Over the last two decades, media industry has played a huge role in determining how people socialize in our communities. Media can significantly influence how individuals in our societies relate and understand one another (Barker 1999). There is a mismatch between how different genders, particularly women, are portrayed in the media and how they appear in real life. Because of this, the media have been condemned for compromising on the intention of realising gender equality. Similarly, they have been blamed for propagating undesirable gender prejudices. According to women activists, the media misrepresent and portray women as sexual objects. The article below analyses an advert called Are You Beach Body Ready (Hackman 2015). Protein World Inc. produced and publicized the billboard. The poster presents a petite, curvy, blond-haired, and light-skinned female in a bright yellow swimsuit.
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I have a weight of 59 kg and height of 167cm. I am quite tall, fit, and healthy. I have dark brown hair, athletic body, and ruddy facial appearance. Even though I am physically fit, the advert persuades me to buy protein weight loss to match my body shape with that of the model displayed on Are You Beach Body Ready. Notably, the advert objectifies women. As such, the media content distorts the perception of women in the society by portraying them as sexual objects (Margolin & Martiniello 2015).
Similarly, the advert’s portrayal of women depicts a standard of attractiveness, which is impractical and unachievable for many females. The poster suggests the model it portrays has an ideal healthy body weight. The above illustrations send an influential message that a woman should do whatever it takes to attain a model’s body to be perceived attractive by the society (Margolin & Martiniello 2015). If women are constantly exposed to such distorting media, they will increase their chances of suffering from eating complications.
According to the producers of the advert, the strategy was used as an efficient means of connecting with the marketplace (Barker 1999). However, it should be noted that the method disadvantages women with average appearance because they will feel less superior to the model portrayed in the media. Considered that posters have the capability to influence and shape peoples’ perceptions, the portrayal of women as sexual commodities will affect the manner in which the society perceives and treats them (Barker 1999). Based on the above illustrations, it is apparent that such advertisements are forcing the community to set impractical prospects of how women should appear and act.
Whereas men may accept that women are underprivileged, Peggy McIntosh’s suggests that males are often reluctant to acknowledge that they are over-advantaged (Margolin & Martiniello 2015). She asserts that although men support the initiatives aimed at empowering women, they do not support the concepts of decreasing the privileges enjoyed by men. She believes that men benefit from women’s hindrances. Based on McIntosh’s arguments, I think the advert’s text convinces women to be used as sexual objects and to be misrepresented (Margolin & Martiniello 2015). For instance, the producers of the poster did not use a male model in their commercial. I believe they did not do so because it would have misrepresented men in the society. Unlike when men are parodied, the society finds it okay when women are misrepresented.
I do not agree with the message being passed in the advert. I believe that all women are beautiful in their bodies. As such, overweight, medium sized and undersized women should feel comfortable and confident with their body sizes (Horner 2015). Therefore, I believe no woman should feel lesser or more superior than the model depicted on the advertisement because we are all uniquely different. If women accept the misrepresentation being passed by the portrait, they would have accepted that they are less equal compared with their male counterparts.
As indicated above, the advert presents a petite-yet-curvy, blond-haired, and light-skinned female in a bright yellow swimsuit. Even though I am physically healthy, the advert persuades me to buy protein weight loss to match my body shape with that of the model. Therefore, the advert’s text suggests that I am under privileged with the culture it depicts. Indicated below are some of these under privileges:
- I do not know how to swim
- I cannot fit into swimming suits such as those depicted in the advert
- I am not beach ready
- I do not have an ideal body size
Notably, the above under privileges are not necessarily correct as portrayed by the media content. They should be treated as mere assumptions propagated by the poster’s creators. The media content makes other women who are unlike the model feel less confident, less comfortable, and isolated. Based on this, the use of such adverts is misleading.
Are You Beach Body Ready confirms that women are prejudiced and underrepresented in the advertisement industry. In the past, women activists have claimed that underrepresentation of women in the sector has not only stereotyped them but also limited their roles (Margolin & Martiniello 2015). According to these campaigners, the industry preserves specific roles in the advertisements for female models. For instance, in most famous posters female actors are allocated few minor roles as compared to their male counter parts. As such, women models are usually used on advertisements that contain sexual content like Are You Beach Body Ready.
Through these posters, women are portrayed as submissive and promiscuous individuals (Margolin & Martiniello 2015). A disadvantage associated with the underrepresentation of women in advertisements is that their potentials and opportunities have been limited. Similarly, the inherent risks of portraying false traits about women have been enhanced through underrepresentation.
In conclusion, it should be noted that the media content influences the manner in which people perceive women. In spite of the women’s vital role in the contemporary society, it is surprising to note that they are not symbolized in the media contents according to their population and to communal participation. There is a mismatch between how women are portrayed in Are You Beach Body Ready advert and how they appear in real life. In the recent past, the media has been condemned for meddling with the intention of realizing gender equality and propagating undesirable gender prejudices. Are You Beach Body Ready has propagated adverse gender prejudices.
As such, it has misrepresented and portrayed women as sexual objects. The media should adopt policies or acts that will result in greater happiness for all women regardless of their body sizes to address such issues. Similarly, the media should end women misrepresentation. As such, women in adverts should be given more appealing roles other than being portrayed as sexual commodities.
Barker, C 1999, Television, globalization and cultural identities ,Open University Press, Buckingham. Web.
Hackman, R. (2015). Are you beach body ready?. Web.
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Horner, D 2015, Understanding media ethics / David Sanford Horner, Sage, Los Angeles. Web.
Margolin, L & Martiniello, M 2015, ‘Unpacking the invisible knapsack: The invention of white privilege pedagogy’. Cogent Social Sciences, vol.1, no. 1, pp.105-106. Web.