Women have demanded equal rights for themselves in all aspects of their lives- in the voting system, in business and even in the home. Yet they are consistently bombarded by stereotypes through the media, which reflect them as not being intellectually, and emotionally equal to men.
The role most women play in adverts has not improved much over the years. If you think of all the adverts you see in one day, how many women are shown as being unattractive? The main reason for eight out of twelve women being in adverts is so that their bodies can be used to help sell the product. The odd advert that does show an ordinary looking woman is one advertising something unromantic like a washing-up powder.
Women in most adverts are represented as having blonde hair, being between the age of 20 and 30 and exceedingly slim and attractive. This promotes the ideology that women should be blonde, young, slim and attractive. As images like this are constantly being shown to us, most women feel pressurized to conform to them.
As the single woman has became readily accepted in the society, producers now tend to show more women as being single. More women have active roles in adverts now, so they no longer just sit/ stand there looking pretty whilst having no apparent connection with the product. They are now actually shown doing something for instance using the product, with the help of a male (of course) if it’s a complicated technical product e.g. in big car ads.
In most adverts women are no longer shown in the kitchen, they are usually shown outdoors, and then are mostly either in the local supermarket as in the surf adverts or in a scenic place like in some deodorant adverts. This is done to show that women still do most of the housework and that they are more in touch with nature and are therefore more delicate then men.
Adverts do not tend to show women as having a specific occupation. Producers do show that women don’t stay in the house all day, but very rarely are women shown in an actual work place. What you see slightly more often but which is still unusual is a woman in a business suit, thus indirectly implying that she is a businesswoman. Most women find this infuriating, as there are a high percentage of women who actually do work in professional positions. However as society as large hasn t quite came to term with this fact yet, advert producers obviously haven t yet caught up with it.
Another thing that patronizes and manages to annoy most women is the fact that in six out of seven adverts (that, by the way, women star in) men do the voice over. It is almost as if the producers are trying to say that only men have the authority and intellectual capability to be able to talk about the scientific ideas being presented in that advert
Most producers have changed their portrayal of women according to changes in society in some aspects e.g. the representation of single woman, women having more active roles etc. However most producers have failed to represent women in a way in which the normal women can herself relate to.
It is a well known fact that advertisers use stereotypes to convey ideas quickly and therefore cost effectively, however the stereotype most producers use, of the blonde, beautiful and brainless woman, needs to be changed if they want to sell more of their products to the average woman.