There’s no doubt that the media has created all kinds of stereotypes of women and that good roles for women are few and far between. Most of the roles given to women—particularly “pretty women” are hypersexual, dumb downed, young, sexy… need I go on.
The question I have is why don’t women fight back? And can women fight back? Several years ago I was particularly offended by a nameless company’s comercial. It went something like this: “What is beauty?” asked a sultry, sexy voiced, woman. The camera scanned the woman’s body and zoomed in on the woman’s cleavage—curiously upright for a woman of substantial sized breasts (we all know what happens to a woman’s real breasts when she lays down). But what was even more offensive? You never saw the woman’s face. In essence what was being conveyed is that a faceless woman with pushed up, squeezed together and presumably, surgically enhanced breasts was the definition of beauty.
To say I was outraged is an understatement. I wrote a letter to that company (truthfully, I wrote many) to say that not only was I offended by the inference that beauty was a woman’s faceless cleavage but no woman’s real breasts could ever look like that without serious taping (or metal armor)—regardless of the bra.
I must not have been the only one because within a few weeks, the comercial was pulled and I never saw it again.
Experts argue about the actual percentage of spending power that today’s women have but from all accounts it’s more than 50% and as much as 80%. Hear that ladies—we control a lot of how the money is spent which means we have more voice than we acknowledge. I didn’t single handedly get that comercial pulled but enough people (I’m assuming a lot were women) registered their outrage and it disappeared. This isn’t the first time this happened with a marketing campaign but it doesn’t happen nearly enough. Next time you find something offensive in the media, write a letter or send an email. Register your voices and maybe, just maybe, someone will hear it.
Check out these sites for some interesting information.
The NOW foundation has a list of advertisers with the most offensive ads.
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