dominated roles. For example, in | this 1940s propaganda poster (Employment), a woman is drilling while with the words “Do the job he left behind” hang above her head. This makes it seem as if women need to be a wife that their husband will be proud of. An important aspect of this poster is the women’s condition; she appears to have spent a considerable amount of time on her make up and hair. The media is sending the message that women are privileged to have the opportunity to work on the same level as men, and need to preserve their beauty if they wish to continue with it. Another example where the media applauds women in the workforce is in a 1940s ad for the Women's Land Army.
7: The image portrays happiness, in the background lays a perfect farm and blue skies. This makes it seem as if the workforce is an untouched delicacy that can only be tapped into with the perfect looks. Both of these posters make the statement that a woman's pride depends her looks; this has largely contributed to today’s judgment by physical appearance. When the war came to an end, the media ceased any ideas of a perfect woman at work and recreated the image of a perfect household wife. Society needed woman to evacuate so the “boys” could have their jobs. Women were expected to resume their daily jobs of cooking, cleaning, and looking after the kids. The media was able to get this message across by surrounding women with these activities in advertisements. For example, in a 1953 Life Magazine ad, a woman with her makeup done and nails manicured is dreaming about a “Crosley Shelvador” refrigerator. This sends two main messages. First off that every | woman's life should revolve around the kitchen and her home. Second, that every woman needs to look good if she wants to feel important in life. The first message is new; it implies that women are of equal importance to appliances around her home. This is different than propaganda during WWII which created the idea that women were of working status. The second message is the reoccurring theme that a woman is only as good as she looks. In both of these messages woman have been lessened to the status of an object. This theme appears again in another 1953 Life Magazine ad for Mornindine | that reads; “Now she can cook breakfast again”. By the look of the woman’s facial expression, it is obvious she is having a fun time while cooking. This ad continues to show the change that Woman are transitioning from the workforce to the kitchen. This ad also gives off a slight subliminal message that says, all women should strive to be like her, and yes cooking makes you happy. This type of marketing has played a huge role in the common stereotype about
8: women in the kitchen. Today, the media has continued with the idea that looks are everything, but replaced the previous role-model woman with one who surrenders her body. The perfect woman is less expected to work or cook, and more expected to expose herself for the greater good of man. In an ad for Hunky Dorys potato chips, the company uses a very suggestive photo of a woman playing rugby, which reads, “Are you staring at my crisps?” While this mainly appeals to men, it reaches the minds of women by telling them that this is what society wants. Advertisements like these force women to like these force women to work harder so that they too can get closer to the optimal woman shown here, and achieve the appreciation of man. On top of that, the fact that this woman is an athlete made to be a minor detail. Instead of celebrating her achievement it highlights that she has a good body. Further more, a possibly over looked significance of this advertisement is that the company is based out of Ireland. This demonstrates the global development of the media’s influence, evidence that it expands outside of the United States The media again exposes women to a nirvana that they feel the need to achieve in an advertisement for BMW. It displays the ideal women handing her over her body for the world to see. The media uses her vulnerability to teach other women how to behave, proving that, like in previous years, the media has command over the representation of women. The media has been able to control the actions of women by supplying role model advertisements, which reflect their ideal occupation and image they need to aspire to. The advertisements below are only a few examples of
9: ideal women during WWII, the 1950s and today. However, the firm belief that a woman’s presentation is all that represents her has begun to be suppressed by many. Female right supporters from all around the world gain strength each day. Maybe one day, everybody will be able to past what women look like on the outside and see them for who they truly are.
10: Misguided Media By: Haley A. | "Our culture is obsessed with the people we see on television and watch in the movies." (Ryan Seacrest, Entertainment Weekly). The media has always had a big influence on how society views women, objectifying them in provocative ways. The media has used women to target men and other women to buy products. Women have been portrayed as weak, stupid and emotional. Their proper place was though to be only in the home. Even with women becoming more predominate in the workforce, the media has degraded women beginning as early as the 1940’s. Although women’s occupations have changed throughout the decades, women’s “real job” in society is to look like the ideal, beautiful, and skinny women depicted in the media. World War II was the first time women were encouraged to leave their homes and go out into the work world. With the men fighting in the war, women were needed to work in order to fill the jobs that were abandoned; however, they needed to fill them while looking beautiful. In the ad trying to persuade women to, “Enlist in a Proud Profession! Join the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps,” is a very good looking women dressed in her work uniform. Prior to the war, we were not likely to see ads promoting women to go out and work. However, in desperate times, desperate measures are sought out. One thing that hasn’t changed is how perfect these women look. In this ad the women’s hair is carefully curled and in place and her makeup and lipstick are still
11: perfectly in tact, despite her long day at work. She is looking off into the distance with a smile on her face as if she loves working. This also suggests that she is looking into the future, hopeful that with women in the work force, giving up their goodness and leaving the kitchen, “her place”, for their men, everything will turn out fine and our men will come home safe. Additionally, in the black and white photo of the four women with the words printed above them, “For your country’s sake today- For your own sake tomorrow” the women are used to make a bold statement that the country needs them at work in order to win this war. This ad makes the country seem so desperate that the women can even “go to the nearest recruiting station of the armed service of your choice”. They will take anyone, anywhere that is willing to work. Unlike the fist ad, in this one the women are not smiling and in fact have serious, worried looks on their faces showing that they don’t have as much hope and if women don’t step up to the plate, we are very likely to loose this war. Additionally the black and white makes its seem more desperate, saying that we are in a dark time and we need women now more than ever. However, despite the distressed times the women never | fail to look good, again, with their hair perfect and their skin flawless. In fact, all four women could be sisters they look so similar with only slight shifts of their hairstyles and the color of their shirts. This ad is almost promoting that the way women look and present themselves is just as important as helping win the war. No matter what reasons women are mentioned for in the media, one thing for sure is that they will always look perfect. Returning veterans came back home to find their homes dramatically changed, causing resentment towards the women who had taken their jobs while away at war. As the war ended and men came back to their families, women went back to being needed in the home and being feminine and fragile. In the February 6th, 1956 edition of Life magazine of the ad for a Crosley stove, the women dressed in a fancy blouse and skirt with high heals seem to be having a blast while cooking. This ad encourages women to buy the stove ensuring that they will have fun while cooking. Additionally, it states that women who buy the eclectic stove have “Beauty and Brains”. Unlike the ads for WWII women in the 1950’s ads were encouraged to work in their homes rather than out in the real world. They were usually depicted as cooking for their families or cleaning their houses. The ideal woman was one that stayed home and looked great. Despite the change of time, women were still presented with nice
12: hair, makeup, and clothes, the classic Hollywood girl. Additionally, in the ad with the four pictures of women doing different jobs around the house, all women are dressed in fancy dresses with their makeup and hair done and high heals on. This ad again shows the ideal woman, one who enjoys doing housework and looks great while doing it. In each picture, the women have pleasant faces on showing that they’d rather be cleaning than out working at a real job. Again, this ad differs from WWII ads because it promotes women to stay at home rather than go out and get a job, however, regardless of time period, women have always been seen more for their looks rather than what they can offer. As times have changed drastically from the 1950’s concerning women’s occupations, they are still promoted as beautiful and modelesque in today’s media. On the Glamour magazine cover is a picture of Miley Cyrus dressed in the latest fashion. Miley looks extremely happy suggesting that looking good, which includes having nice clothes, nice hair, and wearing makeup, creates happiness. The text on the page draws the eye to the words, “Little Ways to Your Best Body,” which shows how the media thinks girls should be skinny. Furthermore, because the media promotes what the ideal body looks like they put this idea into the minds of not only women but men as well. Because Miley is still a teenager this ad targets a younger audience unlike the ads for World War II and the 1950’s. Moreover, the magazine cover for Lucky with Amanda Seyfried on it shows her looking flawless with nice hair, skin, and clothes. The magazine specifically seems to focus on how to obtain “perfect skin” which seems ironic because its quite evident that Amanda’s skin doesn’t really look like what it does in the photo. Despite the amount of makeup she has on its still very unlikely to have “perfect skin”, which means the media has resided to retouching and airbrushing these women to maintain the “ideal” image they have created. The magazine cover also advertises
13: “affordable glamour” giving people who don’t have tons of money the “chance” to get the same fabulous look as all the famous celebrities because all it takes is buying a few products. The media is doing this to get a larger audience, saying that no matter how little money you have there are no excuses to not be up with the latest fashion. Because the media portrays women in an unrealistic fashion it negatively affects young girls who then try to achieve an impossible goal. Although women have made many positive progressions in society, such as becoming predominate in the work force, women are still depicted in a demeaning way by the media. For many years, ads have portrayed women in a sexist way hindering woman’s progress by making them believe their most important attribution to society is their appearance. Young girls and even grown women are developing their idea of beauty off a totally fake perception that only exists on paper. However, the people who accept these ads are the ones who keep the stereotype alive, which can only be eliminated when people accept their beauty for what it is.
14: As a society, we view the media as a pastime and reality entertainment. But what we don't realize is that it is a business, feeding on human emotion to sell a product or idea. Under the false pretense that perfection is attainable, people go to drastic lengths to obtain the “ideals” of society. Sometimes endorsements can even be detrimental to personal health. For example, anorexia, the third most common chronic illness among U.S. adolescents, may be heightened by advertising that emphasizes unnaturally skinny body types. Throughout generations, the visual media has magnified stereotypes in order to target specific markets. Seeking community support during the crisis of World War II, the media fed into public hysteria by dramatizing stereotypes of the “enemy”. As seen in the propaganda to rally against the Japanese, Hideki Tojo, Prime Minister of Japan during most of WWII, is shown with absurdly large teeth, huge ears, and yellow skin. | Influencing The Eye of The Beholder Courtney B.
15: The initial physical appearance closely resembles that of a monkey, signifying that members of the Japanese race were less human than Caucasians. Likewise, he is speaking English with very choppy, foreign grammar. Americans during the ‘40s tended to generalize that people of Japanese ethnicity could not speak English properly, and often degraded them to a low level of status. By painting this label of inhumanity and lack of intelligence on the Japanese, United States citizens rallied against them. | Similarly, in the propaganda for generalized promotion against the axis powers, both Hitler and Tojo are portrayed with exceedingly exaggerated features that make them appear to be inhuman. This common usage of an animalistic portrayal of the enemies helped marshal nationalism for the U.S. war effort. In political cartoons of this era, light skin color and very modest features typically depicted the average American. However, the chosen antagonist was shown with very large, ugly traits, and featured a malevolent expression. With new stereotypical adversaries, the media succeeded in utilizing the audience’s distaste towards the enemy to create support for the army.
16: Desiring that women fulfill household duties while keeping up their physical perfection, the media used advertisements as an attempt to set gender-role stereotypes into reality. In the Kenwood Chef ad, the woman is not only made-up to perfection with perfect curls and ruby-red nails, but also physically propped up by her husband. Taking on a role at home, women were dependent on their husbands both financially and socially, figuratively “leaning” on them for survival. Not only does this ad suggest that a woman’s job is at home, but it actually states it, “that’s what wives are for”. When it became socially acceptable to limit the aspirations of women, further persecution of women’s rights transformed into a justifiable action.
17: Similarly, the ad for Johnson’s wax expresses the idea that these gender roles should be permanent and passed down to future generations. Both mother and daughter are dressed modestly, showing just the perfect amount of their faultless legs. The adolescent girl appears to be enjoying the housework, excitedly watching her mother clean a table. This promotion shows the beginning of the endorsement epidemic centered on an opinion, rather than a product. Taking advantage of female audiences, the media subliminally enforced gender-role stereotypes.
18: The media today uses the idea of a fantasy to increase male attention to visual entertainment, solidifying gender stereotypes and values in the process. The Dolce and Gabbana ad depicts a man asserting a commanding power over a woman, while in a compromising position. He is physically holding down her arms, as if to keep her from resisting him. There is an additional set of on-lookers observing the exploit. While on the surface it appears as simply an expression of “sex sells” in advertising, a deeper analysis reveals an alarming imitation of a gang rape. This outbreak of promoting the male image of power and authority has resulted in new guidelines for masculinity.
19: Likewise, two women with unattainably thin bodies and a lack of clothing fill up the entirety of the Maxim cover. The media, viewing this as the male fantasy, uses photos of attractive women to entice readers. Since boys are conditioned to believe that a woman’s value equates to her ability to conform to societal standards, a domino effect ensues. Once men become used to this ideal, women start to limit their own significance and increase dependence on media stereotypes. Even today, companies utilize subliminal stereotyping in visual media to focus on specific audiences and promote their products. s | In the course of history, visual media has used human stereotypes to target markets. Advertising has honed the art of photo manipulating to achieve the depiction of “perfection”. Unless the media’s influence over self-value changes, humanity may fall into the trap of self-doubt, never achieving true happiness.
20: The average adult is exposed to 600 to 625 advertisements every day, meaning that about 4,000 times a week an adult is subject to potential manipulation. This is due to the fact that no matter what form of ad you are exposed to, whether it be a commercial, a billboard, etc. they are all very influential. Advertisements are the media’s weapon when trying to control society and how it functions. One particular group of Americans, who, over time, have been greatly affected by ads, is women. Although in the past advertisements at one point encouraged to women join the workforce during World War II, they then persuaded them to return back to the house during the 1950’s. Today ads encourage them to do both. Historically ads have manipulated women’s sense of place in society and attempted to limit her aspirations; while women are currently featured in the workforce, they are still bound by their role of being a housewife. The World War II era was one that forced change in women’s role in society from the traditional ways of being a housewife to joining the workforce. During this time men were constantly leaving home to fight Hitler and his armies overseas. These brave many left behind their families, homes, and most importantly their work. Because these job vacancies were continuously forming, it soon became a necessity to have these gaps filled. But, men were not there to rise up to the challenge, there were simply not enough available. Hiring women quickly became the only option. Soon enough women were encouraged to get out of the house to find and take the jobs that the soldiers had left behind. But who’s to say women wanted to veer from their normal lifestyle. How would they become motivated? This is where propaganda advertisements came into use. Advertisements soon became one of the driving forces behind inspiring women. For example, one advertisement titled “soldiers without guns”, shows a picture of women in working attire above the caption. This was one of the many advertisements at the time that encouraged women to participate in helping their country during wartime. The advertisement referred to the women as “soldiers” to convince them that they too can be as much a part of the war as the men fighting. Also, in this advertisement, the camera is angled such that the women seem to be higher in the frame. The significance of this was to exemplify that, since these women are doing their part for their country, they have greater importance and respect. This tactic would lure in women seeking admiration and value from men. Another interesting feature about the picture is that all the women are done in makeup, with perfect nails, hair, and lips. This was a detail added by the advertisers to show that women, even with a job, can still look gorgeous and still maintain their femininity. | The Power of the Media Jeffrey C.
21: Appearances were extremely important to women at the time, and associating working women with good looks must of been very enticing to those chasing visual perfection. Therefore, this ad is exhibiting to women that if they obtain a job, then they will essentially have it all, including the respect, admiration, beauty, and femininity that you would supposedly gain when you acquire a job. A second advertisement that sought to convince women to get war jobs states, “Get a War Job!” Above these subtitles was a picture of a woman grasping her husband’s letters who had gone to fight the war. This ad was, like many others, targeted towards wives of soldiers. It states, “Longing won’t bring him back sooner”, which brings a sense of guilt and sadness. The ad attempts to play with the reader’s emotions, persuading them to help by imposing a heavy burden upon them. The burden being the desire to have their husbands return home. These advertisements, along with many others, shaped the outcome of how jobs were filled during WWII. They served as a great source of motivation for the “housewives” to get out of the house and assist their country. | Although women were encouraged to get jobs during World War II, they were persuaded to leave the work force once the war ended and the men came home. Society wanted to return to the old status quo. Similar to tactics used during World War II, advertising was used to manipulate women and was a major strategy used during the 1950’s. This time, however, the goal was not to get the women into the workforce, but instead get them out. One example of this was a refrigerator ad in a 1953 Time magazine. The picture in this ad contained a sleeping woman. Below her the subtitles state that “It is three o’clock in the morning”, and she is dreaming about her Crosley Shelvador refrigerator. By stating this, the ad is associating woman with kitchen appliances, and inferring that they would be the person in the family who would use them, making the reader feel as though it is the woman’s duty to perform activities in the kitchen such as cooking. This ad also attempts to demonstrate how leisurely the life of a housewife can be. This message is shown through the sleeping woman. She appears to be peaceful, beautiful, and elegantly clothed. By giving this woman these qualities the ad is showing how nice the life of woman who works in the kitchen can be. This image of the woman is even encompassed in a heart, resembling the happiness and fulfillment this refrigerator supposedly brings her. Another advertisement that attempts to bait women into becoming “women of the house” is a Pep vitamin ad.
22: In this ad it states, “The harder she works the cuter she looks”. The picture in the background contains a wife with a duster and maid attire, with a man hugging her from behind. This ad gives the reader a view of what the media, at the time, perceived as the perfect wife. This woman would be someone who was cute and works around the house. Not only does this show how a wife should be the “housekeeper”, but it also exhibits how a wife can appear attractive to her husband. The ad says how the, “harder [women] work, the cuter they look”. This would put women under the impression that doing chores around the house would make them look more appealing. Woman, at the time, wanted to do anything to please their man. The wife in the ad also seems cheerful and lively, as if she enjoys “working” around the house. Making women appear joyful in their lives at home was a common tactic used by the media to make women want to leave the workforce and return home. Advertisements played a very influential role in manipulating and controlling the way of life for women living in the 1950’s. | Although women have gained many rights over the years and are currently featured as equal members in the workforce, they are still expected to be the perfect housewife. Women’s rights have increased exponentially since the 1950’s era. They can now be found in practically every field of the workforce and currently range from CEO’s, to salesmen, to even senators. In ads all across the country it is clear that they are trying to form the impression that women do in fact belong in the workplace, to a certain extent. They feel that woman now do in fact have a place in the workforce, but their previous roles in society still loom. One modern advertisement that encourages women to join the workforce is an AT&T smart phone commercial. This commercial is one that takes place in the customary cubical office space. In the center of the frame it shows a group of employees during their lunch break. This may seem insignificant, but the importance is embedded in the gender breakdown in this shot, 3 guys and 3 girls. This equal balance is a way for the media to promote gender equality within the labor force. These kind of subtle aspects are what the media use to persuade women to have a goals set on obtaining a job. But it is clear that the women are still depicted with skirts and dresses, thus showing how the media still emphasizes the importance of the attractiveness of women.
23: Not all advertisements seem to urge women into the work place. But the media instead uses some to influence women to act as the ideal housewife. Cleaning ads, cooking ads, and even diaper ads are all directed towards women. One example of this is a 2009 Swiffer duster advertisement. In this ad it features a women putting the new Swiffer duster into use by cleaning the house. Below her lies the Swiffer logo. The significance of this ad is, first off, that the woman is the one cleaning the house. Men are rarely ever contained in an ad that has anything to do with cleaning, instead these ads always use a female. A second important feature of this ad is the woman’s facial expression. She seems happy and content with the endless time she must have spent cleaning. The mood of the women gives the impression that the media wants women to perceive cleaning as something fun and even rewarding. Another ad that expresses the media’s manipulative manner in trying to get women back in the home is a Pampers diaper ad. This ad consists of a mother looking proudly at her baby who is attempting to climb to the top of the couch. The importance of this ad is that is holds much symbolism within it. The mother watches the baby as he/she climbs. This would be representative of a mother watching over or caring for the child as he/she grows up or takes new risks. This symbolism would imply that pampers expects the women to be the one who stays home to care for the child. This use of women caring for the child would also influence how wives carry on after the birth of their baby. Seeing this diaper ad containing a woman and not a man would lead them to believe that this is how their family should operate, that they should be the ones who sacrifice their jobs to nurture their adolescent. The prevalence of women featured in both work and home implies that not only are women are still expected to be the housekeeper, but that even if they have a job they are still expected to clean and cook when they return home. Modern day’s conflicting ads leave women with a choice. Should they stick to the ways of the 1950’s or should divert from that and strive for respect and authority? | Advertisements have, and will continue to, shape the foundations of our nation. In the past, ads attempted to control women and manipulate her role in society. While nowadays she is influenced to join the workforce, the media still reminds women of their duty of being the housekeeper. Whether we as a country agree, advertisements will continue to become more prominent in our daily lives. With new technologies such as Smartphones and Ipads, our exposure to ads will keep growing. At this rate, the amount of ads we see daily could jump from 600 to 1000, and the media will have a tighter grip around us then ever before. We cannot change progress or the production ads, but what we can change is how we react to them. In the growing world of ads and commercials, consumers need to rise above them, and for the first time, refuse to allow our lives to be manipulated by the media.
24: Women Throughout the Ages “If you think you can do a thing, you’re right. If you think you can’t do a thing, you’re right!” – Henry Ford. This quote by an American Industrialist named Henry Ford, illustrates how if you believe in you’re ability to achieve something, you can do it, and if you don’t believe in your ability to perform a certain task, then your belief will stunt your ability. For a very long time, the media has used advertisements to sell their product or lifestyle by the use of persuasion. In order to get you to share the same point of view with them, the media tries to convince you that you must use this product or live this way of life because it will be beneficial to incorporate into your own life. Through the use of the media, women in particular have been targeted and told they must live up to certain expectations in their daily lives in order to fulfill their “life’s mission.” Through the use and manipulation of the media over time, women have always been pressured to live a certain way and achieve unattainable perfection through a specific product, ultimately resulting in a lack of progress pertaining to the restrictions on women’s aspirations. | During the 1940s, the media was able to limit women’s aspirations by demanding physical perfection in all aspects of their lives in order to be considered feminine. During World War II when a significant amount of men went off to fight in the war, they left behind their jobs. As a result of the lack of workers, the media targeted women in an attempt to convince them that they needed to fulfill their duty to their country by taking the men’s positions. | By Brianna D.
25: While the need for women to fill these positions was real, women were still restricted by society’s demand that women look absolutely perfect no matter what they do. In one advertisement, a woman is shown with a caption above her head saying, “We Can Do It” and her sleeve is neatly rolled up while she flexes her bicep. The woman does this in order to show her ability to do a “man-sized job” and the strength she has gained from getting a war job and fulfilling her duty to her country. Although she is showing her capability to do the job, her bicep has no real definition which would normally be shown on a man’s bicep, meaning that the underlying message of the advertisement is that in order to do this job, the woman must maintain her femininity. Additionally, her hair is neatly wrapped inside a bandanna, her make up is perfectly done, and not a spec of dirt can be found on her uniform. Clearly, the advertiser is trying to convince women to step out of their traditional roles as housewives by hinting that they have the ability to perform a masculine task, but are still able to keep their femininity by rolling up their sleeves and putting on make up. Although the advertiser tries to convince women that they’re able to do a “man-size” job, the advertisement also shows through the use of the woman’s make up, neatly wrapped hair and clean uniform, that they must fulfill their duties while looking perfect at all times. | Another example of the media’s demand for physical perfection is an advertisement for lipstick for which she claims is, “the most wonderful lipstick in the world!” (Max Factor Hollywood). The famous Hollywood star also has perfectly curled hair, eyebrows, and plenty of make up on her face. Not only is the advertisement trying to convince you that their lipstick is the best in the world, but with the added perfection of this woman’s make up, hair and eyebrows, it is obvious that the advertisement implies that no matter what you’re doing you must always look “perfect” and promises the customers that you can look just like this woman if you buy this lipstick. Thus, leading women to believe that the unrealistic goal of achieving the perfect look is something they must all strive for, something that is “expected” of them in society.
26: Not only did the media limit woman’s aspirations by demanding an unrealistic physical appearance, but it also demanded that women fulfill certain expectations and live their life caring for their family at home through their product. During the 1950s, the men had come home from the war and expected their families, along with their jobs, to be there waiting for them. So, in order to get the women to return to their duties at home, the media portrayed images of women looking happy doing household chores like cleaning or cooking, reinforcing the idea that women were not needed in the workforce any longer and that their work belonged in the home. In one advertisement, a man wraps his arm around his wife saying, “so the harder a wife looks, the cute she looks!” (Kellogg’s PEP Vitamins). The woman looks up lovingly at her husband with her duster in one hand, a nice dress with a pretty apron tied around her waist, heels, and even her hair and make up looks perfect after a hard, but “rewarding” day of cleaning the house. Thus, the advertisement is reinforcing the idea that the women along with their “expertise” were needed in the home at this time. Clearly through this advertisement, woman were expected to lead lives involving only domestic chores and while they dusted, cleaned and cooked all day, she was still able to maintain her neat and pretty appearance. So, by taking Kellogg’s PEP Vitamins, a woman would have all the energy and “pep” she needed to get through the day doing her household chores. Also, her husband would also take notice and commend her on her chipper attitude, knowing she must have taken her PEP Vitamins. Clearly through this advertisement, woman were expected to lead lives involving only domestic chores and while they dusted, cleaned and cooked all day, she was still able to maintain her neat and pretty appearance. | So, by taking Kellogg’s PEP Vitamins, a woman would have all the energy and “pep” she needed to get through the day doing her household chores. Also, her husband would also take notice and commend her on her chipper attitude, knowing she must have taken her PEP Vitamins. Another advertisement that shows the media’s expectations of women to live a certain way through their product, is an advertisement for a Kentwood Chef mixing bowl. The ad states, “The Chef Does Everything But Cook, That’s What Wives Are For!” (Kentwood Chef). The Man and Woman look very happy as the woman leans on the man, smiling with her hair and make up absolutely perfect. Clearly, the media is blatantly trying to enforce the idea that women belong in the home cooking. With their new Kentwood Chef mixing bowl, women can now make food faster, giving woman more of a convenience when completing their domestic duties. Also, judging from the woman’s painted nails and neat appearance, the advertiser tries to show that you can spend time making delicious food while still maintaining your well-groomed appearance and even gain the praise of your husband through the use of this mixing bowl! Obviously, through the media’s advertising, women are expected to look and lives a certain way through the use of a product.
27: Even in modern times, women are used to sell products and a lifestyle, along with having to live up to the expectations the media has for them. Although women aren’t expected to become housewives, they are still under pressure to look a certain way. In a recent advertisement selling a fragrance for Juicy Couture, a woman is dressed in a provocative manner. Her skin is completely clear of any imperfections, her hair is styled and her make up is perfectly intact as she puts her hand against the over sized perfume bottle and leans against the wall. Judging by the inappropriate clothing the woman wears and the way her skin glistens in the light, the media implies that women are expected to look like this on a daily basis. Also, the perfume bottle is enlarged in the picture to show how the model next to the product, is used merely as an accessory to sell the fragrance. Thus, the advertisement is sending the message that if a woman buys this perfume; she can look just like the model next to the perfume. Through modern day advertisements showing women with a perfect appearance, the media has created certain physical standards and expectations targeted towards women. Another advertisement selling a product and physical appearance targeted towards women is an advertisement for a Swiffer Wet Jet. There is a woman holding the product with a smile on her face as if mopping the floors is a rewarding and pleasurable activity that gives women a sense of accomplishment. | The women in the ad also has her hair looking perfect and her outfit has not one spec of dirt on it, implying that this is the way all women should look regardless of the task they’re completing. Also, in the background of the advertisement, the woman’s son is sitting at the table eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The young boy makes no effort to clean up the mess he has made or put away the peanut butter or jar of jelly because he knows his mother is right there with her “handy” Swiffer Wet Jet and will clean up whatever mess he makes. The caption in the ad says, “He made it in the kitchen and ate it in the dining room. With Swiffer Wet Jet, both floors were clean before he was” (Swiffer Wet Jet). Clearly, this product is targeted towards woman because of the woman holding the mop in the advertisement, showing that in the eyes of the media, women still have the responsibility to do the domestic chores around the house and clean up after their children. Women in the media are still expected to do the domestic chores around the house and take care of their kids. Through the use and manipulation of the media over time, women have always been pressured to live a certain way and achieve unattainable perfection through a specific product, ultimately restricting women’s aspirations. The role of women in society throughout the 1940s and 1950s, to modern day has essentially stayed the same. As a result of the media’s influence, there are many people in this world who still cannot let go of their traditional beliefs that women belong in the home taking care of the children and doing domestic chores. Although there are some individuals in this world who are able to look past women’s traditional roles of maintaining a perfect physical appearance while doing work around their home, many people still have a hard time embracing women into the workforce or see them as anything but a housewife. In order for the role of women to change in society, the media must get rid of their demands for physical perfection, and stop objectifying women in advertisements by using them as accessories to sell products and a lifestyle. Only then can the restrictions on women’s aspirations be gone forever.
28: Music serves as a vehicle into the inner workings of our souls. Our emotions and ideas are manipulated by both the auditory and visual stimuli it provides us. The music industry, often hijacks the artists’ ability to attract the attention of large crowds to take advantage of this power; using our idols to skew our perception of the world around us. The 1950s featured relatable artists who embodied the “all American ideal,” with clean-cut album covers, while the modern music industry reflects our growing consumerism with artists pushing boundaries with their lyrics and images. By promoting bands based on their ability to generate revenue, the music industry is able to control how we feel about our society, capitalizing on current events and influencing how we believe we need to act to lead a successful life. | White Noise: The Impact of the Music Industry on Society | By Nathalie D.
29: Marked by warfare and unease, The 1940s served as a chance for inspirational and patriotic music which boosted moral to flourish as people searched for something positive in a world at war. Jazz with its full brass sound became the predominant styles of the time with artists such as Glenn Miller leading the way. With his Army- Air Force Band, Miller also contributed to the war efforts by traveling overseas to raise morale of the troops. The record cover for “Army- Air Force Band” features a pilots cap with golden eagle crest right in the middle of the design, contrasted by a light background, causing your eye to be drawn to it initially. This shows that service is being held and high regard, with the main focus of this album not only being the music, but the importance of | paying homage to the men in uniform. The light blue, calm sky with soft clouds gives a sense of gentleness, evoking the feeling that America will reign victorious at the ends of the War and that the heavens are playing in our favor. The fact that the cap is in the sky also expresses the idea that the men in arms are comparable to our guardian angels, protectively watching over us.
30: One of the most popular songs that Miller performed, “When you wish upon a star,” includes the verse, “There'll be love and laughter And peace ever after Tomorrow, when the world is free.” Here, the lyricist is insinuating that if everyone simply keeps there spirits up, the world will be liberated from the suffering of war and peace will blanket the earth. Jazz musicians filled the void to keep the people at home and troops overseas swinging to the bright, fast-paced tunes. Without a doubt, the feeling of emptiness associated with warfare served as a springboard for artists who reflected the pain that people were experiencing while still creating positive, dance-able songs because they offered people the sense of euphoria that they yearned for when the rest of their lives had fallen into uncertainty brought about by WWII. | In the 1950s, people were struggling to rebuild after the loss of so many on the battlefields overseas and the popular music of the time reflected that yearning for stability. Frank Sinatra’s album cover for “In the wee small hours” shows him leaning against a wall sometime at night smoking a cigarette.
31: The clean city fades off into distance with no other people in sight, and so, our gazed is fixed entirely on Sinatra. He looks pensive, eyes fixed on something that is not there, cigarette loosely hanging at his side; clearly, thinking of life’s “higher calling” or something else that transcends the problems of the physical world. From an appearance standpoint, he is dressed in the typical garb of the 1950s; black hat, jacket, white shirt, and tie- making him identifiable and not a distant superstar, a closeness that would’ve been desired to fill the void left by World War II. However, the 1950’s were also a time when Rock and R&B began to gain footing; and, conversely, the beginning of censorship. There was a Billie Holiday song by the name of “Love For Sale,” none of the radio stations were allowed to play it because of its strong sexual content and depiction of prostitution as she sang, “Appetizing young love for sale.If you want to buy my wares.Follow me and climb the stairs. Love for sale.” The connotation of “appetizing” young women selling their bodies, or wares, to passerby is one of looseness and promiscuity that was in sharp contrast to them image of the “ideal,” one mom, one dad, 2.5 children- clean-cut American family that the media exemplified.
32: This is displayed In a 7-up advertisement in the December 1955 edition of TIME magazine, as the large green 7-up bottle is accompanied by a smiling husband, wife, daughter and son, dressed in warm, vibrant colors. The son is dressed in a cowboy outfit, representing our robust, American heritage and how it lives on into modern times. The ease and general warmth associated with the family’s disposition is being sold in addition to the product; covering up for the scars left by WWII by pitching family unity in ways that extend beyond the music. When constantly bombarded with these messages, it is inevitable that people would compare themselves to these “perfect” family dynamics, and strive to achieve this unattainable standard.After the tumultuous times of the 1940s, the media refused to acknowledge any deviance from the rigid image of the stable, happy American household which music industry and advertisements fought fiercely to endorse during the 50s. | Our modern era can simply be defined as fast paced; with industries booming and technology gaining more of a standing in day to day life, the pressure to be innovative is stronger than ever before. Artists like Lady Gaga try to push the envelope a little bit more with each passing
33: album, gaining popularity with her message of acceptance regardless of “weirdness.” The album cover for “Born this Way” features Lady Gaga’s face with haphazardly tossed hair, squinted eyes, and open, snarling mouth. On the whole, the image conveys a sense of savagery; however, this is contrasted by her make up and the way her black and white skin is lightened to the point where it is almost glowing, creating an image which is beautiful in an unconventional sense of the word. The fact that only her lips are in a color, a dark, shimmering red, immediately draws us to them. That deliberate choice most likely serves as a physical reminder to the listen to pay attention to Lady Gaga’s lyrics because they are life-giving, something vibrant in a world composed of shades of gray. The title, “Born this Way,” sends a strong message that we are not to attempt to change people for the way the behave or look. This directly adheres to the current Gay movement which is sweeping this country, reflecting the feelings of the many people refusing to put up with the lack of tolerance for those who are different any longer.
34: Just as the music industry attempted to pitch a lifestyle in the 1940s and ‘50s, the same transaction exists today. However, unlike the clean-cut, relatable appearance and mannerisms of those artists, musicians of the modern age are theatrical and extravagant, appearing to be on an entirely different plan of existence than the average person. Because we then aspire to have lives like those we consider to be successful, like music icons, we drive materialism to an all-time high. This philosophy is present in Nickelback’s song, “Rockstar”, as the singer reflects, “ ‘Cause we all just want to be big rock stars Live in hilltop houses Driving fifteen cars.” The idea that we all yearn for these symbols of wealth and power such as houses and cars can be directly tied back to the portrayal of media figures such as Lady Gaga leading far from average lifestyles. When the media portrays the lifestyles of music stars, our idols, to be extravagant and driven by the physical world, they are convincing society that in order to be successful, they must be financially prosperous.
35: Although bands are free to express any of their personal beliefs through their artistry, the industry strategically picks and chooses which groups they promote and which they choose to censor. The music that becomes popular during a particular era is not merely a coincidence, but a direct reflection of current events and the beliefs systems that emerge as a result of these circumstances. Popular music may depict the general attitude of an era, however, naturally these sentiments are not shared by all. People are naturally drawn to what they can easily relate to or aspire to become like, and by examining our personal music choices we can effectively discover what out subconscious desires are. Inevitably, you will discover trends and thus be able to piece together your own worldly perceptions if you can distance yourself from the bombardment of the media’s “pre-chewed” information. If we do not recognize the power the music industry to use artists to project a particular way of thinking, we will be nothing more than marionettes who can not filter information and establish their own, unique moral code.
36: Looking Past the Looks Ekaterina D. Did you know that an average person is exposed to 9 hours of media every day? (“Miss Representation”) In the world today, our lives revolve around technology and media. We use the Internet every day whether it is for working or enjoyment purposes. Thus our lives, sometimes without us knowing it, are shaped by the messages sent out by media. Among the many factors of our lives that the media has affected, the most important one by far has been the identification of our role in society. By observing the media, one can see how advertisements have created an unattainable ideal for women in order to restrain them to the advantage of the middle aged white males controlling the media throughout history. Even though before World War II the role of women had been staying at home, motivated by the gap in the workplace media began to change that role by calling out to women to take jobs that once belonged to men. In posters, such as the one encouraging women to join the Land Army, the woman is portrayed as beautiful and very well put together despite the fact that she’s supposed to be working on a farm. Two messages can be learned form this poster; one is that the reason the media was pushing women to take the jobs of men was because the positions needed to be filled. The second message encouraged continued femininity by showing that you can stay beautiful even working in the fields (a less likely outcome). This poster was also implying society saw the appearance of women as something they should and would value the most. By showing a good-looking woman making this sacrifice it was not only teaching women what was accepted by society but also it was implying that a successful woman has to look perfect to be ideally accepted. Other posters throughout that time period mirrored similar messages. The famous poster of Rosie the Riveter shows a female that is, judging by the way that she looks, supposed to be a factory worker. However, even though she should be performing a very hard job she looks pretty without a single mark of dirt or sweat on her face. A viewer can tell that Rosie is wearing both mascara and lipstick. Her hair is tied back in a very neat and classy manner reveling some of her beautiful brown hair. By showing this very well put together woman they are implying that the job won’t be that
37: hard, the woman will remain beautiful and it is the right thing to do. Another poster from that time period shows a woman similar to Rosie the riveter. She also seems like a factory worker. She is holding a tool and is in the process of fixing a machine. She looks beautiful despite the atmosphere that she is supposed to be working in. Her shirt is white which realistically should have been stained by dirt and oil. Her hair is pulled back by a beautiful red hairpiece that brings out the color of her lipstick. This headpiece is very similar to the one that Rosie the Riveter was wearing probably in order to reinforce the fact that factory workers can remain beautiful. She is looking out into the distance and in the background you can see her husband fighting in the war. The writing underneath states, “The girl he left behind is still behind him she’s a WOW.” The WOW stands for Women of War. This slogan encourages women to support their husbands that left to fight by taking on jobs and helping their country. The fact that in all of the ads that were around World War II showed beautiful women performing hard jobs shows that society believed that the way a woman looked was important. This is the reason why the media thought it was very important to emphasize the fact that women would not lose their beauty by taking on these jobs. Furthermore, they are manipulating the desire of women to be accepted by society by showing these posters to achieve their goal of placing women in the workforce. In short, these advertisements are attempting to mold the way that women behave which proved successful because a lot of women did start working jobs that once belonged to men. After World War II, women weren’t needed in factories or farms any more, so the white males of the media decided to enforce the fact that women belonged in the kitchen and couldn’t do anything without men. In the ad that was advertising the new LEWYT vacuum cleaner, it focuses on a delicate woman holding the vacuum cleaner and cleaning. There are no husbands present in the advertisement because the males that were controlling the media are trying to give back jobs to the men that came back from the war. They were achieving this goal by sending the message to women that their priority is to be a housewife who cleans and cooks for her husband. By showing these perfect women such as this one who manages to clean the house, cook and stay beautiful they force the women to work hard to achieve this impossible perfection. By keeping women busy as housewives, they were stopping them from them from adding another problem to
38: their agenda such as working at a real job. Other images in this time era reinforce this idea. The ad that is advertising the Kellogg’s Pep Vitamins shows a husband praising his wife for working hard to keep the house clean. She is wearing a cute dress that looks brand new and not a bit stained from sweat or dirt that usually stains cloth from doing housework. She looks like she’s wearing make-up and her hair is perfectly done. The husband has his arm wrapped around her wife smiling with praise and satisfaction almost saying that his wife is accomplishing her job perfectly. The woman shown looks happy to be praised and thus suggests to women that by being housewives and making their husbands happy will result in their satisfaction. The fact that the woman looks gorgeous and pretty after doing such hard work signifies that other women should be able to achieve this as well. These types of images are implying that women can only be successful by being gorgeous housewives who work to meet the needs of their husbands. This message was also introduced to younger girls. A Seventeen magazine from that time period shows a young pretty girl on the cover. She is wearing a beautiful dress that is later advertised as the perfect piece of clothing to wear at during the Holidays to achieve grace and beauty. We also see a guy sitting next to girl on the cover. This shows that the girl needs to buy this dress and look pretty for that special boy that she loves. The dress is white symbolizing purity and can be associated with brides and marriage. This further encourages teenagers to consider marriage and a life at home as a housewife. In addition to implying that women’s main job was to be good looking and please men this was selling the product by showing how beautiful you would look if you bought this dress. By reading such magazines as they were growing up, girls already started believing that that was indeed their role. In such way, these types of ads were the perfect way for the middle aged white males that were controlling the media to give a woman an impossible task to keep them in their place at home instead of working.
39: Even though women have gradually received more power and equality as the years went by, the media still implies the importance of appearance of women for their benefits. For example, by examining the ad for the Doir J’adore perfume one can see how the object of focus is the beautiful woman. The woman that is in focus is a talented actress however here the focus on the ad is her beauty and physical appearance. This image of a woman immediately grabs your attention by the way that her body is positioned. The gold color of her skin immediately catches your eye. The confident look on her face immediately interests you. The perfume itself that is being advertised is in the right corner much less focused than the female. This is because the media is using this image of the woman to grab the attention of the other members of the female gender implying that if they buy this perfume they will look just as pretty. Other advertisements show similar pattern. For example, the ad that is selling L’Oreal lip gloss also features an image of a woman. The woman in the ad is a well-known actress as well. However, here again, her talent for acting isn’t the focus. The focus is the ways he looks. The woman has full beautiful lips the especially stand out to show the power of the gloss in beautifying the way you appear. Her skin is flawless and her eyes have a lot of makeup applied to them. In this ad, the product itself isn’t shown. There is only a caption promising that the gloss lasts for 6 hours in order to imply that you will be able to look gorgeous for an extended time. The name of the product, Glam Shine, is mention, however, not shown. By selling products using images of dazzling women, which may not necessarily relate to the product itself, our society constantly reinforces that the most important aspect of a woman is the way she looks. These types of messages still continue to be implied in the magazine Seventeen just like it was in the 1950s. By looking at the modern Seventeen cover, a cover of a magazine that’s targeted for teenagers, one always finds a stunningly pretty girl. By picking out these amazingly gorgeous girls to be on the cover of this magazine, they are teaching teenagers that the way they look really matters.
40: Inside the magazine, you can usually find the makeup that was used in the photos shot or where the clothe of the model came from. They use the gorgeous girls to grab the eye of young teens and awaken the desire in them to be like that. The other headings on the cover further attempt to mold the minds of young girls. Words like “Pretty for spring”, “Flat Abs”, “Best Guy Advice” and “Cutest Clothes” jump at you. Such words send the message to girls that the way they look and the guys they date are what defines, which isn’t true. Media sells products by implanting the desire for young girls to look pretty and buy the products advertised in the magazine in an attempt to achieve this beauty. Thus, since we are young, women are already taught that looking appealing is good and that we should work hard to look as appealing as possible. The men of media manipulate the wishes of women to become pretty to sell products. The modern day type of advertising repeatedly implies that the worth of a woman is valued by her looks because males do control the media and it is in their interest that women do not take their full potential and purchase products in an attempt to become more accepted.
41: Throughout history, the men of media have used the concept of beauty to manipulate women to their advantage. From encouraging women to work in factories to selling products, the best interest of women was never considered. From a young age little girls are always complemented on ‘how cute they look’ subconsciously because that is what we believe is important for little girls to hear. Not ever do we encourage little girls to show of their reading or math skills. We never start a conversation asking what their favorite book is. This is the very root of our problems. Because media has molded the way we see girls and what we believe girls want to hear, we suppress our own abilities to become more than just pretty people. It is up to women to start focusing less of looks and looking past that to unfold the true potential that we hold. The transformation has already begun now that females have steadily begun taking positions of power. However, it is our duty to continue encouraging intellectual growth and change the value of women once and for all.
42: Woman's Forever Changing Role | By, Virginia F. | Within all societies, people conceptualize specific images and ideas as normal. For these underlying roles to be assumed fundamental and necessary factors of everyday life, there must be the presence of something to create the natural vision of society. It is visual media that possesses influential surroundings that sway and manipulate the ideas that people hold so central. Over time, visual media has remained one of the most prominent powers in the ability to shift society’s views. In fact, one of the leading visualization that has been both altered and misrepresented is woman’s ideal role in the community. Due to the imposing and convincing persuasion of media, the understanding of woman’s place in society has shifted from World War II right through the 1950’s, and up until modern day. | In the time period of World War II, propaganda images were created and used for deliberate intentions, including bringing women into the work force to assist men in the fight against Nazi’s. Up until this point in time, women took limited part in employment, let alone manual labor. However, America was in desperate need of help in the struggle against Hitler. Thus, it was crucial to get more of the population involved in order to advance our progress in battle. To do so, the government relied on propaganda as a key starting point in changing women’s basic position in the community. In one poster, despite their work attire, three women are portrayed with perfect hair and makeup. Underneath the image the words, “soldiers without guns” are stated. This poster’s purpose is clearly aimed at convincing women to leave the kitchen and get involved in labor. This propaganda has meaningful influence because by portraying that these women can work but still look beautiful, it appeals to the audience. The advertisement reveals that women can still maintain their femininity as they exercise more freedom through attaining jobs. If you look closely in the picture, one of the women is wearing
43: white gloves, further promoting the idea that you can stay elegant and graceful while working. More important then this idea of looking beautiful while taking on war jobs is the truth that this image was not actually attainable. This is so significant because it reveals that society still wants women to maintain their femininity and is not ready for them to fully take up war jobs. The media used visuals to make it seem realistic, but in reality these images were far from the truth. Besides demonstrating that through employment women can be exposed to new things that are appealing, propaganda of World War II makes its message stick by making the implications personal. In one piece of propaganda, a woman is depicted working, with the text in the background verbalizing, “do the job HE left behind”. The objective of this poster is to make women across the country feel an obligation to their husbands, fathers, and all men that have left them to go fight. With the need to remain committed to their men, emphasized by the capital letters “HE”, women are influenced to take up war jobs and manual labor. So, the | media uses clever tactics such as personalizing the advertisements to make women feel it necessary to enter the workforce. However, this add also depicts the idea that women are still working to support men and are not independent. Through such methods, labor is deemed pleasurable and effortless. The media of this day and age was successful in shaping women’s role in society, making them more independent and constructive forces. | As time passed by and World War II came to an end, the 1950’s proved to still have an influential media, but it is now used to modify the ideal woman’s place in community to a more stay at home lifestyle. Previously, during the war, women had never experienced so much independence. They never dreamed that one day they would be doing the same jobs that men do. Now that the war has ended and there is no longer
44: a need for additional people in the work force, America desperately needed a way to revert back to pre-World War II standards and convince women to return to the kitchen. This change came on so fast because society feared that woman’s independence was dangerous to the status quo, so therefore must be discontinued. In an advertisement for Costco, women are portrayed doing housework including ironing, taking care of babies, cooking, and more. Being an advertisement directed to sell cooking and cleaning appliances, this ad is based on the assumption that all women stay at home as housewives. The ad mentions “happier homemaking”, making society feel as if women must always have the duty of taking care of the house and kids. In addition, this propaganda tells the reader to, “Remember Mother’s Day”, signifying the importance of being motherly. It is apparent that this Costco add is persuading women to focus on taking care of the house and kids. Moreover, this advertisement also depicts that the cooking and cleaning appliances pictured would be great gifts for women, thus making society believe that cooking and cleaning are things done by women. It is ads like this that coerced women to leave their independence and freedom and lock themselves back up in their household chores. Moreover, a Westinghouse advertisement pushing for the buying of their slow cooker titles in large letters, “For Brides”. This ad is set on encouraging women to work in their house rather than get real jobs. Not only this, but the advertisement demonstrates that all a women has to do is get married and cook and clean. It is as if the only thing women need to be happy is cooking devices. The sub writing “Never-fail cooking” reveals that people in this era automatically assume that all women cook, clean, and don’t have real jobs like their husbands. In the 1950’s, the thought that women are incompetent and can’t do things without men’s help is still intact. So, posters like this are targeted at women because unlike the modern day, they do not equally participate in real jobs with men. That is why posters like this promote the stereotypical women being a housewife.
45: Additionally, through this add, media puts out the concept that women need the appliance because they wouldn’t be successful on their own. Furthermore, one last advertisement truly stands out as an excellent representation of how the role of women has shifted dramatically in this decade. In this ad, a housewife is shown holding a Lewty vacuum cleaner. The vacuum cleaner is described as, “finger-tip cleaning,” suggesting that women are fragile creatures and have difficulty completing even the simplest of tasks. The message that women are incompetent is indirectly sent to the viewer. Thus, easy to work equipment is portrayed as necessary for wives to use. The point the ad is trying to get across is that because the vacuum is so simple to operate, the stereotypical unskilled woman is capable of managing it. Additionally, the femininity of the woman in the ad is further accentuated through her flawless hair, nails, makeup, and clothing. It is small details such as the manicured hands, delicately turning the dial in order to not chip the nails, that strongly get across the concept that women are useless in effectively completing things in comparison to men. Evidently, these ads of the 1950’s have varied from those of World War II, now demoralizing and degrading women rather than appreciating them. | From constructive forces to useless household objects, in the modern era a woman’s place in society returns once again to the successful and independent figures that they were back in World War II. In a PETA (Petition for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) ad, some of our century’s most successful women including Michele Obama, Carrie Underwood, and Oprah Winfrey are pictured. The ad is an attempt to stop the wearing of furs, so it states, “Fur-free and Fabulous”. Here, there is a strong emphasis on beauty, revealing that beauty is part of what makes these women fabulous. PETA incorporates these women into their ad because by
46: showing that these incredibly thriving and beautiful women don’t wear fur, it makes other people think that if they stop wearing fur then they can be triumphant too. Differing from the 1950’s, now constructive and accomplished women are used in advertisements to advance the use of a product. Society’s perception of the woman has changed, now mirroring the visions of World War II where the woman is independent and necessary in America’s work place. Furthermore, there is a poster promoting the Laurel School of Dance with a female doctor centered on it. Here, a woman is promoting a business that she personally started, revealing that women can be successful just like men. She is dedicated to her work and is motivated enough to make ads to encourage her business that she independently began. The fact that the woman is making her own ad shows that women have taken up more important roles in society. They now take part in controlling the images of media, shaping the way society views females. It is clear that in advertisements such as this one, the idea of a woman’s place in society contrasts with what it was in the 1950’s. Women’s’ roles are now just as a prominent as men’s, plainly exhibited by the drastic change of advertisement messages and the fact that women have taken initiative to change their own media image. However, women are still battling the image of beauty so there is still a long way to go. Yet, it is unmistakable that here in modern day, woman’s place in society has become different from the impression of the 1950’s and gone far beyond the positions of World War II.
47: From World War II to the 1950’s to modern day, it has become evident that due to the incredibly strong influence of the media, the role of women in our society has transformed. Our media has massive power to sway how our community views individuals in our own nation. Women have not only joined the forces of the influencing media, but woman’s place in society has also become a more involved part of our nation. Woman’s engagement in the workforce has proven a major accomplishment across the nation, helping our country near obliterating the gender barrier. There is still major progress to cover since there are still ads negatively influencing society’s view of women. However, people across our country are working hard to one day reach gender equality. Much closer to achieving a balance of the sexes than we were in the 1950’s, America is slowly but surely nearing its potential of success.
48: “The body type portrayed in advertising as the ideal is possessed naturally by less than 5% of females” (Social Issues Research Centre). Naturally, humans are attentive to whatever is most appealing. Companies take advantage of this aspect of human nature and try and manipulate women to advertise their products. Common stereotypes and generalizations are created, leading people to assume that what the media portrays is what is expected of reality. Eating disorders, dieting, and the overuse of makeup are becoming social norms that the female gender is turning to achieve this “beauty” they yearn for. These issues are continuing to become more common among impressionable young girls around the world. In the media, women are exploited through their physical appearances to sell products and ideas, creating common unattainable standards of the ideal appearance of women. | The Manipulation of Women in the Visual Media By Catherine F. | During World War II, out of necessity the media portrayed women as symbols of power and confidence, who still maintained beauty, to persuade them into entering the workforce. As their husbands were off fighting at war, their wives were expected to take their place in the workforce while still looking like gorgeous homemakers. The government used posters, like the “We Can Do It!” poster to send women the message that they were strong and greatly needed in their country. The image displays a woman, commonly known as “Rosie the Riveter”, who symbolizes the economic power and determination of women. The government directed this advertisement towards housewives who most likely had no experience in the workforce, represented by the groomed eyebrows, perfect makeup, and stylish red bandanna Rosie is wearing. The poster reveals that they wanted women to see that they could still maintain their attractive appearance while being a blue collar worker to support their country and husbands. It gives women confidence and praise, which is represented by Rosie raising her fist and | encouraging the work by cheering the female gender on. Additionally, this advertised support is seen in the “She’s a WOW” advertisement. The image reads, “‘The girl he left behind’ is still behind him”, and displays a woman ordnance worker (WOW), looking over her shoulder at her deployed husband. Not only is this image trying to persuade women into joining the workforce, but it is also tries to test women’s morals in trying to sell it to achieve it through emotions of sadness and guilt. This poster is very effective in that it arouses emotions out of the woman, because in the picture she is looking back at her husband in the shadows. This makes the woman looking at the picture feel that it is her job to fill her husbands place, because it is morally the right thing to do. Similar to the last image, this woman worker is dressed up in her polka-dotted bandanna and flawless makeup, while also wearing a shirt with puffed sleeves, belt, and what appears to be a skirt or pleated pants. This reveals that Americans still believed it important that the female gender sustained their ideal image while working for their husbands’ return. It also shows that all the woman is expected to do is support the man of the household. Each of these posters displays a woman who is both determined in serving her country and also all done- up to do so. In the time of WWII women were expected to replace their husbands in the workforce while still embracing the femininity and beauty of looking like the ideal wife.
49: This makes the woman looking at the picture feel that it is her job to fill her husbands place, because it is morally the right thing to do. Similar to the last image, this woman worker is dressed up in her polka-dotted bandanna and flawless makeup, while also wearing a shirt with puffed sleeves, belt, and what appears to be a skirt or pleated pants. This reveals that Americans still believed it important that the female gender sustained their ideal image while working for their husbands’ return. It also shows that all the woman is expected to do is support the man of the household. Each of these posters displays a woman who is both determined in serving her country and also all done- up to do so. In the time of WWII women were expected to replace their husbands in the workforce while still embracing the femininity and beauty of looking like the ideal wife. After the war had ended, advertisements continued to depict ordinary women as model-like figures, which pressured them to achieve this superlative image. Once their husbands were home from fighting in the war, the women were back to fulfilling their previous role in the family, which was to be the homemaker. Once women were back working inside the house, they were expected to spend more time focusing on their feminine appearance and wardrobe that was replaced with blue collars while occupying their duties in the workforce. In the “Post Grape-Nuts” ad, a mother and her daughter are seen tightening the belts around their waists after eating this thinning cereal. This image represents the man’s ideal image of his wife and daughter, with the classic hourglass shape. A woman looking at this ad would see the sought-after body shape these two ladies both display and want to purchase the product because of this. Also, the mother is smiling at her daughter and almost laughing as she tightens the belt, trying to make the process of losing weight seem easily achievable. The mother is also tightening the belt with freshly painted finger nails and perfectly applied cosmetics, which shows the importance of the woman maintaining her image while working hard to shed a few pounds. | Not only is the daughter wearing and identical floral shirt and pleated skirt to her mother, but her hair is also done up in the same way. Her eyes are blatantly focused on her mother’s waist, representing the overall effect this has on children and younger generations of girls who see this advertisement. By directing this ad to a wider audience, the companies manipulate, not only mothers but also young girls into contemplating whether or not they have the “right” body-type. This also indicates that mothers should pass this ideal to their daughters. Additionally, this theme of having the perfect image is seen in the “Pepsi Cola Light Refreshment” ad. In this image, what looks like a bride-to be is holding a wedding veil upright on her head. This ad touches on women’s emotions and goals of what they want to achieve in life. They feel that they can connect to this girl who is looking at herself in the mirror, fantasizing about her wedding day, because the common generalization of women’s aspirations were that they were to get married and be the perfect housewife for their husband. The young lady holding the veil looks very confident in that she is holding her head up high, pursing her lips, and exposing her stomach, which is the thin, hourglass shape many girls desire. This self-poise is appealing to many girls because they feel that if they drink Pepsi Cola, then they will gain this confidence and physical figure illustrated in the girl. The advertisement reads, “Pepsi cola refreshes without filling “ and “Pepsi Cola the Light refreshment”. It is significant that this image was trying to appeal to women who are conscious about their image and a “Light” beverage as if they need to watch what they are eating in order to maintain that look. Both of these advertisements are aimed at women and try to guarantee the ideal look and lifestyle when their product is purchased, leading women to feel the need to achieve these thin and flawless figures.
50: In the world today, the media continues to express the physical expectations of women and the ideal lifestyle that is included. Presently the most generic stereotype that men look for in a woman is if she is tall, tan, and thin. Most models and well-known movie stars look very similar, like in the “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue” ad. This image is staged with three beautiful women standing on a beach in bikinis. The creators at Sports Illustrated know that it will attract a man’s attention because it seems sexually appealing to them, so they will want to buy the magazine. Although Sports Illustrated is a sports magazine, it occasionally has swimsuit issues directed toward men, who are there primary customers. This image follows the common stereotype having only three types of women: the blonde, the brunette, and the tanner dark-haired girl. This advertisement demoralizes women by making men “vote for their favorite” model, so they can win a contest. The women are just props that take up 2/3 of the page, while the factual information is squeezed into the last third. This image sends the message that the only thing women are good for are their looks and bodies. | Like the last image, the advertisement for “Sheex Performance Bedding”, took the stance on dressing the | woman in minimal clothing. The ad displays a thin, blond woman lying on the ground in her bra laughing as a shirtless young man with well-defined muscles and a six-pack lays on top of her, gazing into her eyes. Based on the minimal clothing and muscular, thin figures displayed in this image, it initially seems to be an exercise or gym subscription advertisement. This reveals that in society today, even bedding advertisements have to have the ideal woman modeling their sheets in order for people to purchase the product. The woman’s body and chest are faced toward the camera, while her face is directed away from it, showing that her thin body is what is most important in the image. This ad is also implying that buying these sheets | will change your lifestyle by giving you the perfect body and man or woman. Another image that focuses | on the physical appearance of the female gender is the advertisement for the television show, “Toddlers and Tiaras”. In this ad a girl that seems to be around the age of four or five years old is dressed up for a children’s beauty pageant. Her blond hair is pulled back and disguised with hair extensions, while a sparkling crown sits above the words “It’s on”, referring to the competition between the young girls. She is also wearing a large amount of blush on her cheeks, fake eyelashes, diamond jewelry, and a ball gown. | All of the material items this toddler is wearing reveal that she is being judged in this pageant for her looks and will compete along with the other girls for who is most beautiful. This is teaching the girls participating in the competition, as well as viewers of the ad, that their bodies aren’t beautiful and need to be greatly altered to be appealing. Unfortunately, our society sets theses unattainable standards for women to meet and it begins to effect girls at younger ages. By continuing to advertise these images of women in the media, we are letting common stereotypes of women continue throughout history.
51: In the media today, people are more focused on a woman’s physical appearances than they are on their success and accomplishments. While the female gender has made constructive progress by gaining rights and equality in our country, they are still judged based on physical appeal. Not only is it creating generic standards for women, but it is also being enforced on easily influenced youth. Women are simply used as props in selling products, because they are only seen as useful for their attractive looks. Although the females have come a long way in gaining equality to men, they continue to be judged the same way they were fifty years ago.
52: Media from the 1940’s up until today has focused solely on women’s appearances, demanding physical perfection. Magazines, T.V shows, and many other parts of media advertise, what is thought of as the “perfect women”, creating striking imagery of what women should look like. In fact, “Almost 70 per cent of the editorial content in teen mags focuses on beauty and fashion, and only 12 percent talks about school or careers” (Media Awareness Network). As the needs for society have shifted through time, women’s jobs were altered frequently; however, women have always been encouraged by media to maintain a certain picturesque image. During the 1940’s, society called upon women to take up men’s jobs that they had left behind when going to war, but still retain a feminine look. While many of the jobs offered up during WWII required hard work and were a completely new experience for women, they still managed to look perfectly done up in almost any ad. The “New Velvet-suds Ivory face wash” ad, solidifies the idea that women should maintain a beautiful face while working in any job. In this ad, the woman’s hair is perfectly curled and done up just outside of her hat to create a spin on the well-known 1940’s hairdo. While still crafting the image of the ideal 1940’s housewife, it seems that the woman is placed in a beautifully groomed uniform, working with a smile on her face. Her rosy cheeks and red lips also signify her well-groomed manner. The way that she is looking off into the distance makes her seem like a gentler and kinder person compared to the workforce officers in the background. This ad illustrates the importance of women’s attitudes and presentation in regard to their jobs. Another image that exemplifies the picturesque woman in the 1940’s is Rosie the Riveter. While sending across the message that women are needed to fulfill the jobs that men left behind to go to war, Rosie is also depicted gorgeously during this time period. The main idea of this ad was to show women that, they too, could be just as strong as men, which is why Rosie flexes her arm muscles; though just behind the arm, you see Rosie’s face perfectly made up. Her eyelashes are dark and long, and her eyebrows are beautifully shaped. Rosie the Riveter’s hair is also put up in a cute, little polka-a-dot bonnet representing her innocence. While encouraging the fact that women could work just as hard and well as men, this ad also portrays that women are able to maintain a stunning feminine look. Through ads in the 1940’s, women were persuaded to carry out men’s jobs, but still maintain the ideal feminine appearance. | Mislead by the Media By Amanda G.
53: As men came back from war, the 1950’s media shifted their ideas from the concept of a flawless workingwoman to the impression that women should maintain a perfect household. The transition from working full time jobs during WWII, to being constricted inside a household for 24 hours a day, indicated the inequality that appeared during the post war time period. To convince society that inequality was just, media portrayed women as perfectly beautiful females working on household chores while enjoying it. In the March 12, 1956 edition of Life Magazine, a photo of the ideal happy household was portrayed. In the black and white picture, Life Magazine showed a husband coming home from a long day at work and looking into his house, only to see his beautiful wife and kids awaiting him. The light that shines out of the window contrasts with the darkness outside, therefor emphasizing the idea of how women should make sure their household is well taken care of and flawless for their husbands. The pearly white smiles on the kid’s faces also create a sense of innocence that lies within the doors of the household. By showing a warm and loving home taken cared by the wife, media was able to inspire women to want to look and act just as the female did in this picture. | Another source from Life Magazine was the September 21, 1953 ad of the Crosley Electric Range. In this ad, the comparison between women and the oven truly showed society’s view on females at the time. The ad read’s, “Yes, the Crosley Electric Range has brains as well as beauty!” (Life Magazine, 42). This quote was a direct statement towards women, showing them that they should acquire both brains and beauty. If the Crosley Electric Range can do it, why can’t every woman? To add to this belief in brains and beauty, the ad depicts a perfectly dressed woman, smiling and waving her arms like she is the happiest person on the planet. She seems as though she is dancing in high green heels, creating the thought that all women should have fun in their kitchens! The stylish belt and silver necklace also add to the affect of a well-off beautiful and smart woman. As you can see, 1950’s media suggested women stay at home and maintain a beautiful household, while still maintaining a gorgeous feminine look.
54: While modern day businesses encourage women to obtain jobs, the illusion of freedom is retracted by media’s continued emphasis on women’s looks. From the 1940’s till today, women have still been expected to appear a certain way and act in a certain feminine manner. As more TV shows and magazines are produced, women are influenced by the way famous characters or models are presented. This impractical idea of what the appearance of women should be has taken over almost every part of media. In the Jenny Craig ad for losing weight, Valerie Bertinelli models her beautiful body after having lost 40 lbs. This weight loss ad depicts Bertinelli in her thinnest shape, which in society, is thought of as the best figure for women. She is showing how, by losing weight, she now has a beautiful hairdo, manicured nails, and a brand new self-confidence! The reality of this picture isn’t depicted very well, for Bertinelli makes the weight losing process look effortless. Also, this ad chose to use Valerie Bertinelli because she has been a very successful TV actress in the past few decades. By using Bertinelli as their model, the Jenny Craig Weight Loss campaign is showing viewers that you can become as successful and beautiful as Valerie Bertinelli if you use this product. The way that she stands so elegantly by the pool also creates an attraction towards viewers of this campaign. Her heels create the illusion of longer legs, and her sheek blue bathing suit contrasts with her perfectly tanned skin. Showing a successful and beautiful woman, such as Valerie Bertinelli in this ad, gives women the impression of how they are expected to look. Another example of society portraying beautiful workingwomen is in the ad for Grey’s Anatomy. Being one of the “most-watched shows” in America, Grey’s Anatomy shows a pure example of female doctor’s working just as well as men, but still maintaining the modern feminine look. In this ad, the women are in their uniforms with props such as pencils and clipboards in their hands, signifying that they are hard workingwomen. The fact that they are intertwined with the male doctor’s in this picture, also signify that they are equal to the men’s standards of working. Though, in this picture, like many other pictures throughout the decades, the women are made up perfectly with their hair either curled or straightened and their makeup attractively done. The slight smiles on all of the female’s faces also give off the feeling of kinder and gentler workingwomen. Between these two ads, it is clear that women have been encouraged to fulfill jobs with workingmen, but at the same time maintain a stunning feminine appearance.
55: From the 1940’s up until today, women have been expected to succeed in almost any job opportunity they are given. Though, the real key to success in women’s lives is their appearance. Media sets high standards and expectations, which, for many women, are impractical. From taking over men’s jobs during WWII, to being forced back into the household during the 1950’s, and then finally being given opportunities to get jobs today, women have had to adjust to society’s needs. The illusion that women have gained many rights is only set back even more as media portrays what the ideal woman should look like. As time has passed, women have succeeded in many jobs, but still struggle when trying to achieve the perfect female appearance.
56: In the modern world, the idea of doing whats best for you has become a driving force in the world of capitalism. Companies now target the individual to buy their products based on what the consumer likes. Whenever you turn on the television, it is almost a guarantee you will see a commercial trying to sell you a product, especially cars. However, the meaning of car commercials has changed over time. In World War II, you see advertisements where they encourage people to carpool and not buy or use any precious material that could be used for the war. This has changed, however, and nowadays you see people buying out of what is best for them and not for the bigger picture. The past use of the media caused people to buy items with the intentions bigger than just only themselves to diminish to what is now an attempt to have someone buy their products for what is best for them giving rise to a more selfish nation. During World War II, the media caused the individual to resist buying and using products in order to help the nation in a time of need. One way they did this was using cars. During the war, advertisements were posted across the country trying to convince people to car pool and not to drive alone. If you look at the first ad under World War II you see the quote “help win the war squeeze in one more” on the bottom. This was the reason people didn't buy and limit the amount of car use during the war. United States citizens were targeted by the media and by printing this for the public to view; it helped influence the message of instead of doing what is best for you, why don't you do whats best for the country. By showing the people in the car smiling and looking happy it showed that though you have to give up what you may want, it can be fun doing what is best for others. In all of the ads you see the media trying to target the reader at a more personal level. When it came to the use of cars, if you drove alone you were considered to be someone fighting with the enemy. In the second ad under World War II you see an ad that says, “When you ride alone you ride with Hitler.” Next to the lone drive is an outline out Adolf Hitler. This piece was meant to attack the reader personally indicating that if you were to use precious materials on a ride that only you were using, then you were doing things that could help the other side win the war. Again, this idea of making financial choices that are not what is best for you but what is best for the nation was an important one as the media tried to convince readers that the only way to win the war was to do things that affected more than just you. | The Rise in Self over the Years Jack J.
57: During the 1950’s, the media began to influence others to buy products for a much a smaller group of people that it affected, such as a family. Coming out of the war, media changed so that it targeted the family rather than the society. Car ads in the 1950s almost always had another person if not more people in the car. These ads began to target the individual to buy both for themselves but also for their family. The 1950’s was a time when most households only had one car, so by convincing others that this car was the right choice for you due to the room it had for your family. If you look at the first ad under 1950s, you see a Buick ad that says “like a lot of room with your power?” These ads began to target the individual to buy for a much narrower scope than the nation. If you look closely you can see a family sitting in the car having a good time. Also, it says “like a lot of room with your power?” By saying this, it targets the individual who has a family and needs a car. Men love cars with power and this ad offered a car with that necessity with room for the family to sit comfortably. So though the ads were directed at selling you a car with the individual in mind, it was also important to bring up that it had room for others. You see the same theme of trying to sell you a car based on both what you want and for the space in the second advertisement piece under 1950s. By the ad using a woman driver, the company is trying to relate to all audiences. And by having another person in the car, you see that the company is trying to convince you to buy the car because it is stylish, anyone can drive it, and it can fit your friends. The 1950s was a time when the nation was recovering from the war. There were families on the rise as children were being born because the men had come back. What better way to try and sell you a car based on what you and your family needs. Today, car ads rarely have more than one person in the car as they target the individual to buy their products. Since the early 1940s the media has changed from focusing on the society, to the family and now it focuses on the self. Car ads are constantly shown in magazines, newspapers, on television, basically they’re everywhere. However, these ads rarely have more than one person in the car, as the goal of the company is to persuade the viewer to buy their car because the consumer wants it. If you look at the first ad under modern day you see BMW trying to market their car. You see a middle aged man with a surfboard under his arm and he is walking back to his car. This ad is supposed to say to the viewer “hey don’t you want to live a lifestyle like this?” The middle-aged man just went surfing and seems to be very relaxed so clearly he has his life pretty well figured out. And don’t you want a car that reflects that image? The ad is supposed to influence those looking at it that this car reflects back on them. And this one in particular represents that you have a relaxed, figured out life.
58: The second ad under modern day shows a good-looking woman getting into a very nice car. The reason Mercedes used a woman like that in their car ad was to appeal to all audiences which includes women. By using the woman, it says to the person looking at the ad “hey, if you drive a car like this you look like that.” Car companies use advertisements to try and convince those looking, that this car reflects who they are and thus it makes the consumer believe that they need the car. By using one person in car ads, it makes the car much more sellable as you try to target one person to buy one car. By using body language, color, and even actions, it can help persuade people that this car is the one for them. By targeting the individual person, you see the nation being much more selfish as they buy for themselves rather than what is best for others. Society today is filled with individuals that are concerned mainly with themselves and therefore, the consumers actions are reflected and even influenced by today's media.
59: Advertisements that reflect on buying products have come a long way since World War II. In particular, the car ads have changed from encouraging you to refrain from buying and using them for the best intentions of the nation to now, where you see ads trying to target individuals based on what the consumer likes. Car ads are not only where you see this. All over the world today you see ads trying to sell their products based on what the individual wants. The desire to make money has come a long way since World War II and singling out one person based on their likes makes ads much more personable. Because of this, the world has gone from one that thinks about others to a much more selfish one; one that mostly thinks for themselves. What will the world be like if this current pattern isn't altered? What ever the result, it won't be good and something needs to change.
60: Since even before World War II, women have been used in ads to sell companies’ products. In many cases, however, women are used to sell merchandise that usually caters to men. They are portrayed as young, attractive, and healthy women who not only want the reader to use the product, but show that they could get any girl they want when using that product. This type of advertising is demeaning, and makes women seem as though they are something short of a display case for an array of commodities; women are basically being used and seen as an object that people will like, which could potentially increase product sales. As America moves forward from World War II into the 1950’s and then up to present day, companies used women as a tool to promote their products that were mainly geared towards men, portraying women as the key to enjoy the product. | Even though America was going through a tough time during the World War II era, ads never ceased to include women to promote companies’ items. Even though many men were gone during the war, the ads women were featured in still mentioned them in someway, no matter how big or small. In one ad, there is a woman sitting behind a typewriter, looking poised and beautiful. She is saluting the troops and her country and is situated in front of the colors of the American flag. The slogan says “Victory Waits on Your Fingers - Keep ‘Em Flying Miss U.S.A.”. The ad is encouraging women to get jobs as a stenographer to help the war effort. By including the bit about “Keep ‘Em Flying”, the Civil Service Commission is saying that if women don't step up and start working as stenographers and other jobs in the civil service department, they will have to pull some troops to get those jobs done. All in all, because men were off fighting, women were expected to pick up where they left off. The next ad is for the General Tire. There are three identical women clad in a nicely-fitting purple dress and stylish red heels. They are all sitting at the counter of a soda shop, drinking some sort of fun drink like a milkshake, perhaps. The ad boasts, “...tires all alike today? There is more difference in mileage than before”. The ad is for this new tire that General Tire has come up with that will last longer and are extra strong, which is practically perfect for truck drivers. But are women truck drivers? No; they were just put in the ad to attract those truck drivers looking for new tires that will be durable enough for them. The ad could have consisted of three identical cats, and the point would have still been made; but cats don't really appeal to truck drivers, pretty women do. So, women were used again to attract male customers to buy exactly what they always “needed”. | Women in Media: The Ultimate Sales-Persons By Lynn K.
61: The third ad is selling the idea of Great Dane trailers, coincidentally for truck drivers as well. There is a nice truck in the background, but the picture is faded. Naturally, front and center, is a beautiful woman on a swing, having the time of her life. She is in a tight bathing suit and the expression on her face is a flirty, “come-hither”-type look, practically telling you that if you buy a Great Dane trailer, she will be included. The main point of the ad was to raise awareness about this trailer, but the woman in the front attracts all of the attention to herself to the point where you really have to study the ad to figure out what they are trying to sell. While this ad might not have been completely effective in selling the Great Dane trailers, they definitely attracted many viewers solely because of the woman. You will come to see that during the 1950’s, not much had changed, with women being merely a tool being used to promote anything and everything. | Although a new era was ushered in after the war, women were still being exploited and were still one of the main focal points in the ads. One image that describes this is an ad for a new brand of chewing gum. the image is of a beautiful woman being kissed by a handsome man, with the slogan “Bad Breath now made ‘Kissing Sweet’ in seconds”. This ad could have been geared to both genders, but all of the small anecdotal images consist of mainly the man over the woman. He is leaning over her, and she is looking up at him as though she admires him and loves him so much more because he is chewing this special gum. Seeing as this is being pushed towards mainly male customers, the company enlists a beautiful woman to make the man feel as though he can get any girl he wants when chewing that gum. A second image that proves this is an ad for a new Polaroid camera. There are two men in bathing suits; one sitting, holding the camera, and one standing all puffed up. Surrounding the men are two women in revealing and tight-fitting bathing suits as well. The camera could have easily been sold without the two ladies (and the man standing up), with just the man in the center having a good time. But adding the women made it seem as though you’ll always have a good time with a Polaroid camera and beautiful ladies around you. The men don’t have to be perfect, but the women were expected to be. One other image I found that perfectly describes women being used to sell products mainly for men was an ad for cigars. In it, a beautiful housewife sits next to her golf-playing husband. She is poised and proper, and her husband is standing behind her looking very supportive and joyful that his wife approves of the cigars he smokes. The ad says, “‘I love to see a man smoke a Cigarillo”. At the time, women didn’t smoke cigars (and rarely do today). So, the ad was clearly targeting men through a good-looking, wife-like figure telling them that their wives will love it when he smokes those cigars. Now, whether that is true or not really depends on the wife’s opinion. But again, women were used to virtually sell companies’ products. As you can see, women were still plastered all over ads to sell products geared towards men.
62: Today, magazines and other media sources use women to sell an even wider range of products, still using them to cater products to men. One ad I found is of Curve fragrances for men. Right off the bat, one can see that there is a young, attractive girl front and center of the ad, in a low cut top with her hair seductively tousled. The ad is made to look like the cover of a magazine that would appeal to men, with the headings such as “”Bla!! Bla! Bla, Bla, Bla, Bla” and the things they'd be most interested in, like “Cars, Girls, and Girls on Cars”, “Girls, Cars, Sports, Girls, Sports, Cars”. In bottom corner of the ad is the fragrance bottle, which looks small compared to the rest of the ad that is supposed to grab you. Something else in the ad that I found shocking was towards the bottom of the ad. It says, “Hot new pics at getcurve.com”. As if the girl in the ad wasn't enough, the male customers could also go online and view other girls that could have been in the ad but were instead put online to entice the men more. Instead of just selling the fragrance, Curve manipulates the image of a beautiful woman into promoting their creation to the masses. The next ad that proves this is coincidentally another fragrance ad for men; this time, for Giorgio Armani’s Armani Code Sport. In the foreground is a woman who is completely unclothed, but all we see is her bare back because she is turned towards this man who, naturally, is completely buff and gorgeous. The way he is standing over her shows that he is asserting power over her. This is an overall sensual ad, and would not have been very effective if it had just been the male model by himself. By adding the woman, it gives the ad a more glamorous, epicurean view of the kinds of people that would enjoy this fragrance. While you do not have to be muscular relaxing by a rooftop pool overlooking a city to use this fragrance, Giorgio Armani wants the people who use their cologne to feel as though they can live the high life they might have always dreamed about. The ad also illustrates the idea of the woman being subservient to the needs of the man. | The final ad switches it up a bit: it is for the Stand Up 2 Cancer organization. They are encouraging you to buy their sweatshirt because the proceeds go to cancer research. On it is Heidi Klum, dressed in nothing but a Stand Up To Cancer sweatshirt that is showing quite a lot of leg. Heidi is also wearing a lot of makeup and her hair is perfectly pulled back, and her face is giving off this knowing look that is encouraging us to “stand up to cancer”, buy the sweatshirt, and donate. The designers of this advertisement felt that the best way to get people, mainly their male supporters, to order the sweatshirt or donate to their organization was to have a pretty, almost scantily-clad former supermodel. There is a plethora of other ways to spread awareness and increase donations that does not have to include having a woman as the automatic focal point of the ad. Heidi attracts all of the attention to herself and what she is wearing, and ultimately distracts readers from the main point of the ad - to raise awareness about cancer.
63: Women were used as the key to selling companies’ objects from as early as the World War II era through the 1950’s and up to today. Whether they were selling encouragement to work for war efforts of promoting a fragrance for men, women have been and are still currently being used to sell items that were for men. Automatically, our eyes are drawn to them, and they can entice anyone to purchase just about anything they tell you to. Women in advertisements are seen as merely objects that can increase sales and awareness about the product being sold. Women need to stop being subject to this exploitation soon, or before we know it, advertisements of the future will be going too far to backtrack.
64: Living in a world where humans are wasting resources, destroying natural habitats, and becoming perpetually more polluting, it seems second nature to us to conserve and preserve anything we can in our communities. We see this concept of conservation originally put forth by the United States government, in order to save resources for our troops. Post war though, in the 1950’s, people felt no need to help the world; environmentalism was a lost cause. The majority of people did not yet realize the effects pollution had and believed preservation was only for helping our armed forces. In the modern world today, we see the detrimental consequences that come from pollution, and our world has now moved into an era advertising environmentalism and a greener future. All in all, this idea of preservation came originally from conserving resources for troops, but now has made resurgence for a much different cause. During World War II, fuel was conserved and carpooling strongly suggested because energy needed to be saved for the troops. Energy was a crucial weapon the United States needed in order to win the war. A propaganda poster for a car-sharing club bares the slogan, “When you ride ALONE you ride with Hitler!” Advertising the necessity and urgency associated with car-pooling. The ad depicts a wealthier man driving an empty car. To his left, in the passenger seat, is an outline depiction of Hitler; looming besides him like a ghost. This ad represents the fear that was literally so near, it was next to many Americans. The very thought of driving next to Hitler was a powerful statement and enough to encourage people to conserve energy. This was the very beginning of showcasing to people what realities can surface if they are not conscious while using resources. During this time of turmoil for our country, fear was almost a tangible thing for many felt it in their everyday lives and routines. | The Journey of Environmentalism by Tyler K.
65: It appeared to be an ever-ominous presence. Although fear was a tool used to bring forth the need for conservation, many propaganda posters were also created in a more playful way to get the same point across. One poster loudly states, “Don’t be FUEL-ish” in bright red lettering, and underneath it concludes, “wasted electricity means less fuel to make the weapons we need for victory.” Above the words is a portrayal of a woman being reprimanded by her co-workers. We are led to believe this is because she left lights burning while they were not of use. This shows how we can all become victims of wasting energy if we are not aware the vital purpose it serves. Conservation of energy was an obligation America had to make in order to be victorious in the war. In the 1950’s, once the troops returned home from war, people no longer felt the need to conserve energy. People had yet to understand that the conservation of energy had larger impacts on the globe then just supplying our troops with weapons and other resources. During this time period, the media supported this lack of concern. An advertisement for various tuna fish companies had, what was then, a harmless idea for promoting their products. The ad for “Mermaid on the Label” tuna boasts two fish swimming in the ocean with tuna cans around their bodies. When originally seeing this picture, immediately what came to mind was pollution. Animals are killed everyday from litter being in their habitats and the idea of a fish being engulfed by the garbage would today be viewed as repulsive. In the post-war era though, many did not understand the concept of a green globe. The mermaid eating the tuna above the depiction of the fish, is happy and appearing oblivious to the choking animals underneath her. The producers of this advertisement probably believed it to be whimsy and did not realize that they were actually portraying a real life issue our world was then and still is facing. | Nowadays though, we would never see anything like this appear in the media. Another advertisement for “Canada Dry Soda” shows a boy with a net fishing for soda bottles in the ocean. Once again, the idea of bottles in the ocean was not perceived as wrong back then, because pollution was not as pressing an issue as it is today. The boy looks eager to grab one, but is doing so for his own benefit. Although the creators were not advocating pollution this advertisement resemblance to the litter problem our earth is experiencing is uncanny. In reality, this is a picture depicting garbage in a habitat, and man being oblivious to its effects. Now, in a world constantly trying to compensate for our lost resources and negligence toward keeping the environment clean, we are more cautious about how we conserve and move toward a cleaner generation. In one advertisement for “Toyota’s third generation Prius”, we see the efforts our civilization is making toward a greener future.
66: The advertisement is advocating fuel conservation and says that their new car has, “70% fewer emissions” and underneath those words it proudly displays the slogan, “Harmony between man, nature and machine.” The Prius is surrounded by green fields, which inferences the car’s green efforts and mechanics. This displays how we are coming into an age more concerned with fuel efficiency and centered around the concept of environmentalism. Just like during the WWII era, some companies use fear to install upon the importance of conserving energy and protecting the environment. Fear is a motivational tool that many install to show the importance of issues often overlooked. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one of the world’s leading organizations devoted to conservation, uses bold advertising to get their mission statements across. One advertisement put out by them is a dark picture with almost a scary connotation. It depicts a disturbing image of a deer standing on top of a mountain. The image is troubling because everything in the picture is made out of garbage, including the animal and scenery. Underneath the image reads, “Rubbish can be recycled. Nature cannot.” This image is showing a drastic scenario, which gets across its point very clearly. Other companies though, such as seventh generation, take on the more playful approach of proving their mission. They strive to show how much people need to be cautious about the environment. They do this by promoting catchy phrases like, “Business partners: we work with nature not against it.”
67: They also use advertisements displaying lush fields and open skies, telling America this is what we should aspire to look like. Throughout the decades it appears that environmentalism activists manipulate the tools of either intimidation or inspiration to motivate people. The idea of conservation has come full circle from its beginning roots during the WWII era. Originally promoted in order to help the troops, it now appears to be stepping back into our daily lives with a different mission then before. Conservation and preservation are pressing issues affecting our world today. In order to make the globe a greener and healthier place to live, we cannot allow ourselves to slip into the oblivious state many were trapped in during the post-war time period. Now, after learning and understanding the consequences that can arise, we as a nation can move into a more efficient and cleaner era then ever experienced before. Conservation has come into our lives as almost a community effort. Usually people are selfish and self-providing, and an ambiance of competition seems to always be a factor in relationships between humans. This individual’s competition appeared to have vanished during the time of war, and instead a sense of community arose. Once the war was over and the fear had subsided though, people returned to their daily, self-centered lives and the concept of environmentalism faded. Now in present day as we watch our oceans become polluted, our trees get cut down, and the endanger species list grow the power of conservation and preservation are prevailing once again. The fear is back and inspiring those who used to be selfish and careless to gather a community of dedicated advocates.
68: By:Morgan K. “Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence is the key to unlocking our potential” ~Liane Cardes Cardes is saying that with determination, we can reach our potential, no matter what intelligence or strength we may have, everyone has a destined future to be achieved. Essentially everyone, both men and women can unlock their potential if they embrace it, but what discourages people from achieving it? Stereotypes in the media. Media has surrounded the human population for centuries in all different forms, but all media possessed a message or a purpose to convey to the public, whether it was how you act or how to dress. Over the past 50 years, the media has controlled the image of women and their abilities, from the powerful and inspiring portrayals of women during the World War II era, to the 50’s where women were shown as only meant for housework, and to today where the women’s job is merely to have good appearance and physical appeal. This is all done to promote the needs of a male dominated society that seeks control and manipulation of the abilities and limitations of the female gender. In the World War II era, propaganda displayed woman as having both power and significant contributions to society, because women were left to fulfill positions of men who were off at war. In this first image, a message is sent to the public that “it’s a woman’s war too” encouraging women to engage in the war and to participate. The catch phrase was implying that this war wasn’t just directed towards and could be resolved by men, but women needed to participate as well. Essentially propaganda like this one, fueled the fire for women to expand their borders and work in the army. This one in particular says join the waves, implicating enlisting for the navy. The woman in this image is at work, handling complex machinery and has a very serious and stern look on her face, showing a sense of focus of the matter of woman being needed for the army. | Defining our Ability
69: Her facial expression also shows her dedication to the job. This portrayed to the public that women were needed, and were capable of accomplishing jobs outside the normal realm. The next image also addresses the need for women in the work force, but is more focused in local jobs rather than the army. The sheer size of the writing conveys the importance of the message that “the more women at work, the sooner we win”. This statement is implying that women are vital in winning the war and are needed to contribute their energy and skill. The woman in the picture is in a very distinct+ red uniform as she focuses on the task at hand. But her appearance remains very feminine, her red lipstick in tact, painting fingernails, and her hair pulled back and protected. An ad of this nature showed women that they were needed and could accomplish more than they imagined and still look good. One of the most significant aspects of this image is the box featured on the bottom that includes other employment opportunities. The different suggestions gave women the idea that they weren’t confined to work in one particular workforce but had many other options such as teaching or medical jobs. This was important because it empowered women to step out of their homes and go into the work force because their help is just as valuable as that of a man overseas.
70: As the 1950’s approached, the ability of woman began to be portrayed as one destined for home life and unimportance, since men were now available to assume their desired positions in society again. The first image is an advertisement for a new and improved, O’Cedar mop. But it is titled "for a practical sex, a really practical gift". The only person featured in the advertisement is a woman using the mop in several different ways, but the title of this is suggesting that a woman is deserving of a mop because that is her practical place in society, as a homemaker. It's almost degrading in a way by saying that being a female at the time was practical, it was just efficient and insignificant and nothing of importance. A woman was only deserving of a mop as a gift to conform to societies little expectations of her to fulfill her household duties. The woman’s sheer beauty and presence, shows that a woman can still remain beautiful even after using the mop, something enticing to both the male and female consumer. The following image is an ad for Delmonte ketchup with an easy off top
71: However the core message of the ad completely demeans the female genders capability. The suggestion “You mean even a woman can open it” sets back women intellect and knowledge. The statement is saying that even though it may be hard for women to accomplish things, this particular bottle is easy enough to open for them. It refers to that stereotype that men are stronger than women and usually a woman would have to resort to asking assistance from her husband to open a ketchup bottle or jar. The woman is perfectly groomed, her hair curled and in place, her lips coated in red lipstick and her fingernails perfectly polished. Her look is one of awe and surprise with her eyebrows raised and eyes widened that she can actually accomplish this task. The media in this case is portraying a sense of stupidity and inability in women of the 1950’s, and only a sense of beauty.
72: The next advertisement also presents the recurring theme of women’s place in the home. The advertisement features a husband and wife, the wife holding a feather duster in her hand and gazing into her husband’s eyes. The husbands thought bubble says, “So the harder a wife works, the cuter she looks” Although the statement references the hard work of women, it is implying that a woman is only intended to work hard in the house and they need the energy to do so from Pep vitamins. But the fact that it says that the harder she works in the home, the more beautiful she will looks undermines the ability of women. The woman still looks and is dressed beautifully despite the hard work in the house she has endured. The media in this situation put restraints on what a woman could do, saying that she could only be a homemaker and a visually appealing female.
73: In present times, social media has caused women to be classified as only having value in appearance and physical appeal, because of the male dominance that seeks power and pushes women to be restrained and limited in their abilities. It has come to be that many advertisements and TV commercials present the idea that women are intended to be physically appealing and are only objects or have the purpose of selling items to male consumers. The fragrance ad for Paco Tabanne fragrance shows a similar message. A male in a suit is featured with a woman standing behind him in a very low cut black dress exposing her chest. Yet there is a sense of formality and seriousness portrayed in there expressions. A male in a suit is featured with a woman standing behind him in a very low cut black dress exposing her chest. Yet there is a sense of formality and seriousness portrayed in there expressions. The woman is featured provocatively dressed to further sell the cologne to the male consumer that it is targeted towards, showing men who see the ad that they could be the man standing in front of this gorgeous woman.
74: However, there is a greater message that is implied. The position of the woman behind the man, suggests that the woman is insignificant to him or has a lesser of a position to the man. It also conveys that sense that the woman is being protected by the man and is weaker than him and can’t protect her self. The position of the woman’s hand suggests a sense that she is asking for something, a gesture someone might make if they want money or if they are in need of something. This shows that women may need support financially or emotionally because they are much less capable. An ad like this limits a woman’s place in society to one primarily of visual appearance and the position of the lesser part of a man. Similarly, in the Curve cologne for men advertisement, a woman is featured in a very open lingerie top that barely covers her chest. Along with most of her body exposed, her brown hair is perfectly curled and draped along the side of her face, and her make-up seems to be impeccable. The whole idea of “sex sells” is the underlying message of this ad. It tempts consumers with the idea that they could get a woman of this caliber of beauty, simply if they purchased cologne, probably why it was featured in GQ magazine. But what is also significant in this ad, is the bold yellow writing featured on the side of the image.
75: The words “Girls, cars, sports” are repeatedly written in a vibrant gold font, with “girls” being bolded. It’s as if the advertisement is suggesting that women or girls are merely objects to stare at or to gawk at like cars and sports. This is a complete objectification of women and considers the idea that women are merely for men’s enjoyment and not for working or for contribution to society. Again, there is the idea that women don’t really have a place in society today, other than to be a lesser component to a man or to sell items. Through analyzing several sources of media such as propaganda posters and magazine advertisements, we see that the media has downgraded a woman’s place in society. A woman was once empowered, encouraged, and strongly urged to go out into the world and find a job, but today all that is gained from an advertisement is for women to “stand there and look pretty”. Its shocking to see that in an age where we have come so far, when women worked hard to secure the right to vote, or worked to receive places in government, that the one thing that is reflecting our society doesn’t portray those accomplishments. It degrades women, and implies that females have little contribution to society. Our society is male driven, where a male stands to have the power and importance, thus making women simply support or means enjoyment to look at. With time, women are still contained in a hypothetical box with boundaries on what society says they can and cannot do. In a sense, this situation is similar to that of young boys and girls. Many children grow up with ideas drilled in their heads that girls are supposed to play with Polly Pockets, and boys are supposed to play with Tonka trucks. Or we hear the phrases “girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice”, and “boys are made of frogs and snails and puppy dog tails.” Although these seem like very light and playful ideas, they truly show that our society is based on limiting individuals to certain ways of acting, and the media is the direct cause. But limiting women to so little when they can do so much isn’t child’s play anymore, as it severely affects the lives of over the half the population.
76: "Twisted Beauty" by Spencer L. Over the past century, our society has shifted to one centered on the media, a force that constantly shapes and alters our state of mind. Throughout history, the physical appearance of women has largely determined how they are viewed in society’s eyes, instead of their intellectual capability or an array of other factors that heavily influence the value of a man. Media, in the form of advertisements on television or in magazines, or simple pieces of propaganda, constantly reinforces this idea. These pieces of media provide an endless stream of indoctrination to women instructing that they should be beautiful, and how they can maximize their physical appeal through the acquisition of certain products. Since producers of media are aware of the importance placed on woman possessing an attractive appearance, pieces of media from World War II, the 1950’s, and even modern society utilize this emphasis to attract customers to products and often manipulate women to conform to the demands of each time period. During World War II, advertisements and items of propaganda broadcasted the notion that women could and should show great beauty even when helping their country in the midst of war. For example, in a propaganda poster produced by the Government Printing Office for the War, a stunning woman is depicted with a piece of paper held tightly to her chest. The caption below reads, “Longing won’t bring him back sooner GET A WAR JOB!” and directs women to see their U.S. employment service. Yet, the woman depicted is not just a representation of slight beauty, her body’s appearance is perfected by vividly painted scarlet nails, glossy lipstick, shining long hair, perfectly shaped eyebrows, and even rosy red cheeks, while a burgundy colored jacket adds to her portrayal as a respectable woman. The extreme beauty and elegant appearance of the woman displayed in this item demands the service of even the wealthy of the era, while women in general would also be drawn to serve, as they would like to be held at an equal level to beautiful women such as this one.
77: In addition, another piece of propaganda published during the war displays a woman doing factory work, a job the previous advertisement encouraged women to do. As men were away fighting, women worked long, hard hours in factories to produce many types of military equipment, such as guns and tanks. Not only did this help to keep the American economy strong during the war, it created a constant supply of equipment. In the advertisement, the woman is portrayed as being attractive and young, while she is dressed in a clean blue shirt with practically no wrinkles to be seen. As she is wearing her makeup, a piece of cloth to cover her hair, and grey gloves, the ad conveys the point that women could still look beautiful working. Even more so, when their work is done, they could simply undo their done-up hair and remove their gloves, returning to the state of a lady, a state most women held as very important at the time. Clearly, propaganda during WWII encourages women to work by communicating the message that all women can work and still maintain great beauty. As World War II came to a close, women were no longer needed in factories, so society’s views shifted to those of the 1950’s, where advertisements emphasized women’s idealized role as being beautiful while doing work in the house and kitchen as perfection. For example, in a Hotpoint pushbutton range oven and stove advertisement, three women are depicted joyously walking by a picture of the oven. Each woman carries a delicately prepared dessert, placing importance on her performing well in the kitchen. Also, each is dressed in a clean apron, colorful dress, and high heals, while their bright blond hair is neatly done up on the back of their head, dramatizing the impractical appearance expected of women at the time. The happiness depicted shows the belief that women should be enjoying their work in the kitchen, and be glad to please the man of the family. Supposedly, through buying this product, they could create better food than before, further satisfying their husbands.
78: In a Lewyt vacuum cleaner ad from page 15 of the April 14th, 1952 Life Magazine, the association between women and housework is again displayed. In this advertisement, the main caption reads, “It’s Quiet... it’s Powerful... no dust bag to empty!” Importance is drawn to the silence of the vacuum by a woman depicted, infatuated by this quality, holding her ear to the vacuum. Reasonably, we can assume that the woman values the silence of this vacuum because she does not wish to disturb the rest of the family she works so hard to please. Furthermore, in a picture below whose caption reads, “Feel that suction!” the vacuum is held to the woman’s delicate hands, hands that even have long, polished fingernails. This advertisement insinuated in the minds of its viewers that women should be interested in the quality of their household work, while still maintaining an unfeasible level of appearance. Overall, these pieces of media broadcast the unrealistic, flawless appearance commonly associated with women’s work in the home during the 1950’s.
79: Without a doubt, the presence of the female figure in the media has persisted through the varying demands required by the changing role of women throughout these three time periods. In the 1950’s, they were forced to return to the home, abandoning the void they filled as professionals during WWII. Even though modern women have made huge headway in the fight towards sexual equality, they are still judged by their beauty infinitely more than men. This principle truly does seem to be engraved in the foundation of our society. It will undoubtedly take huge amounts of effort to implement the notion that the skills and abilities of women should determine their value, opposed to their appearance. | Similarly, in a Budweiser beer advertisement, three clearly attractive women wearing skin-tight, revealing bathing suits stand in front of a poster with information of the beer written on it. The advertiser was accurately aware that pictures of the beer itself or even the beer being drunk by medially attractive women would not attract customers. Though the bodies of the models have nothing to do with the beer, their sexual positions excite the natural instinct of man, drawing attention to the “Budweiser” written across them. These advertisements not only ignore the importance placed on women during the 1950’s to posses household skills, but disregard the idea that they posses any skills whatsoever. Instead, they convey the message that as long as women looked good, they will be accepted; a message that drives the actions of women everywhere.
80: In a Lewyt vacuum cleaner ad from page 15 of the April 14th, 1952 Life Magazine, the association between women and housework is again displayed. In this advertisement, the main caption reads, “It’s Quiet... it’s Powerful... no dust bag to empty!” Importance is drawn to the silence of the vacuum by a woman depicted, infatuated by this quality, holding her ear to the vacuum. Reasonably, we can assume that the woman values the silence of this vacuum because she does not wish to disturb the rest of the family she works so hard to please. Furthermore, in a picture below whose caption reads, “Feel that suction!” the vacuum is held to the woman’s delicate hands, hands that even have long, polished fingernails. This advertisement insinuated in the minds of its viewers that women should be interested in the quality of their household work, while still maintaining an unfeasible level of appearance. Overall, these pieces of media broadcast the unrealistic, flawless appearance commonly associated with women’s work in the home during the 1950’s. | Finally, even in the world today where women have once again joined the workforce, the media continues to value woman based on their physical appeal, as advertisements only give importance to the beauty and sexuality of the women they portray. Some may find this surprising, as women make up a much larger part of the work force in today’s society than ever before. Yet, the world of media insists on maintaining the body image of women as a main constituent. For instance, in a Sisley clothing advertisement, two young women wearing skimpy dresses sit snorting the item of clothing in front of them up, as if it were cocaine. Primarily, this advertisement displays the women’s superficial obsession with clothes, while their sex being the only present assumes that women are the only fashion junkies. Furthermore, the clearly slim figure of these women is stressed, as snorting cocaine is an unfortunate technique used by many models to stay thin. This ad draws no importance to the array of troubling aspects present, such as the involvement of drugs to obtain a thin figure, as their obsession with clothes and their appearance is presented as mattering more.
82: Indoctrination Stephen M. | The media is everywhere. From the moment we wake up to the second our minds fade into sleep each night, we are inundated with words, images, hundreds and thousands of tidbits of information flying at us from every angle until we don't even notice anymore. Yet even when we are not paying attention to the media, it is constantly at work shaping our thoughts and our perceptions – the very way we think as individuals and as a society. Advertising has been revolutionized many times over in the seventy-five years since the last world war, in delivery, ubiquitous nature, and message. In the same way, the portrayal of men in the media has changed in subtle but quietly radical ways – beginning with a worship of warriors which faded and then came back in a new incarnation, as an obsession with body image took hold and the idea of women as equals shifted and evolved.
83: During World War Two, the United States of America was a society that needed heroism and strength, needed larger-than-life soldiers to defend it, because it was a society at war: the ideal man was the one who could help the country battle its way to victory. As we can see in the first picture, “Buy War Bonds”, men and the United States military are presented synonymously and with the same measure of awe-inspiring power. Uncle Sam himself, the representation of the United States, is a man with heroic posture and beard, wearing the flag and pointing forward to lead our soldiers as a God-like figure. | The soldiers on the ground are charging with fearless conviction, surrounded by a glow and fog that makes them look almost holy – and finally the warplanes soar overhead, completing the image of military dominance. This picture shows society's view of men as the leaders and the raw power of America. The next picture, “I’ll give ‘em hell!”, also shows a soldier with larger-than-life power, fearless and unstoppable (mostly because he's several times the size of his enemies). These pictures reinforce the image of the male American soldier as the embodiment of heroism and strength, huge and invincible.
84: Even older men are depicted in this mold, as shown by the third picture, “Jap you're next!” Uncle Sam in this picture is a plethora of symbolism – him, his beard, the flags he is wearing, as the leader and protector of America, the words and the rolling up of his sleeves showing that he is going to battle with valiant and fearless conviction, the wrench in his hand the symbol of the strength of America's workers and industry – and all of this embodied as a man, with the male traits of the long beard, aggression and power. World War Two propaganda drove it into peoples’ heads that men were the prime force of society: the leaders, the fighters, the ones who the nation needed to be valiant and strong in battle. | Once the war ended, the economy was growing out of the Depression, and things were brightening again, America no longer needed strong, brave men to defend it – instead the media began to focus on money and power as the requisite for being a true man, a man now cast into the new model of the post-war “ideal family”. The first picture, a green-tinted view of a man with his wife and son, exemplifies the new image of the American man – wearing a business suit, clearly successful and doing a higher-up job, not any of that mucking about with wrenches and rifles like he was doing in World War Two. His wife is depicted as smiling adoringly up at him, his child as offering him his hat; the picture shows that the man is depicted as the undisputed head of the family in the same way he was the representation of the US military earlier. He’s still leading like he was during the war, but now in a different situation.
85: Postwar, as the media began to tell people they needed wealth, the successful, commanding businessman became America’s new ideal man. The next picture, a typewriter advertisement, doesn’t even show a man but is still telling of his new role. The newspaper clipping is a job offer for “secretary to busy executive”, with the woman practically leaping at the opportunity. The man is unseen, yet his description as a “busy executive” shows the new ideal image of a man in society, and the woman’s role as being automatically subservient to him – still a message of man being in command. The message is even more direct in the next picture, which depicts a man painting a boat, being served beer and food jovially by his wife. This shows the male image of skill, craftsmanship, the ability to work – and, of course, his clear superiority to his wife, who serves him and likes it. As in the other picture with father, wife and child, this man has perfectly groomed hair: the beginning of an obsession with body image, not present in the World War Two ads with Uncle Sam’s worn face and rumpled clothing. Postwar propaganda was similar to that of World War Two in that it depicted men as the leaders, no longer in war, but in suburban living and the “ideal family” – not soldiers, but now successful, perfectly groomed businessmen and workers with loving families under their benevolent command.
86: Society’s perfect men, once soldiers but later wealthy and powerful figures in suits, have today expanded from the successful businessmen to include our high-salary athletes. Advertising today has begun to move back a little to the worship of men as warriors from World War Two – except today’s advertised warriors are wearing sports pads instead of body armor, driving flashy cars instead of tanks. The ideal image is no longer a soldier, because athletes make many times more money: a thing that media has identified as a need since the postwar era. The ESPN Magazine ad, featuring the picture of the football player above that of the car, shows that even the loosest connections between athletes and products are considered endorsements. The player’s purple-and-white is highlighted in his picture, while the car is surrounded by purple. The car is promoted to readers just by being on the same page as the new athletic ideal image of men. Other advertisements, such as the UPS ad with the players in the huddle, have more direct and clever connections between the players and the product – comparing a football moving down the field to a package moving across continents. Either way, athletes are worshipped in our advertisements, mirroring our view of them as a society. | The Babolat tennis advertisement is clever in its mug-shot imitation, but also telling in having male and female athletes next to each other. With a woman standing alongside them and in the same pose, the men are no longer shown with the obvious superiority of the postwar era. Finally, the black-and-white Wall Street Journal advertisement shows that some things have stayed the same, even been amplified – this picture deeply echoes the “successful businessman” pictures of the postwar era, with the perfectly groomed hair, planned pose, and careful lighting. This advertisement, as well as pretty much every clothing advertisement we see on a daily basis, underscores modern society’s obsession with attractiveness and visual perfection. In the modern era, the image of men has started to move back to the warrior ideals of World War Two, while changing to accommodate women as equals (in some fields) and deepening the obsession with body image that began in the postwar era.
87: In the seventy-five years since the war, media’s image of men has gone from warriors to groomed businessmen and eventually expanded to depict both, with soldiers replaced by athletes. Man’s dominance over women has slowly yet inexorably lessened, until the subservient wives and girlfriends of the war and postwar eras were replaced by today’s female athletes standing alongside their male counterparts. Finally, the media’s “perfect” male body image, while almost nonexistent in World War Two, has swelled to an obsession today. As media is constantly present in our lives, these trends are not just side details to be noticed and written off; they wield dangerous power. When we are told every second of every day what we are supposed to think and look like and be as men, we begin to be unconsciously shifted. In controlling the perceptions of society, the media controls us. Analyzing, understanding, and being able to rise above this constant indoctrination is the only way we can keep ourselves from becoming enslaved by it.
88: Edgar A. Shoaff once said, “Advertising is the art of making whole lies out of half truths.” In order to successfully market goods and services, advertisements often use images and expressions that reflect the values of a society. While advertisements frequently exaggerate gender stereotypes in order to appeal to specific target markets, these exaggerations often reflect and, in turn, contribute to a definition of a society’s values. Advertising, as a method of communication, is used to influence or persuade an audience to take some kind of action. Most commonly, the desired result is to influence consumer behavior with respect to a commercial contribution. The advertising industry, as a whole grew tremendously in the 1940’s and 50’s with the increase, first in both newspaper and magazine print advertising and then with the advent of television. As the industry grew so did advertising’s influence on what was valued in society. People were offered a window not just into the neighborhood, but also across the country and, in today’s ads, across the globe. During the WWII years in the 1940’s the vacancy created in the work force by men going off to war created an opportunity for women to redefine their economic roles in society and ultimately forever altered the workforce landscape. Yet even with these economic opportunities for women, advertising still promoted the notion that women were subordinate to men. Advertising executives held and utilized existing ideologies about women's roles in society to mobilize women into the wartime economy. Advertisements, while providing an expanded representation of women in non-traditional wartime activities and occupations, continued to emphasize traditional ideas about women's roles. The new wartime responsibilities were refit into the context of women's traditional roles in the home. In a propaganda illustration by Lawrence Wilbur for the War Manpower Commission, a beautiful woman is pictured clutching what appears to be letters from her loved one at war. She adorns crimson colored lipstick on, heavy eye makeup and scarlet nails the same shade as her blush. Clearly, this woman is supposed to represent the epitome of beauty and also the ideal wife in her yearning for her husband. The frantic grasping of the letters in her hand suggests desperate longing for her man to return. She adorns a forlorn melancholic look while gazing off into the distance, most likely reminiscing about the past. The statement below admonishes the disheartened woman saying, “Longing won’t bring him back any sooner.” This assertion plays on the stereotype of the small emotional capacity of women. The incorporation of this common stereotype compels women to get a war job so as to not be defined by the general perception of sensitivity. | Subordinate, Stunning and Stuck in the Home: A Look at Women in Advertisements through the 50’s 60’s and today By: Lainie N.
89: In a women’s workforce (WOW) propaganda piece, the woman is shown aiding the men from home. The print under the advertisement reads, “The girl he left behind is still behind him.” This phrase represents how advertisements reflected the societal value of women as support systems for men. The phrase “is still behind him” suggests that as a gender women, even though they are the wartime work force, are still essentially following men. Looking beyond the words to the image, the woman’s body positioning, implies her continued dependence on the man. She is pictured looking back over her shoulder towards the man that left her behind almost as if she is gaining her strength from the image of ‘her soldier.’ Her body language indicates her need and longing for the man who left her behind, essentially saying that despite woman’s role in the workforce, women take their cues from men. Furthermore, her pristine look even in a manufacturing job evokes the sense that a woman’s value is in her appearance. Her white gloves and shirt remain unblemished and her makeup stays flawless despite her participation in a man’s job. Her perfect presence, and subservient demeanor reflected the 1940’s societal perception of how a woman should look and act. In the 1950’s, post war advertisements repeatedly re-emphasized the societal value of women being housewives, subservient and attractive. With the end of World War II and the return of the male work force, advertising returned to depicting women in their ‘respected' place in society, as homemakers. The commercial world began to consistently socially divide women and men through the use of advertisements. The unsettling ads of the 1950’s marked the pinnacle of gender inequality. The largely male run advertising agencies continued the trajectory that women were on before WWII. Women were depicted as happy, attractive homemakers. In the May 2nd, 1953 Life magazine issue, an advertisement portrayed an image of a woman enamored by her new EUREKA Roto-Matic vacuum cleaner. This image reinforces the expected role of women in the home, captivated by a domestic lifestyle. Declaring that the vacuum cleaner, ‘is her honey and Pete is her husband,’ the attractive women depicted the societal value of a woman’s place being in the home, attentive to it and subservient to her husband. The advertisement adheres to the typical 1950’s ads, ‘putting women in their place’ by defining their place in society as a wife and domestic worker.
90: Post-World War II, women began to challenge their traditional role in the home due to their small taste of employment during the war while the men were away. Therefore, society attempted to express to women, especially through the media, that they did not belong in the workforce; that their value was to be derived from the home; cooking, cleaning and taking care of the children. Furthermore, in the advertisement, the man seems to be overseeing the woman while she works, suggesting she possesses a child-like quality needing supervision. Portraying women as dependent helped to reinforce the societal belief that woman were not as valuable as men as employees, thus delaying the women from re-entering the workforce for a second time. In addition to the revaluation of women as homemakers who were “less then” men, a reinforcement of the societal belief that women should be thin and attractive became a prevailing theme n 1950’s advertisements. For example, a Pepsi advertisement in Life magazine, featured in a June 13th 1955 issue, clearly demonstrated what was to be valued by both men and women. The cola ad depicts a thin woman draped in a wedding veil with a Pepsi cola on her table. The ad emphasizes how Pepsi cola is a ‘light refreshment’ implying that the product can help any women achieve, what society deemed as beautiful, in terms of her body. The advertisement is attempting to convey how Pepsi is refreshment designed to help slim down women into their ideal shape. By emphasizing the lightness of the drink, the ad is essentially communicating to women that having slender figure is a vital image to aspire to in society. | Furthermore, by incorporating the wedding veil into the woman’s appearance, the advertisement is suggesting being beautiful and thin is also linked with marriage. Associating beauty and leanness with marriage is further demoralizing to women, suggesting that appearance and matrimony are all a woman should aim for in life. These 1950’s advertisements repeatedly suggest the same message. Simply, women should be beautiful supportive homemakers. Although women have become significant members of society, age-old traditions, stereotypes and societal expectations remain a prevalent in advertisements depicting women’s lives. Even in this age of burgeoning tolerance and respect, engrained perceptions of gender obligations and the importance of image continue to be reinforced in advertising. In this modern era, despite the advancements in women’s rights, advertisements indicate that women are still expected to partake in a domestic lifestyle. Assuming role as nurturing, caring for children and the household, and often taking up the role of a ‘stay-at-home mom is behavior that is essentially still expected of women. Furthermore, the value appearance has become an increasingly imperative aspect of our society. In modern days women are often shown as objects of desire, whose function in the advertising is to be looked at the highest frequency. Having such store set by looks in the media has influenced our society to follow in its footsteps, prizing beauty and slenderness while condemning anything that deviates from that perfect image. In an advertisement for the fragrance Light Blue by Dolce and Gabbana
91: an attractive couple is pictured in a beautiful coastline scenery. In this particular advertisement, the woman is depicted as possessing this unattainable beauty, and the ideal body image. Her beauty represents a ubiquitous expectation in society as an ideal image to strive for. Furthermore, in the Ad, the man’s arm is around the woman’s waist in an almost domineering manner. The way he is grasping her suggests that he is the one that is control or that he at least has some power over her. His position perpetuates the stereotype of male dominance, especially in relationships today. Additionally, the product is insinuating a lifestyle that is achievable through the usage of the product. This advertisement is playing up insecurities about a woman’s image, therefore enticing buyers of the perfume. By setting this standard of appearance, women feel the need to emulate the beauty seen in advertisements. Having such store set by looks in the media has influenced our society to follow in its footsteps, prizing beauty and slenderness while condemning anything that deviates from that perfect image. Additionally, in current times, women are recurrently characterized as housewives in numerous advertisements, especially ones concerning domestic duties such as cooking and cleaning. In a Swiffer Wet Jet commercial a woman is pictured after cleaning up a mess while her child is eating in the background. The woman is visibly smiling suggesting that she adores the use of her new Wet Jet and also, that she is content with cleaning. In addition, the woman’s hair, outfit, and makeup are spotless intimating that being a stay-at-home mom ensues looking beautiful. Her immaculate appearance places pressure upon the modern woman to look lovely despite what she is doing. The print in the Ad reads ‘He made it in the kitchen and ate it in the dining room. With Swiffer Wet Jet, both floor were clean before he was.’ She is clearly proud of herself that she can accomplish cleaning up after her child in such an efficient manner. Her enjoyment in completing domestic work prolongs the prevalent stereotype of women in the home. Also, there ‘her child’ is shown in the background suggesting that taking care of him is also a priority in her life. Picturing the stereotypical "housewife" in each cooking or cleaning ad or commercial is not only degrading, but it erases all the progress women have made to rid themselves of this stereotype. These advertisements assist women in formulating the assumption that it is their role in life to clean and take care of the household. Ads such as this Swiffer one help to define women’s ‘role’ in society especially in the terms of stereotypical beliefs that have been connected with women for decades. Even today, ads continue to influence women’s role in society, identifying them with domestic activities and the burden to be beautiful. Advertisements from the 1940’s and 50’s through those we see today, reflect, shape and ultimately define not only the goods and services that our society desires, but more importantly, advertising reflects our beliefs about gender roles and place in society. Women have often fallen victim to various stereotypes, which are often manifested through visual imagery within the media. Since advertising plays often incorporates the usage of typical stereotypes, the media released to the public weighs heavily on the perception of women in society. Advertising outcomes can have an influence on the image created in the receivers mind and can cause standardized perceptions. The media can be an instrument of change and awaken people and change minds. The change that we are undergoing depends on who is ‘piloting the plane’. With men holding a large percentage of power positions in the media, the ideas published to the public reflect the male opinion. If men continue to formulate the majority of the ideas presented in the media, women can’t possibly overcome the labels on their gender, which are constantly presented in advertisements. The media’s undeniable influence is constantly shaping our society and its beliefs. With only a small spectrum of ideas represented in the media, how can change possibly occur to rid women of these imposing stereotypes? Thus, there is little question that progress toward gender equality can ultimately never be made without a significant transformation in the presentation of the media.
92: Worth Her Weight in Beauty Jack O | In the modern era, the media’s influence reaches further and further into our lives. Americans spend hours per day between watching television, looking at magazines, or browsing the Internet where Google ads dominate the screen. Everywhere you go, advertisements catch your eye. Even refined aspects of products send subtle messages – have you ever wondered why Apple’s personal assistant Siri has the voice of a woman? As these subtleties penetrate our homes, they mold what we think and how we view each other and our society. One of the major subjects of these subliminal messages over the last fifty years is body image and how it defines your position professionally and socially, especially females. As World War II ended and its immediate demands waned, the role of women in the workforce changed drastically yet the importance of physical beauty remains even to modern day. Even when women were needed so severely to fill jobs that men left to fight in World War II, their physical appearance reigned as the determining factor to their worth. As millions of men were shipped overseas, job vacancies were common and women were asked to step out of the kitchen and into professional positions. For example, one propaganda poster from the war shows a patriotic, patriarchal man handing a young woman her new nursing cap with the words “Become a nurse: your country needs you”. The camera angle of this photograph, from above and only showing the arms of the man, immediately suggests that the woman is the inferior. Her doe-like eyes are staring up at the man with utmost admiration, and she clearly is presented as subordinate. Furthermore, she has noticeably spent time on her appearance, with hair done, lipstick, and perfect eyebrows. By portraying this as the common woman who is needed to volunteer, the artist is sending the message that this is what all women should look like if they wish to have status in the workforce. In another propaganda poster, a woman is shown clutching letters from her husband tightly to her chest, with the slogan reading “Longing won’t bring him back sooner...Get a war job!”. The body language of the woman plays on the stereotype that women are overly emotional and need to get over this “flaw” to help our country. | I cant cook, who cares?
93: Once again, she has lipstick on, eye makeup, painted nails, and is clearly supposed to be very beautiful. Just as in the previous poster, she is being asked to join the workforce while looking very nice. This demanded that women become conscious of their own body shape. Thus, the long-established role of media to define value by physicial appearance was held of highest importance even at a time of our country’s dire need. As soldiers returned home from overseas, women’s role in the professional workforce lost its importance and shifted toward the home, thus being once again reduced to domestic objects defined by beauty. Men reclaimed their jobs, and women were expected to return home where they would cook, clean, do dishes, look after the kids, and the entire time look pretty doing it. For instance, in an advertisement for a Crosley Shelvador refrigerator in Life magazine from July 13, 1953, a woman is shown sleeping and dreaming of her new refrigerator. Immediately, this ad broadcasts that women should dream of fridges and other home keeping items, thus implying that they belong in the kitchen. Moreover, the woman depicted has taken tedious care of her appearance despite the fact that she is sleeping; she has her nails painted, lipstick, and rosy cheeks. In this way, the media is driving home the duality of a woman who is both beautiful and works in a home.
94: In another advertisement for Tipalet cigarettes later in the fifties, the objectification of women progresses to being even more apparent and undisguised while the domesticity disappears. In this advertisement, the slogan reads “Blow in her face and she’ll follow you anywhere.” A man is smoking a Tipalet cigarette and implying that this beautiful woman is a non-sophisticated object to be won by simply blowing smoke into her face. By using a camera angle from behind the man, it illustrates how the man’s appearance is irrelevant but the woman must be beautiful. This advertisement has deviated from the previous objective of showing attractive women in a job or domestic role to completely objectifying women and demanding beauty. Thus, the use of women in advertisements began to change from that of World War II, but the principle of the importance of beauty remained and was even heightened. In the modern world, despite all the progression in sexual equality, the media continues to enforce through advertisements the principle of value determined by sexuality rather than ability. While in the past the media would use a woman’s sexuality within a working environment, we began to see a shift in the second half of the century. Our society has changed to a point where women are a larger part of the workforce than they have ever been and it is not assumed that women will give up their careers to raise kids. Still, though, in the world of media, body image, especially for women, is a key component. For instance, in a Budweiser beer advertisement, a woman lies naked covered in beer caps and clutching a bottle of beer. She is clearly very attractive and lies in a provocative position, but has literally nothing to do with the beer itself; Budweiser is not highlighting any aspects of the actual beer. She becomes completely immersed in the product. Meanwhile, it indicates that the beer will help you achieve the lifestyle of one who is in the company of such “ideal” women. With a similar, and markedly more blatant, message is a Wonderbra advertisement that reads “I can’t cook. Who cares?”. This is straightforwardly exemplifying how the woman’s worth is entirely determined by her looks. It even disregards the stereotype that was seen previously in the 1950’s ads that housekeeping and cooking were skills that women needed; now even these are unnecessary as long as they look good.
95: These messages are not only seen in advertisements. In another arena, television, programs such as Saturday Night Live are viewed by many Americans every day. In one SNL skit called the “Palin/Hilary Open”, two powerful femal political figures are mocked. One of the main points they dwell on is that of Sarah Palin’s attractiveness and Hillary Clinton’s lack thereof. It discussesses how Palin has been photo-shopped onto bikini pictures and how Clinton is thought of as looking horrid. These are strong political figures, and what the media points out is how attractive the women are! We Americans see these types of media every day and it drills into our brain that men should desire a certain type of woman and that women should try to look a certain way if they are to have any worth. After examining these advertisements from three distinct time periods, it is easy to see that while many things have changed in the world of sexual equality and oppurtunity, the fundamentals of the female figure in the media has remained the same. During World War II they were needed as professionals, but then forgotten as men returned from the battlefield. After many women’s rights movements throughout the twentieth century to today, modern women have achieved much in comparison but still are judged by their beauty. In a world dominated by all types of media, it seems that the media has become powerful enough to make this principle seem a fundamental of our society. Thus, it will take a great deal of work for our society to overcome this concept of beauty as the sole factor in the value of women and respect each other off of our merit and accomplishments.
96: “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Visual media influences our perspectives on society and how it works. Whether it is something that we view on television or read in a magazine, there is always an underlying message. One of the strongest examples of visual media and how it effects our perception of society are advertisements. When a company is selling a product, it is also selling a message. Depending on how we respond to that message can reveal what our values are. This is seen as early as the 1940s and as recent as modern times. Back in the 1940s and 1950s, visual media was used to show our expectations of women and the mold that society had created from that. This mold still exists nowadays and is evident in many advertisements. This visual media was also used to take advantage of those expectations in order sell products and with that, a lifestyle. By objectifying women through false images of perfection that the media has created over the years, womens' aspirations have been limited by the need to be beautiful and the roles society has given them. | Women Through the Eyes of the Media By: Katie P.
97: In the 1940s, women were used to sell products and were expected to live up to unattainable standards. In the Dorothy Gray Lipstick advertisement, we see a woman with perfect hair, lips, eyelashes, eyebrows, and fingertips holding the product being advertised. This picture can be interpreted in a couple of different ways. They use a woman, who is nearly perfect, in the ad to say that if you buy this product then you can look as perfect as this. Or in other words, as long as you are wearing this lipstick, then you will always look beautiful and you can achieve this image of the model in the picture. This is very unrealistic because if someone just got out of bed and put on the lipstick, then they would not look as flawless like the woman in the advertisement. Therefore the advertisements gibe women false hopes of achieving perfection. Another way to look at this advertisement is that this is the expectation for how women were expected to look in the 1940s. Women were always expected to look pretty and well put together whether they were cooking, cleaning, or even sleeping! This advertisement represents the unattainable perfection that women were expected to live up to during this time period and the advertisers use this picturesque image to sell their products. When the men had gone off to the war to fight in World War II, it was up to the women to take over their jobs to maintain the economy. In the ‘We Can Do It’ poster, we see a woman with her hair perfectly curled and wrapped up in a bandana. Her makeup is perfect and she is very clean like she hasn’t been working all day. Her sleeves are neatly rolled up as she flexes her biceps and her perfect manicure is also present. The fact that the woman in the photo still looks perfect even though this is a poster about women doing men’s’ jobs shows that women can still keep their femininity while doing a ‘man’s job’. The woman flexes her bicep in order to show that she is able to do the strenuous work that men are capable of but can still have perfectly manicured nails while she is working. Also her bicep is not defined for you cannot see her muscles, because well-defined muscles are associated with masculinity. This is also evidence that she can still be feminine and perfect when doing work. This image does not only show how women do not have to loose their femininity even though they are doing a ‘man’s sized job’, but it also (like the previous ad) shows the unattainable perfection that women are expected to achieve. Both of these advertisements/propaganda posters show what the standards were for women back then and how they could either live up to these standards or that they could maintain these standards.
98: The way that women were depicted in advertisements has not changed within the decade, because they are still shown as fragile and flawless housewives. An example of this is in the ad for a Lewyt cleaner. The headline reads “Get an new 1956 Lewyt with ‘finger-tip’ cleaning!” (Lewyt ‘Finger-tip’ Cleaning) meaning that the machine is so easy to use that a women would only have to use her finger tips, and that it is suitable for their capabilities. It also mentions that the “cleaner rolls on wheels” and “even the nozzle rolls on wheels” to support the fact that this machine is very much easy to use and move because it is on the wheels so the woman will not have to drag it around the house. In the advertisement a woman is handling the machine with one hand to show that she has to put very little effort into her work. Under the main picture of the advertisement it reads, “No more arm-ache from pushing and pulling No more lifting and carrying A ‘finger-tip’ touch and the nozzle rolls over rugs and floors” (Lewyt ‘Finger-tip’ Cleaning). Women were thought to be fragile creatures throughout history. This is why the advertisement is saying that the product requires a very low energy input in order to get the work done. It is trying to appeal to women because they were the only ones doing the housework. This part also suggests that women should not have to go through so much labor in order to keep an orderly home. Women were thought of as less than equal to men and more like children. They were not thought to have the masculinity and strength in order to perform strenuous labor. In the advertisement the woman has perfect nails, hair, and makeup as she cleans which supports the previous statement. This is also reinforcement that a woman was thought to be incapable of performing the real work that men did on a daily basis.
99: Another example of how societies perception of women has not changed is in the Jergen’s Lotion advertisement. The picture illustrates a woman sitting on top of a basket of laundry surrounded by other baskets of laundry. This shows how a woman’s place in society was in the home. Even though this is an advertisement for lotion, it still supports the idea that women did not belong in the workplace and had other duties. The woman sitting on top of the basket has her perfectly manicured hands perched on top of her knees and smiles with her perfect makeup and hair. The headline reads, “I wash 1400 pounds of laundry a year but I’m proud of my pretty hands!” (Jergen’s Lotion) Here the ad shows how a woman can still do her housework and be pretty at the same time. Women were always expected to be perfect and look a certain way. Therefore they were pressured to fit into this mold that society had created for them. The advertisement for the Kenwood Chef is selling a machine to the men in the family so that they can buy it for their wives for when they are cooking. Clearly, this ad is directed towards men because the headline says, “The Chef does everything but cook- that’s what wives are for!” (Kenwood Chef). This picture is yet another example that a woman’s place was only in the home and that they were only useful for cooking, cleaning, etc. The subheading also confirms that this ad is meant for men because it reads, “I’m giving my wife a Kenwood Chef” (Kenwood Chef). The ad includes a man with a women leaning against his back. Yet again the woman has perfect hair, nails, and makeup and in this picture is wearing a chef’s hat and both the man and the woman are smiling. This advertisement sells a product as well as a lifestyle and is trying to say that ‘this is the perfect gift for your wife’. Basically the advertisers are saying that if you buy this product then you can have this woman waiting for you at home each day, looking as perfect as this. The fact that they are both smiling implies that this is the kind of lifestyle that you want because they are both very happy and pleased with the product. In the 1950s, women were expected to be perfect housewives, which could be achieved with all of these products. Even though womens' occupations have slightly branched out, their main role in society is to still be physically and socially pleasing. Because our views have not changed, these views and values are evident in many advertisements. For instance, in a washing machine advertisement for the LG SteamWasher and SteamDryer, there is a woman in the top right-hand corner and next to her is the text, “A woman has needs. And right now, I need this wild cherry steam thing” (LG SteamWasher and SteamDryer). In the picture the woman is smiling with her perfect hair and makeup. The fact that she looks near perfect supports the idea that women need to look a certain way even when they are doing housework. Because the headline says that a woman has needs, this illustrates how women are still associated with household work and in this case, cleaning. In the description of the product it mentions that the washer and dryer make doing the laundry easier with new feature i.e. stain removal, steam settings, and allergen removal.
100: The advertisement also used the words “wild cherry steam thing” to try and show that women are very simple, have simple minds, and that their only priority is to get the housework done. In the advertisement, the woman can’t even remember the name of the product! This is yet another example of how society believes that women are unable to put together complex thoughts and remember simple things, portraying them as ditzy. While this ad does not suggest that women are incapable of doing strenuous work, it does still show that we continue to view women as the ones who do all of the household chores. Women are also expected to look a certain way. Many advertisers use what they think is the perfect person to model what the expectations of women are and use that to sell their products. In the Cover Girl ad for Natureluxe Mousse Mascara, they show Taylor Swift with her hair done perfectly as well as her makeup and a happy expression on her face. Because in the picture she is flawless, naturally this is how people think that all women should look when this is not the case. The media is demanding physical perfection from women because this is now society’s expectation. CoverGirl is saying that with their mascara, the buyer can have eyes or look like Taylor Swift because she is wearing the product. This is very unrealistic because one cannot expect to look as flawless as Taylor Swift does in the picture if they simply apply this brand of make-up. Furthermore, the photo of Taylor Swift was most likely edited to remove any imperfections meaning that this king of perfection is truly unattainable and created with the help of editing sofware. Additionally, they are using Taylor Swift in their advertisement because she is a role model for many people and so they use that to strengthen their campaign. Because it is not only in this ad where seemingly flawless women are used to set an example for others to mold to, the media has fortified our early ideas from the 40s and 50s pertaining to a woman’s appearance and what the ideal women should look like.
101: Those ads use this mold or expectation to sell their products because generally many want to fit to this mold made by society influenced by the media. Finally, women are used in explicit advertisements in order to not only sell products, but also a certain lifestyle that many men want to acquire. This is easily seen in the perfume ad, ‘Villain by Ed Hardy’. In the picture, there is a man in his pants staring at a woman who is only in her bra and underwear. Because this perfume is being sold to men through this ad, it is saying that if you wear this perfume then you can attract women as flawless as this one. The woman in the ad has a perfect body, hair, and makeup as she lies next to the man and is staring toward the perfume. The perfume is placed on top of her bottom to draw attention to that part of her body. The women’s eyes also help to draw attention to this part of this ad because this is where her eyes are directed. Because this advertisement is directed towards men, they use a women’s body to sell the perfume because it is sexually appealing. This advertisement is yet another example of how women are used to sell products and how women are expected to look. Clearly, the media has not changes their portrayal of women even though we have advanced as a society pertaining to other aspects of life. | In conclusion, it is clearly seen that the expectations of women have been set as early as the 1940s and we still use that mold today. Whether these expectations were unattainable perfection or being a housewife, these aspects have not changed throughout history. Women are still expected to look a certain way, which can be used to sell products and to occupy a certain role in society, which can help to sell a lifestyle. No matter what progress we may have made on women’s rights, we have made no progress pertaining to our image of women and acceptance that diversity is what makes us who we are. The media has immensely influenced the general view of women throughout history and has created these expectations. Because the media is present wherever we are, women are constantly checking to make sure that they live up to this perfection that the media has created. In order to escape these expectations, we all need to change our views on what it means to be the perfect woman and from that destroy the old model that had originally been created. The phrase ‘nobody’s perfect’ applies here in which no one should be expected to have a certain disposition. As long as we can change our views and values on perfection, there will be no more pressure to fit into a mold and we can start over as a society.
102: A picture is worth a thousand words, so they say. But the amount of words contained in an advertisement is immeasurable. The average human being is exposed to almost 1518 ads a day, in the form of magazine articles, commercials, or even a logo on a sweater. Through a judicious mixture of flattery and threats, the media captivates humans as a species and has the power to maintain the status quo or be a change agent in terms of perception. Dating from as early as World War II, women have suffered from an identity crisis, being depicted in several different lights. Because we are exposed to advertising in so many different forms, we hardly notice how the media almost effortlessly shapes how we think as an individual and as a society. Women in particular are heavily targeted by the greatest art form of the 20th century, being both advertised and advertised to. From the capable Rosie the Riveter to the dainty models of today, the history of the perception of women is a dynamic one indeed. Through several changes related to the role of women in the workplace and society, the media has successfully manipulated the way that women are perceived over the course of the past 70 years. | The desperate times of World War II demonstrated the true powers of the media. Because most of the men of our country had been drafted into the war, leaving vital work positions unfilled, the only way to compensate for this was to have the women take up those empty job positions. But because women were so used to spending their days tending to their duties around the home, there was no way that all of a sudden thousands of women were going to simultaneously lay down their aprons and get their hands “dirty”. Becoming workers had to be seen as appealing to them, so the media worked its magic. You may be familiar with the pictures of Rosie the Riveter, who is commonly depicted flexing a bicep while saying “We Can Do It!”. This empowering statement was directed at other women, broadcasting that they were capable human beings with the ability to ease the troubling times that the war was bringing. | Changing Your Perceptions-One Advertisement at a Time A closer look at how the media has used propaganda to predetermine the roles of women in the workplace since World War II. Stefan P.
103: It is worth noting that even though she is working, her eyebrows are perfectly manicured, her hair is in place with the help of a red and white ribbon and her shirt is spotless. So not only is she helping out, she looks flawless as well. This concept of looking glamorous in the workplace while doing their part appealed to the women of the 1940’s. Another poster shows a women who has enlisted in the U.S Cadet Nurse Corps, who also doesn’t have a single hair out of place. The poster asks other women to enlist in a “proud profession”, reinforcing the idea of supporting a cause, but not to the extent where you will lose your feminine qualities. To take this concept even further, women in the workplace were seen as equals with the men, something that was previously unheard of. In a third propaganda poster, a woman is pictured sitting next to a man, who says that “America’s Women have met the test!”, stating that women have risen above past perceptions and stereotypes to be just as heroic in the war as the men who are fighting in it. The two are sharing a cup of coffee, supporting the equality in the workplace between both genders. The media was very effectively depicting the workplace as an ideal place to be, where you could go to do your part, look great, and be seen as equal with men. Because of the media, women flocked to the empty work positions and helped do their part to fight in World War II. | In the post war 1950’s, the media was faced with another challenge. The war was over, and the soldiers returned home. The only problem with that, was that the men were returning home to their work positions that had been filled up by women. The men were appalled to find that women were indeed capable enough to be in these positions, and because of this had no means of kicking them out so that they could return to their former occupations. So the media once again used its persuasive abilities to portray women in a completely different light. If they couldn’t forcibly remove the women from the workplace, then the only other option was to make their lives out of the workplace look appealing. In three separate advertisements from Life Magazine, we see just how these women were portrayed. The first shows a woman serving her husband and either a friend/son some coffee after the two men have obviously finished off a task involving manual labor. This ad reinforces the caregiving figure that a mother/wife is supposed to be, one who is always around the house to fulfill the needs of everyone around her. By advertising an ideal mother figure, women felt compelled to do the same and stay at home.
104: A second ad is for a typewriter, with a woman pictured next to it holding a slip of paper that says “Secretary”, while saying“That’s the job for me!”. This ad is subliminally mocking the abilities of a woman, by picturing this woman as excited to fulfill the job that supports all of the men above her who hold much higher positions of power and success than she does. The third and final ad shows a man washing his car, advertising the sponge that he is using. While it does seem like a rather boring ad, it doesn’t fail to section off a woman in a black box at the bottom of the page who mentions that the sponge is perfect for household uses as well. This small message in the ad not only is symbolic the the household orientation of the woman, but also to the separation between the genders. | As human rights and gender equality became more prevalent in the early 21st century, women wanted those work positions that they had held for a brief period of time during World War II back. So how do we deter people from a certain aspiration without directly turning them away? | By recognizing how heavily woman are influenced by the media, the media was able to use this influence to persuade women to move out of work positions that were previously held by men before the war. | The women pictured in the ads of the 21st century, such as the perfume ads used in Teen Vogue magazine are a perfect example. The women depicted are wearing minimal clothing, draped seductively across a couch. The only way you would know that this was advertising for perfume would be to check for the tiny perfume bottle pictured in the bottom right hand corner of the page. While on paper this is an ad for perfume, this ad is really selling the image of the woman who is being advertised; one that is seemingly “perfect”, yet only achievable through the purchase of the product labeled in the corner of the page. | We get the media to do the work, of course. The work now provided for women seems to go not far beyond posing, smiling and more posing.These women are employed, no doubt, but if you compare this new promoted form of employment to that of 50 years ago, it is exposed for what it really is; degrading.
105: In another ad for a law suit, a woman’s behind is shown, with a caption that says “Don’t let them get away with your assets!” This is a bit of a play on some vulgar language, but the message remains the same. In all of these ads, the women are advertised as a part of the work force, but in a very minor way that is in no way on par with the position that the men may hold. When looking further into the law firm ad, it can be confirmed that the firm is owned by a woman, which is scary in the sense that it suggests that this woman has bought into the sex scheme of the media, despite the fact that she is a woman herself. This objectifying accomplishes a similar task to what was accomplished by the media in the early 1950’s; the woman are still allowed to be a part of the work force, but the media is advertising them in positions that are much further below the men. In a third ad for the fashion designer Gucci, we can see an evident stratification between men and women in modern day advertisements. First of all, the woman is once again draped seductively across a piece of furniture, but the positioning of the man in this ad is interesting. He is positioned above the woman, a concept that subtly gets the message across that men are dominant when compared to women, according to the media. The women have been pushed away to such a point that they serve the sole purpose to fulfill whatever role the males have previously decided for them, and such a role that involves them wearing practically nothing does seem to appeal to men. Because of their own low influence level, the woman in ads of the 21st century appear more objective than human, displaying as little personality as the inanimate object that they are trying to sell. | Women, unfortunately, have fallen prey to the persuasive powers of the media. In a clever, subtle way, things that seem as meaningless as propaganda posters or mere advertisements have been used to portray a certain message to us as the general public. Over the past 70 years, it’s easy to recognize how influential the media really is. From supporting the women in World War II, mocking them in the 1950’s, and objectifying them today, the media can modify our mind’s eye to how they see fit. | The media is everywhere. Because of the heavy importance placed on the status quo, something that is drawn from the media, people are greatly influenced by the media. While it may seem rather scary and belittling to think that there is an over arching institution that holds an enormous amount of influence, it is undeniable that the media has the ability to shape our perception in an instant.
106: Visual media is used in our world to more effectively capture the attention of an audience, and therefore promote a more lucrative business. Every image that we see in a commercial or advertisement influences our way of thinking, even if we’re not aware of it. It utilizes society’s stereotypes to create a shock factor and gain attention for a specific product. The companies exploit the concept of an ideal lifestyle, including the characters who play a part, which the viewers don’t recognize as unattainable. This displayed perfection is being ingrained into the minds of our country, and is not only influencing our perception of how life should be, but it is reflecting the image of what our society views to as being particularly desirable. Throughout recent history and during modern times, visual media depicts the ideal views on women’s expected role in society, and by exploiting these concepts has influenced our society into adhering to the narrow guidelines for which they advocate. | The Manipulation of Society by Visual Media By: Harriet P.
107: During World War II, women were encouraged to enter into the work force due to the absence of the men who left home to courageously fight in the war. They previously were not needed to occupy these jobs, considering men used to take on these brave positions. With such a high vacancy in these positions, society was forced to promote the increase of women in the work force. In a propaganda image presenting a woman whose assumed job is being a stenographer, the concept of the increase in employment of women is positively associated with victory. The phrase, “VICTORY WAITS ON YOUR FINGERS,” motivates women to take on the jobs, such as stenography, in order to assist America in its defeat of the Axis powers during the inhumane war. This particular image creates connections between the potential victory of the war and the acceptance of women into the work force, and considering many women had loved ones overseas, they were personally motivated to accept these new challenges. | The usage of the title, “MISS U.S.A.” subtly implies that women can maintain their feminine ways while courageously occupying the jobs such as this one. Another name which attracts attention is Uncle Sam when the picture claims that “Uncle Sam Needs Stenographers!” This personalizes the invitation into the work force, and produces as patriotic feeling that motivates women to contribute to their country. The poster that shows a woman handling seemingly dangerous tools includes the very bold statement, “The more WOMEN at work the sooner we WIN!” This declaration conveys to women that they don’t need to be enrolled in the army to help win the war. It encourages the women who are used to being restricted to household duties to go out and strive to fill these jobs while their loved ones are occupied overseas. Since this ad is stating that the introduction of women into the work force will help win the war, it suggests that if they don’t get jobs, they will have the opposite effect. This not only makes women feel like they are contributing in the war efforts for getting jobs, but makes them feel like they are sabotaging America’s chance of winning by not taking up these job opportunities. Additionally, this woman’s ability to handle seemingly dangerous equipment while maintaining her meticulous physical appearance shows women that they can preserve the looks that have been so important to them while working in these jobs. The images and posters of the mid-WWII time period reflects society’s eagerness to persuade women to enter in the work force, in order to fill the jobs that the men of that time were not able to fill. During the post World War II era, visual media conveyed to women that their role in society was exclusively in the home through the use of advertising various products. There was a drastic shift in the expected role of women from the short amount of time during the war to after the war. The message was that they were no longer accepted in the work place, and were expected to maintain the household so that their husbands could go out and occupy the “real” jobs. In an ad for General Electric’s new “REACH-EASY” vacuum cleaner, the silhouette of a woman is displayed cleaning various features of the household while using this new convenient tool. The initial connection that one makes is the use of the word “easy” when associated with the mystery woman in this image. This capitalizes on the common cliché of, “it is so easy a | woman could do it,” which instantly forces women to feel submissive to men physically and intellectually. The company is attempting to gain more sales by displaying this woman’s ecstatic attitude upon receiving and using this particular vacuum cleaner. Women as a whole are put under he impression that this specific vacuum cleaner will bring them joy and make their lives easier while maintaining the household jobs that their lives supposedly revolve around. The fact that this company is solely presenting a woman as the model to carry out the household tasks exhibited in the picture compels women to subconsciously believe that it is their priority is to be responsible for the cooking and cleaning within the household.
108: This image emphasizes the general idea concerning women’s role in society, and how the only job they were expected to fulfill were those pertaining to household chores and family. One may see the ad for Dr. West’s Miracle Tuft Toothbrushes as emphasizing that women still existed in the work force, but when examined more closely, we see that the image is really trying to express the meager role of women in society. The woman depicted in the picture is clearly a nurse, and is assisting the man as he completes his job of dentistry. This implies that if women were fortunate enough to obtain a job in the work force, it would only be in a position where they were forced to be obedient to men. The woman who is receiving the treatment from the dentist also provides insight toward the suggested role of women in society, considering she is directly submissive to the man, and her well being is immediately under his control. He is in a position of power with regard to his patient, as well as with the nurse. The phrase, “So germ-free you could hand it to an oral surgeon!” Suggests to the women who occupied these small jobs that handing the tools to the surgeon was the only task that they were expected to complete. It requires almost no effort, and reflects the views of how little society believed women to be capable of. Although one might see this advertisement as promoting women’s acceptance into the work force, deep analytical thinking indicates that instead the goal was to show how little effect women had, even when provided with a job. The advertisements of the post WWII time period show how society attempted to convey to women that they were expected to occupy only the household jobs, and if they didn’t they still didn’t have a great influence within their inadequate jobs. | still expected to carry out the household activities, stereotypes prevalent in society since after the war. The ad for Clorox bleach serves as a reminder that women have not completely shed the stereotype of being the typical household parent who carries out the domestic chores. Pictured is a typical boy who appears to have complete disregard to his clothes with regard to cleanliness. His shirt is marred by spaghetti stains, and the ad states, “MAMA’S NOT WORRIED. MAMA’S GOT THE MAGIC,” which instantly creates an audience that primarily attracts women. They are put under the impression that this ad is meant for them, and provides the connection between cleaning this mischievous boy’s shirt and a mother. This distinction proves that women are still more commonly seem as the ones to carry out the typical household duties, even though progression has been made concerning women’s role in society. The cover for a “Good Housekeeping” issue portrays Michelle Obama, who is a very highly respected woman in politics and society. In our country, many see her as to be an idol for blurring the lines between gender roles. This may be true, but in this particular ad, her admirable political success is being undermined by the fact that she is a woman and a mother. The caption reads, “FIRST LADY Michelle Obama On keeping her marriage close, raising the girls-and overcoming her biggest fear,” which suggest that her marriage and her kids are the only two important factors of her life. It | In modern times, women have increasingly occupied many highly respected jobs, but are still commonly viewed as more maternal and domestic in comparison to men. While they have gradually gained an increasing respect from men, they are
109: subconsciously indicates that her priorities are automatically her marriage and her children. This may be true, but the assumption exists in the first place due to the fact that she is a woman. Here is a woman who has made incredible advancements for women concerning their role of society, but here she is being identified as a mother and wife instead of a political advocate. This ad reflects the idea of how women have made advancements with regard to what is expected from them by society, but at the same time are still being hindered by the stereotypical idea that the woman is the one who should maintain the family and marital affairs, while the husband is encouraged to occupy the more legitimate jobs. The meticulous analysis of modern day commercials and advertisements reflects the idea that while women have made advancements concerning their role in society, they are still restrained by their expectations of being the ideal domestic housewife, and current visual media attempts to reflect that idea in their advertisements. | The examination of advertisements and posters of multiple time periods reflects the concept of how much visual media influences women’s perceived role in society by depicting the views of the general public. The basic understanding that women should occupy the legitimate jobs while the men were at war was quickly abolished upon their return, and was transformed into society attempting to create further restrictions on their abilities. Visual media uses common images and situations in order to convey the general understanding of the roles of various people in society. They create startling reactions to their advertisements by displaying controversial statements and images, and as a result gain attention for their product. The purpose of exploiting these questionable ads is primarily to acquire awareness for their company, and further benefit from that.
110: The Fluctuating Media By Molly S. | The media is one of the most influential establishments in our daily lives. It helps to form the fundamental building blocks of our culture, dictating values and social acceptability. On the one hand, this helps to join people together with their world awareness and opinions. On the other, the media tends to tell us what to think through its broadcasted advertisements, images, videos, and words. This concept is not new, either; it has been centuries in the making; from portraits of fashionable royalty to revolutionary newspapers. Although, in the last hundred years it has become particularly influential, especially towards the perception of women. In the 1940’s, propaganda in the United States encouraged women to do their part to help during World War II. However, in the 1950’s, advertisements made it seem that a woman’s sole purposes in life were domestic. Today, there are mixed results; the battle of moral values and the dignity of women versus the idea that “sex sells”. Through the opinions that media thrusts upon humanity in order to mirror the expectations of society, varying degrees of respect and appreciation for women fluctuated though out the forties, fifties, and today.
111: Due to the dire help needed during World War II, the US government turned to the media in an effort to rally women’s support. The most famous representation of this was the poster of Rosie the Riveter. Though the woman has her make up and hair done, her head is partially covered with a bandanna and she is wearing a blue worker’s uniform. She is flexing her arm, showing off muscle. The poster shows that a woman does not need to be delicate all the time; she can be strong while still maintaining her femininity. The slogan “We Can Do It!” is both inspiring and persuasive. The “we” suggests that the society of women as a whole are able to join together to do their part. Rosie the Riveter became a symbol of the war effort, with her infamous bandana appearing in other posters. One such image depicts Rosie the Riveter with a tool in her hand as she works on machinery, looking off into the distance at the image of a soldier crouched for battle. The caption says, “The girl he left behind is still behind himShe’s a WOW”. WOW stands for woman ordnance worker, meaning she is working for the war effort. By doing so, she is able to support the men overseas. The double meaning of “WOW” also shows that the women who work are highly appreciated. This again stresses the importance of a woman’s work at home; without them, textiles, weapons, and machinery wouldn’t be built for fighting. The US government recognizes the necessity of women during this time and the media enforces that importance. Since their importance was acknowledged, the 1940’s empowered women to work outside the home.
112: Despite this short-term appreciation, the media of the 1950’s reintroduced the notion that a woman’s place was to cook and clean after the men came home from war. One advertisement for Camel cigarettes depicts a well-dressed woman selling cigarettes. The woman is attractive with a nice blouse, pearls, lipstick, and perfect hair. The box of cigarettes is brightly colored and vibrant. The slogan says, “Make your own sensible 30-day Camel mildness test in your ‘T-Zone’. – T for Throat, T for Taste”. The woman seems to represent that sense of sensibility, trying to persuade the viewer that if they try these cigarettes, they will also look this good. The ad also plays with the idea of a “T-Zone” as a reference to make-up.Unlike the empowering propaganda of the 1940’s where women were shown as strong and valuable members of society, this ad simply uses women to sell a harmful drug. They even specify that the cigarette need to be mild, as if the woman is too delicate to handle an original cigarette. Due to this, society’s respect of women has seemed to decrease. They are no longer inspiring people to support their country with their strength. Another advertisement for Procter & Gamble cleaning products has a caption saying “Should Men Wash Dishes?” This implies that it is a woman’s job to do all the washing in the house, as well as implying that it is beneath a man to clean. This question makes the blatant point that women are inferior to men. It also raises the idea that women should stay in the distinct boxes that society cages them in; there is no message of empowerment or individuality. Once the men came home in the 1950’s, the women were no longer desperately needed; therefore, they were considered with a lesser value than men.
113: After taking a look at the voices of activists and looks at the past, it is clear that there is now mixed feedback from the media as to where women stand in society. On the one hand, a popular term in advertising is “sex sells’, meaning that good-looking, provocatively dressed people are what grabs people’s attention. In one interview photo, an actress wears nothing but underwear and a tank top that she has pulled up to just barely cover her chest. The interview talks about her life and career, though this has nothing to do with the scantily-clad picture of her. Instead, it doesn’t even mention the photo. This proves how much women are still used as objects to lure people in. On the other hand, however, feminism has also recently swept across the media. Like the propaganda from the 1940’s, more empowering advertisements have graced the media, such as Working Mother magazine. It recognizes the challenges of working and the challenges of motherhood, as well as how to balance the two. This shows that the world acknowledges that women belong in more than just the home, and should be celebrated from having successful careers; clearly, men aren’t the only breadwinners any more. This also proves that the media recognizes that women are capable of balancing being a professional, as well as tending to the household. This recognition allows for a woman’s role in society to be much more flexible. Today, sometimes men even stay home instead of the women, or both parents work. It is clear that in today’s modern media, women are viewed from various diverse angles, resulting in differences in society as to how to treat them. In the 1940’s, 1950’s and today’s 2010’s, the media has forcefully directed society’s perspective of women with different amounts of esteem and value. The media of the forties preached commitment to working to support the men fighting in WWII. However, when the men came home in fifties, the media reduced women by implying that their only place was in the home. Nevertheless, there is now diversity in the viewpoints today. While women are still objectified in order to sell products and ideas, more mass media is being used to allow feminism to flourish. Women taking jobs is now widely accepted and encouraged; no longer are they subjected to domestic chores. With this ever-shifting media outlook, the future will most certainly hold some interesting changes.
114: Media's Impact on Women by Zeph W. | Due to the war and American involvement, women became needed in the workplace to fill those jobs that the men fighting left behind. The advertisements from this era did not try to sell an item but tried to sell a purpose. Women were called upon to take up these empty jobs to keep the economy going. In the “My women is a WOW” ad, there is a woman making a gun looking off into the distance where her husband is fighting. This ad was probably used to inspire women to work so they protect their man that is fighting for America. This ad also is showing that you can still look nice while you work. The woman has a perfect snow-white blouse on and a dress with gloves and a wrench showing that she is working on something to help the war while still looking nice. The advertisement is trying to convince the woman of the time to join WOW (Women Ordinance Workers). It is showing through the advertisement that women in WOW are helping the war effort by making guns, grenades, and other war equipment. Similarly in another war add is focused towards women working. This advertisement is conveying that the more women that leave the home and join the work force, the more likely it is we win the war with ease. By winning the war faster their husband can come home. You can see that the woman is working hard but is still done up with red ruffles and a nice bandana. This is just like the woman in WOW ad showing that you can still dress nicely when you work for America. These ad’s also encouraged women to only join temporarily so they wouldn’t loose there feminism. This ad is also made to make the woman not working feel guilty because they are delaying U.S. victory. Obviously during World War II women were a key asset to reach victory. | Many in the general population use ads to see how they are supposed to look and act. People look at clothing ads to see what they are supposed to wear, car ads to see what people are supposed to drive and so on. Women have been a crucial part of advertising within the past 70 years. They have been seen in movies, commercials, and magazines to try to sell a product. They have sold varieties of products from alcohol to refrigerators. The way women are portrayed is seen through the symbols in the advertisements like the facial expressions, what they’re wearing or doing, etc. Advertising has been influential to women throughout time. In World War II they were encouraged to fill the job gaps, in the 50’s they were influenced to go back to the home, and in the modern era they are used as puppets for what the perfect body is supposed to be.
115: When the war ended women returned to the home because men coming home needed their jobs back. When the war ended advertisements moved from displaying women as tough workers to being viewed as frivolous home workers. In order to reinforce that they were “less then men and needed to stay in their “place”. As you can see in the Budweiser ad the woman looks at the man holding the beer in awe. The beer is like a reward for her working in the kitchen all day. The woman in the ad is also cooking showing that this was the job for a woman. Also in little writing it says, “Just like a cookbook the Budweiser label lists all the ingredients that make it ever so good.” This shows how Budweiser is trying to appeal to woman because women were supposed to read cookbooks all the time. It also is trying to appeal to men because it shows the taste of the beer is homemade just like the dinners that your wife will make you and both have the “right” ingredients. The woman is also dressed nicely with lipstick on and done up hair. This shows that they were supposed to look good when their working husband gets home. You can tell that the man is working because he is wearing a suit. Similarly another 1950’s ad showed that the duty of women was being in the kitchen or working at home. This is seen in a dishwasher advertisement. In text it says, “Please let your wife come into the living room.” The woman has a pile of dishes to clean while the father and kids watch TV, but by buying this appliance after dinner she can watch TV too. This ad even further shows that women are supposed to be in the kitchen and not out in the work force. She, like the girl in the Budweiser ad, is also dressed nicely wearing heels while doing the dishes. She also has her hair is done up and it is shiny showing that women are always suppose to look their best at all times for the men. This ad also appeals to women that want dishwashers to make their job at home easier. Clearly you can see that woman were supposed to be at home in the 1950’s.
116: The modern advertisements seem to focus on the body of the women and not what they were actually doing. This indicates that in the modern era we care more of appearance than being smart. The effect of this is a more stupid generation of women. Today ads are becoming more racy to appeal to men. You can obviously see this through the Lynx Deodorant add. There is a woman only in her underwear and bra taking a turkey out of the oven. In the text it says, “Can she make you lose control?” This ad is appealing to men who want to have women like the one in the ad. This is trying to show that if you are not attractive you are not worth anything. This girl is also cooking still showing that women belong back in the kitchen. This ad also shows that this is the “best” lifestyle for a man, getting food from a woman without clothing in their undergarments. This contrasts from the fully clothed women of the 50’s. In both of these time periods the women wanted to look good for the men, but obviously the meaning of looking good has changed. The Believe perfume ad is also conveying the perfect body in women. This ad is also provocative because Brittany Spears barely has a shirt on. She also is portrayed as a goddess because a bird is landing on her hand and everything is white showing how pure she is. You don’t even notice it’s a perfume ad until you look at the small picture in the bottom right corner. Perfume ads may not be the most action oriented, but she is just standing there looking voluptuous. Neither of these two ads promote intellectuals, but there is nothing more to women than their body with flowing long hair. Obviously in 21st century ad’s a woman is judged by what she looks like.
117: Advertising has had a serious impact on woman overtime, during World War II women were encouraged to fill the job gaps, in the 50’s they were encouraged to go back to the home, and in these modern time they are worth nothing more than their bodies. It is now wrong how the media can control society’s ideals. Advertising has specifically targeted women to show how they don’t deserve the same treatment as men. The media drives people to treat others badly because of what the media is showing our society. If people keep looking at the media to determine how they are supposed to act our society may be destroyed.