Friday, February 15, 2013

Women in advertising

Yesterday I watched a really good documentary!
It's created by a woman who since the 60th century have collected ads, and this is now her fourth film about women in advertising.

I've thought about it a lot and I wanted to say a few words about it because I actually think it's crazy that this is year 2013 and it's as bad as it was in the 1960th when it comes to how women are portrayed.
As objects.
If you compare ads with men and women it's easy to see! Men are aloud to take more space. 

What I found most scary is when I think about how I myself are affected by this.
So I actually tried to take some pictures of myself to compare, doing typical "men in ads" poses and "women in ads" poses.

I actually feel myself automatically do these typical female poses everytime I'm being photographed and it is because I daily see these advertisements on how women is supposed to pose to look pretty and I'm totally brainwashed like many other girls and women.

And it's not just that. We women have so much pressure on ourselves when it comes to appearance.
I was 12 when I shaved my legs for the first time, and it was not because I wanted to, I had not even thought about it before but my classmates began to point out my hairy legs more and more often in gymclass so suddenly I got tired of it.

I was 16 when I started picking my eyebrows. And that after my friends for 3 years already laughed at my bushy eyebrows several times.
I think it's horrible that we women do that against each other, we should support one another instead!

And of course there is nothing wrong with wanting to look sexy and pretty, but I think it's important to at least be aware of this difference between the sexes, and think about why it's like this.

I suggest to watch this documentary here:
It will only take 40 minutes from your life!


  1. I'll surely watch it, thank you for sharing it!
    I think that advertisement is one of the medias where women's role is degraded the most. And that's true, we feel compelled to strike feminine poses and to look sexy and teasing, and the amount of clothes men are allowed to wear on screen on or pictures in magazines is definitely larger. This is another disparity that needs to end, NOW.
    And by the way how creepy is that little kid posing as a pin-up? Sexualizing female children is becoming more and more socially acceptable. How long before they blame little girls for episodes of pedophilia because they were acting like little sluts (which they learned to do from magazines and ads)? They already do it with pre-teens, after all. I've been thinking about that a lot lately.
    By the way, pressure from society must end, and to help that happening I've decided to stop commenting other girls' habits, behaviour or clothing in any way: I found out that in the past I had been socialized to judge other women from the way they dressed, by thinking that they were exposing too much skin, that their dresses weren't appropriate for their ages, that they couldn't wear something that didn't flatter their body shapes... until I started to think that this was all BULLSHIT. That since I didn't like to be judged, then other women surely wouldn't have liked it as well, And I realized that clothes were a really superficial factor from which to judge people.
    It's so good to see other girls caring about this, really.

    1. Absolutely, advertising is really more about showing off a halfnaked body than to show the product.
      I really think that the female body is beautiful but I would like it to be my own choice if i wanted to see a naked one every day.

      I agree, it's freaky that little childs are posing "sexy" in clothing catalogues O.O

      That's a good thing, I also try to think about it more and not comment peoples appearance! I even try to avid saying nice things about peoples hair and so if I dont really mean it. Because I hate that it's so common that people just throw out a "oh what a nice shirt" or "you look so pretty today" all the time when firstly they may not even mean it, and second, it would be better if we could focus more on people's personalities than appearance.

    2. I once read an article in which an advertiser was interviewed, and s/he was told that advertisement should start giving a good example instead of pandering sexist stereotypes. Like: why are cleaning products ads always starring women? And the answer was that it's not up to advertiser to change the world, that they just do what they are asked for by firms, and that they just show what the average viewer wants to see, so that they can sell more products. So, if the viewer wants to see women cooking and cleaning, that's what they'll give him, 'cause this way he'll be more likely to buy that products.
      I wonder if they're proud of themselves.

      And I agree with you, we just feel like we're obliged to say nice things about people's appearance. When we could say even nicer things about their personalities and cleverness! (If they have any, of course.) In a dream world nobody would get offended for not being considered pretty, because in a dream world we wouldn't feel compelled to always look as good as possible. If we could just stop worrying about this shit for a minute and do something good for our lives instead!
      But I guess that's why they put so much pressure on women for as regards their bodies: so we don't have any time left for actually concerning about our ambitions and careers, and you know, for becoming successful. I hate that. And I'm not falling into that trap anymore!

    3. I think that advertisers is bit blind to what they are actually doing. Like.. it's just a job.
      I worked as a graphic designer at a company 2 years ago .. and when I did the ads I did not think so much of what I created, there were the templates I had to use and I created what my boss told me. In retrospect, it feels pretty weird that I sat and made up ads with pictures of a naked girl flying around above a bed. But I didn't think about that when I worked there, so there we have the problem :P naked bodies sells, and people don't think, they just create.

      Me too, one year ago I used to take like 50 pictures of myself before uploading oNE but I decided one day to start to just take a picture and just upload that. If someone think I look ugly that's their problem because that's how I look and if they hate it they don't have to read my blog :)

    4. Yeah, I get that. I know they might risk of losing their jobs, and I once read an article about a female advertiser who tried to object to these sexist representations, but her boss basically told her "you'd better do as I say, or else". But at least she felt guilty about what she was doing, and at least she tried to change things.
      I don't think I'd be able to do a job where sexist stereotypes are promoted. I'd end up hating myself. :/ (Which is not a criticism on you, since you weren't aware of what you were working with yet)

      Now, that's talking! This blog is funny and interesting and you have a great sense of style, so even if you weren't a good-looking young woman (which you are!) nobody with half a brain would give a shit about that. You are not obliged to be sexually appealing to anyone!

  2. Jag håller med dig till 100%. Jag är feminist och mår illa över hur kvinnor framställs i all slags media, och hur kvinnokroppen används som objekt/ verktyg för att sälja vad som helst.

    1. Ja det är verkligen illa när de måste placera saker i skrevet på en kvinna för att få sålt sin parfym eller vad det nu är.

  3. Jag hatar medias framställning av kvinnor! Och jag hatar ännu mer hur jag omedvetet påverkas av det. Jag önskar att jag hade fått växa upp i ett samhälle som talat om för mig att jag duger som jag är, inte ett som konstant talar om för mig att det alltid finns något att förbättra och att jag som kvinna alltid främst måste vara min kropp.

    Idag bloggar vi faktiskt lite om samma sak. Medias syn på kvinnor. Fast jag bloggade om hur Aftonbladet tog med en kvinnlig artist till en pole dance-studio för en intervju.

    Alltid detta fokus på en kvinnas sexighet i media!

    1. Ja det önskar jag med och jag hoppas innerligt att jag kommer lyckas uppfostra mina barn så att de inte känner sig tvungna att anpassa sig och göra saker de egentligen inte vill med sin kropp!

  4. ...
    I just love you for writing this post. It's just that I'm so damn glad to hear I'm not the only one who recognizes this kind of stuff we're being force-fed in our daily life. It's so wrong, just think about how many repress their real personality because of this. I think that a woman can look sexy and gorgeous without doing all the media's 'feminine' stuff, and also be very feminine at the same time. I know a lot of those women and they're all gorgeous and beautiful no matter what they are being expected of as consuming women.

    And to think that we have to 'accept our womanity' -imagine a man talking with his therapist about accepting his masculinity, huh? In the preceding case we would think about just any woman, whereas a man having to 'accept' his gender would be imagined as transsexual, homosexual or transvestite. And that sucks. I wonder when we'll stop being women and start being human beings in our own eyes and the eyes of the world around us. But now, hmm... for example there's a lot of talk about religions like Islam being repressive on women, and at the very same day I can read a Finnish-born man complaining about his girlfriend gaining weight and how she should stay thin. Pfft, the talk about women owning their own bodies in the Western world is a load of rubbish. It's just not so visible here. But with each other's help people who really want to cherish the idea of perfect equality can become aware of even the most silent kind of repression and fight it, and I want it to happen! Let there be no more 'a woman does not walk/talk/act like that' and no more 'boys don't cry' (of course I'm not referring to the Cure song which is awesome)!

    Wow that was quite a rant. Maybe I should save some for my own posts ;D

    1. I agree, it's so weird that we are learned from so very young that the right thing to do is to put makeup on the face to hide what we look like, buy bras that make the boobs look bigger, and that people will find us discusting if we dont shave.

      Yes, that's why I never will stop fighting for a world that we will have the same view on both man and women. I really wanna live in a world where noone is afraid of wearing a certain color, or a skirt, regardless of the sex.

      I totally understand your point of view in that. We can not call ourself free given that probably more than half of all women would happily ignore all their beauty cares if they were not so afraid of what others will think about them.

  5. Intressant!
    Och helt sjuk egentligen, men jag tror det sitter i sedan länge, länge tillbaka i tiden, att vi kvinnor ska vara nätta och feminina och män ska ta upp stor plats med sina macho-attityder :P
    När man väl växt upp, blivit vuxen och allt det där så är det ett val man kan göra ju, var dig själv och skit i resten. Men de flesta gör ju som "alla andra".
    För när man är ung bryr man sig mer om vad andra tycker och sen har vi ju mobbning. Typ, "raka dina håriga ben/armhålor"-situationer.

    Äh, jag vet inte. Är inte så insatt. Jag har alltid varit pojkig och skiter i vad andra tycker. Rapar, svär, "säckig-sitt-stil" <3 Haha
    Men jag tycker det är synd om tjejer som tror att det de ser på reklamskyltar och på Tv, det är så det ska se ut. Usch.

    1. Ja men det är nog svårt för många att göra det valet med all press från samhället. Jag har träffat många kvinnor som seriöst tror att män aldrig skulle tycka att "ofeminin" tjej är snygg eller sexig O.o