“Ideal” Beauty, The Lie of Advertising

Recently in my sociology class, our lecture revolved around the media and how it shapes the perception of young people, specifically women. “Killing Us Softly” is a short documentary series, analyzing the effects of advertising on women and how they affect self-esteem, self-worth, and even gender roles in modern society. In most recent years advertisements have become more sexualized and more heavily centered on the “ideal” female beauty.

This issue is extremely dear to my heart mainly because as a female I believe most of us women can say that media does affect how we view ourselves, and unbeknown to us we fall into the advertising trap, the one which extremely thin women, overly plump lips, poreless skin, and barbie-like features become the ideal woman. But let’s face it, achieving that is impossible.  As a ripe young girl already insecure, going though the mist of puberty-awkward enough, being surrounded by overload of subliminal messages does not make this awkward stage any easier. Today preteens are bombarded with these advertisements, many in which young models, about fifteen years old are posing in overly suggestive ways. These types of advertisement become extremely influential for young girls.

I can speak for myself, when I was about eleven or twelve I can honestly say I experienced this pressure to achieve that “beautiful” look, something that is truly unachievable. Of course the beautiful complements from 7th graders did not make it any easier. “You’re ugly,” “You’re fat,” these words can only add to the already existing insecurities. Now I did not post this blog for pity, or “poor leslie, the girl was bullied” but simply to express the extreme devaluing of women today. The bodies of women are turned into objects, they become nothing but body parts, where “sexy” is the only thing that matters, and intelligence is completely unvalued. Gender roles are completely defined in modern advertising, simply and sexist. Males, tough and tall and handsome, females, not a person but a mere object. Just like many beer commercials put it, the more booze the more hot chicks you’ll get, just like “sus modelos senores.”

Below is a short video, where my point is far better expressed. Enjoy!


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