Since little representation of men and women

Since the start of advertising in American culture, one thing has remained the same – it is the reality that men and women are portrayed differently. Advertisements of men are portrayed as powerful, strong, and rugged, while women are shown as submissive, seductive, and sexy. These adverts are essentially saying: If you buy this perfume, this could be you. There are clear-cut gender roles of femininity and masculinity, and these roles are reflected in contemporary advertisements. Men are portrayed as traditionally masculine, and women are portrayed as traditionally feminine, with little representation of men and women who fall outside this norm. This paper will argue that adverts portray stereotypical forms of representation when it comes to men and women. It will be proposed that women are dominated by men by their positioning and lastly, how companies use women as sex symbols to sell their products compared to men. Ads have become increasingly sexual over time, from women lying almost nude in provocative positions to men posing shirtless. As I searched through these various ads and magazines I saw this style repeated many times in one specific product advertisements. I noticed that more often than not, ads for perfume with women in them were highly sexualized. I chose to look at a few specific ads that follow the highly sexualized ad stereotype.3The first ad is for Dior Addict. This is a print ad showing a sexual display of a half nude woman with her bra lifted up, exposing her under breast as she is drenched in sweat. Even the word “addict” in this ad is very controversial. This ad helps to contribute to our society’s view of women. People prefer to see a young, fit, sexy women posing – it’s seen as appealing. “Photos of models in print ads are often “touched up” in order to disguise minor flaws or make the model appear even skinnier.” (mirror) This gives a false body image for woman viewing these ads and gives them pressure to have the “perfect body” – it’s an unrealistic portrayal. Whereas, a man seen doing a cologne commercial is seen in a totally different light. Johnny Depp appears in a Dior Sauvage hypermasculine ad. It’s a television commercial that starts off with Depp driving recklessly in the sand, then, after seeing a buffalo out in the middle of nowhere, he slams on the breaks then gets out and pulls a shovel out of his trunk. He then says “What am I looking for?” and digs a hole in the desert and takes off all his accessories. He ends the commercial saying, “It’s magic…Sauvage.” The ad comes off as very dark and ominous. According to The Daily Beast, “To some of us, cologne ads often pander to consumers’ inner cavemen. The notion that smearing synthetic scent on their pulse points will somehow make users manly, buff, and irresistible to the opposite sex isn’t what’s off about this campaign. What’s disturbing about Depp’s ads is the inadvertent marriage of virility and violence, with an alleged domestic abuser playing the role of “real man.” (thedailybeast) This ad is basically saying in order to fit into the stereotypical view of a man then you have to look and act like that. Using this cologne will give you that “manly” feel and look. 4The next ad is for Versace Woman perfume. Once again the television ad features a young, beautiful woman wearing a revealing dress, completely backless. In the ad, she is staring at herself seductively in the mirror; giving off a very vain look. You couldn’t even tell it’s a perfume ad until the very end when it shows the bottle. I would’ve thought it was a clothing ad at first. The ad is basically saying “You can be beautiful like me, all you need is a bottle of Versace.” Advertisers use perfect women to promote their products. They distort a woman’s perception of beautiful in order to market their product more effectively. According to a book I found “Sexual content in perfume advertising is usually shown in the following ways: models showing chests and breasts, open shirts, tight fitting clothing, touching, kissing and make the wearer of the perfume simply “feel” sexier.” (Taylor)  The shape of the bottle presents another issue. The curves of the bottle are similar to the curves of a woman. The bottle represents an hourglass shape and the color is pink; which is shown to be a feminine color. However, in Versace’s Dylan Blue Fragrance TV Commercial, they show the traditional masculine view. It’s a black and white video featuring shirtless men in just their underwear, the scene then moves on to them on motorcycles and quickly changes to a wrestling scene. Men are usually seen as doing activities in these ads while women are just seen “sitting pretty.” Both ads with men mentioned so far have them doing some kind of activity traditionally seen as masculine.   Usually, in ads containing both men and women, they are high sexualized, showing the male as the clear dominate and the woman as submissive. For example, in an Unforgivable 5Women print advertisement, it shows the man forcing himself on her, while she looks helpless and weak. The man is seen as powerful and aggressive; while the woman is doing what she is told. In society, this is seen as unacceptable – but in advertisements it sells. This article breaks it down into detail “The marketing campaign for perfume products has become more and more sexualized to a point where it is almost more corrupt than engaging. By displaying images of women in submissive or increasing sensual positions what exactly is the product selling? When you look at a majority of woman’s perfume ads the woman is intoxicatingly beautiful and sexually appealing, often scantily clad or over made up with of a look of submission or ultra sensuality twisting her features into an expression of lust or desire.” (lgergen) Another print ad I found was for Jimmy Choo Man. In the ad the man is positioned in the center with a woman cropped out; only showing her leg. He has a tough expression on his face and he isn’t smiling and is wearing a leather jacket – looking very rugged. This ad is giving the representation to men that if they buy it, they will look like this. When pictured with a man she is almost always pictured in a position of submission, she is either dominated by man or calling out for mans attention. Yet generally never is a woman in a perfume ad pictured as empowered by her own means and without the desire for his assurance of her status as a “sex symbol” While this is a particularly successful campaign approach it certainly destroys a woman’s ability to view herself as independent and pressures female society to become adversely sexualized.” (lgergen) 6Portraying men and women in these stereotypical ways have a big influence on us because media is a big part of our lives. In conclusion, for marketers, it’s hard to sell a scent when the consumer can’t physically sell it, so they have to find a way. And sex sells. Advertisements have always had stereotypical views, women are restricted to certain gender roles and appearances. These stereotypes are doing harm to society because it’s just reinforcing that idea. Ads show women looking flawless when the reality is that the majority of women don’t look that way. Women are seen as sexualized, while men are too; but also are shown as tough and dominant while doing typical “manly” activities.By portraying a woman as just a sex symbol she is devalued because she is now degraded to simply an object rather than a person.