To a great extent, advertising tells us who we are and who we should be. What does advertising tell us today about women? It tells us just as did it 10 and 20 and 30 years ago that what’s most important about women is how we look. The first thing the advertisers do is surround us with the image of ideal female beauty so we all learn how important it is for a women to be beautiful and exactly what it takes. Jean Kilbourne continues her groundbreaking analysis of advertising’s depiction of women in this most recent update of her pioneering Killing Us Softly series. In fascinating detail, Kilbourne decodes an array of print and television advertisements to reveal a pattern of disturbing and destructive gender stereotypes. Her analysis challenges us to consider the relationship between advertising and broader issues of culture, identity, sexism, and gender violence.
Sections: Does the beauty ideal still tyrannize women? | Does advertising still objectify women’s bodies? | Are the twin themes of liberation and weight control still linked? | Is sexuality still presented as women’s main concern? | Are young girls still sexualized? | Are grown women infantilized? | Are images of male violence against women still used to sell products?