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Women In Advertising Opinion

An image from the Film Killing Us Softly 4



I think that the role of genders in ads while being extraordinarily sexualized is also something that has happened for over the past 50-75 years at the very least. I recently watched a documentary called Killing Us Softly. In this documentary, it focused heavily on how women were portrayed in ads and what type of body parts are portrayed in ads. However, it also focused on men.

I personally think that yes it is wrong that ads are being served in this manner however, you must come to a certain realization that sex sells. Which in all rights is usually true but with this case it does in some fashion show objects that are portrayed as women. Women will, for the most part, be shown as objects for a long time to come and will without a doubt need to be stopped by legislation or boycotts. I totally agree with the documentary because violence against women can be associated if this objectification continues. The documentary also focuses on the body parts of women which for the most part the breasts are shown off. This is due to attract attention by obviously mostly male consumers. This would likely drive up their profits. The documentary shows and evaluates how this happens, why it happens, and even goes as far as to give some at the very least form, of a change. The idea that women are objects is competently ludicrous and for anyone to think of a human being as such is backward. Presenters such as the one in the documentary really do have a great deal of experience in this field of study and honestly speaking I think it is great that she teaches a class or course on the subject. It’s a worthwhile discussion piece.

The Documentary doesn’t show men as much but that is fine because ( and this was pointed out in the doc) men are only recently being objectified. The doc explains this in the best manner possible because they companies need something new before they lose their consumers and start losing revenue. So they use the same tactic but with men this time around. A documentary that can open the eyes of viewers especially teenagers who are for the most part exposed to ads on an almost daily basis has to be aware that this is not what is expected of you. The documentary was so well informed and prepared that it offered statistics, and showed the viewers/ listeners that because of these ads mental illnesses are on the rise with not only males but females as well.

Image from Killing us Softly 4

I think that Killing Us Softly surely exposes something not only wrong but natural about how our society functions on the basis of sex. I have a basic idea that it has something to do with evolution because animals often do the same as us but without any ads. As I said earlier it goes down to the idea that sex sells. While it may be terrible it is in fact true. These adverts are going to keep doing this because people keep soaking it up like a sponge.


It shows how we’re moving down a path of animistic, with ads such as these. However, while this was briefly touched upon the in the doc it could have been spoken about a lot more. Once women are objectified enough they will one day become truly objects and be subject to unspeakable crimes. If a society would be run differently and possibly less misogynistic, it could, in theory, be more efficient and balanced when it came to advertising. However, I believe that this wouldn't ever happen because of once again human nature. It just would not sell and thus the company would not run ads like that.

Jean Kilbourne speaker, author, and highly recognized for her work with women in advertising


I think that the presentation informed everyone that listened or watched it a lot because very few people have collected ads for decades like many sociologists have in the past and continue to do. This shows the viewer something that only a few people would be able to identify because they have not compiled the same amount of ads and have not noticed the clear cut pattern. The doc even refers to how lighter women are shown in ads for females and how darker men are shown in ads for men. This was explained perfectly in the film by saying, adverts give off the idea that light skin women are pure and dark skinned men are exotic. It also touches on how companies have started using food and sex to gain profit. The film showed several commercials in which women are subconsciously talking about sex but are eating or looking at food.

All in all, this was an amazing presentation and documentary that was well thought out and informative. This documentary also shows examples that most of the population would miss if they would not be pointed out. The presentation showcases facts and gives solutions to deep-rooted social, and possibly racial issues in our society that are turning into cracks that may very well one day cause it to crack and inevitable fall apart. It also introduces us to new forms of identification of these ads without even telling the viewer about them. I personally left with more knowledge and I think that this was a great learning opportunity for myself as well as everyone around me. It was well done and well prepared and covered so many different topics.

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