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The use of gender stereotypes in advertising - Essay Example

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This essay describes the aims and effectiveness of the gender usage in an advertisement. The gender identity of individuals is created, enhanced and accomplished through the products we consume. Therefore, the products one possesses serve as symbolic markers of one’s gender identity. …
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The use of gender stereotypes in advertising
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Download file to see previous pages This "The use of gender stereotypes in advertising" work outlines how gender stereotypes used in the ads influence our consumer behavior. Advertisement content largely includes simplified images of gender roles that do not take into account the complexity of contemporary lives, thereby providing marketers a shortcut to communicate for whom the merchandise is intended. Stereotypes, therefore, form the basis of what have been termed advertising’s “ideologies” (Lafky, et al., 1996). Early advertising content has focused on a narrow spectrum of woman’s roles including childrearing, housekeeping and objects that are dependent, emotional, submissive, selfless and lacking power and authority (Hellemont & Bulck, 2012). Other ads have focused on the “superwoman” image of females who are equally good in their professional careers as they are at housekeeping. Still others have highlighted the sexual image of woman as being an object of beauty, pointing to idealized body images and sex appeal (Hellemont & Bulck, 2012). Men, on the other hand, have been associated with traits such as assertiveness and aggression (Hellemont & Bulck, 2012). The world of advertising has been labelled as providing monetary and sexual rewards to the projection of an appropriate manly appearance. Some writers go as far as claiming that virtually all advertisements are skewed towards men by either demonstrating to them the kind of status they can aspire to achieve or demonstrating to women what kind of men they should aspire to attract. However, this does not negate the practice of portraying women as beauty objects or sex symbols in most advertisements. The way in which gender is portrayed in advertisements depends largely on the literacy levels and social status of the audience being targeted. For instance, some ads show working women as independent, whereas others portray women in their traditional dependent roles. A product targeted towards the higher social class will be advertised using the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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