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Stereotypical Roles Women Play In Advertisements Essay

Since the commonly known creation Bible story of Adam and Eve, women have been viewed subsidiary to men; society has formed a bias that females cannot perform jobs equivalent to or of the same value as men. The model in Figure 1 is extremely feminine, for example: her nails are painted, she is wearing multiple rings on her fingers as she holds a light grip on the steering wheel,

Since the commonly known creation Bible story of Adam and Eve, women have been viewed subsidiary to men; society has formed a bias that females cannot perform jobs equivalent to or of the same value as men. The model in Figure 1 is extremely feminine, for example: her nails are painted, she is wearing multiple rings on her fingers as she holds a light grip on the steering wheel,

Advertisements help feed into the stereotypical image of women functioning as housewives and caretakers. One might ask: is advertising simply mirroring societies view on the roles of females, or are they part of the reason why America still labels women as domesticated? Printed advertisements portray women inferior to men by the use of their context, imagery, and content. Companies use the conventional view of women in marketing strategies in order to sell their products.

Figure 1 “The Mini Automatic. For simple driving.” advertisement Source: Mini Automatic Transmission Printed Ad

holds a light grip on the steering wheel, her hair is set in perfect curls, her make-up is flawless, and she appears to be dressed up for a special occasion. The expression on the women’s face displays her indecisiveness and insecurity of her driving abilities. Figure 1 states that the Mini Automatic is for “simple driving”, implying that the motorist is incapable of driving an automobile without difficulty. The advertisement is using the sentiment that women are inadequate drivers; it implies that if a woman is competent enough to maneuver the Mini Automatic, then it must be of simplicity.

Before the 1950’s women in America were expected to cook, clean, and take care of the household, whereas men were looked at as the financial support system. Figures 2 and 3 are subliminally underlying the message of men doing a women’s role as a housewife. Both images contain the phrase “whipped so good”; meaning that if one buys Pinnacle Vodka, it will in turn reverse the classic expectation of women fulfilling household chores and encourage men to do so instead. The advertisements encourage the idea of men superiority because they are performing duties that are seen to be abnormal, such as doing laundry or ironing clothes.

Before the 1950’s women in America were expected to cook, clean, and take care of the household, whereas men were looked at as the financial support system. Figures 2 and 3 are subliminally underlying the message of men doing a women’s role as a housewife. Both images contain the phrase “whipped so good”; meaning that if one buys Pinnacle Vodka, it will in turn reverse the classic expectation of women fulfilling household chores and encourage men to do so instead. The advertisements encourage the idea of men superiority because they are performing duties that are seen to be abnormal, such as doing laundry or ironing clothes.

The main objective in Figure 4 Swiffer WetJet advertisement is for the audience to find a commonality between themselves and the mother standing in the kitchen. The advertisement displays a modern day housewife cleaning up after her child. The text states: “He made it in the kitchen and ate it in the dining room. With Swiffer WetJet, both floors were clean before he was.” Figure 5 shows two women in a clean kitchen with the Orbit logo “after any meal” indicating that their mothers who cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the family. Both Figure 4 and 5 exhibit women in the kitchen, either cleaning or cooking.

Society struggles with gender expectations. In figures 1 through 5 women are suggestively thought of as ones who take care of the family and clean the house, whereas men generally take on the dominant role. Advertisements continue to use marketing strategies that are stereotypical to women because people still uphold the belief that men are superior. Advertisements are apart of the problem.


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