Friday, May 23, 2008

Women for Sale in the Media Meat Market








If the idea that “sex sells” is so profitable to marketing and advertising firms, than the media places women for sale in the media “meat market”. Women are marketed to consumers in half-naked ads selling products that the audience does not need and they are objectified to appear as body parts and not as human beings. As history can show, women’s features have always been exemplified and marketed to an audience to make them believe “this is what you should look like” and you should own this product, otherwise you are nothing. Media advertisements have typically advertise products that the public does not need and tells us who to be, what to look like and how to feel.
Advertisements of nonessential goods are constantly being flashed to the public and Sut Jhally said in Image Based Culture: Advertising and Poplar Culture, “in this stage we do not see representations of ‘real’ people in advertisements, but rather we see representations of people who “stand for” reigning social values such as family structure, status differentiation, and hierarchical authority.” (250). According to Jhally, the media shows images of people who are not real and show us the product that we can purchase in order to come one step closer to closer to the unobtainable. The media picture people showing us what to feel, who we should be and who we will never be. The women in the advertisements and commercials are so airbrushed and digitally altered, that the actual real women are made to feel that they are not good enough, according to the socially constructed constraints. Since our culture is socially constructed and decides what is “masculine” and “feminine”, Jhally suggests that as an audience, we need to stand up and reconstruct the cultural definitions of these images. Women should feel good about themselves and not made to feel as if they will never be good enough according to the media meat market. It is important for all women to not follow the “guidelines” of the media and to help promote images of actual real women so others know that they are good enough and beautiful, without the unnecessary products.
Women’s features are constantly being exemplified in advertisements showing them as pieces of meat for sale, but at a price that no one can afford because looking the way models do, it unobtainable. No wonder why women and girls have poor self esteem because no matter how many products they buy, no matter how much and effort they put into her looks, they will never achieve what the media teases them with. In Jean Kilbourne’s piece The More You Subtract, the More You Add, she talks about how the media causes women and girls to have a loss of confidence in herself because of how their bodies are under constant scrutiny. The media shows women in positions of submission, being super skinny, silent and half-naked and girls see these images feeling as if they need to look that way as well. Kilbourne states, “Girls seeing these images of women, are encouraged to be silent, mysterious, not to talk to much or too loudly. In many different ways, they are told ‘the more you subtract, the more you add.’” (264). They are forced to cut down their size so that they can be “beautiful” and silent. The girls that see these images, grow up believing that they need to be like the women in the pictures and to be super skinny wearing “barely there” clothing in order to attract attention. The media meat market advertises women as submissive objects that are meant to attract men and not to speak or think for herself. Since the idea of “sex sells” is so profitable, advertisements sell women as if in a meat market to cause consumers to desire only the prime cuts.

References



Absolute Vodka Advertisement. “Absolute Hunk”. 22 May 2008.
http://www.buildingbrands.com/lightrelief/21_absolut_hunk.gif

Bluefly Advertisement. “Subway”. 22 May 2008.
http://777stocks.com/images/subway_medium.jpg

DeBeers Diamonds Advertisement. 22 May 2008.
http://800lbgorilla.files.wordpress.com/2006/12/debeers.jpg

Diesel Advertisement. “NY Diesel Night”. 22 May 2008.
Dolce & Gabbana Advertisement. 22 May 2008.
http://www.bannedmagazine.com/Dolce&Gabbana%20ad.jpg

Hard Rock Café: Las Vegas Advertisement. 22 May 2008.
http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2004/Jul-30-Fri-2004/photos/business.jpg

Jhally, Sut. “Image Based Culture: Advertising and Popular Culture.” Gender, Race, and Class in Media. 2nd ed. Ed. Gail Dines and Jean M. Humez. Sage Publications, Inc, California, 2003. 249-257.

Kilbourne, Jean. “The More You Subtract, The More You Add.” Gender, Race, and Class in Media. 2nd ed. Ed. Gail Dines and Jean M. Humez. Sage Publications, Inc, California, 2003. 258-265.

Lynx Shower Gel Advertisement. “Wash Me”. 22 May 2008.
http://content.humorpix.com/images/2509/p001.jpg

Nike Advertisement. 22 May 2008.
http://adage.com/images/random/nike3_081205_big.jpg

Three Olives Advertisement. “Three Olives Mart”. 22 May 2008
http://www.billboardz.net/images/ThreeOlivesMart.jpg

Victoria’s Secret Advertisement. “Very Sexy Makeup”. 22 May 2008.
http://www.geographia.com/antiguanews/messages/9/12193.jpg

2 comments:

Jill2387 said...

Women for Sale in the Media Meat Market
Juliana
Nice job on:
1. Your pictures do a good job of standing in for the body of the paper.
2. I like the way you focused your paper on the comparison of the media to a "meat market".

Areas for improvement:
1. I might have drawn the reader's attention to specific pictures in the collage to reiterate how they reflect your thesis.
2. You may have been able to use more of your own words than Jhally's in paragraph 2, because most of this paragraph is solely centered around his beliefs with minimal input of your own.

Julian said...

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