Women and Advertisements

Madhubhashini Rathnayaka
Posted July 28, 2011 from Sri Lanka
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“Critics and commentators from every discipline have grappled with advertising’s potential for power. It has been called “the most potent influence in adapting and changing habits and modes of life, affecting what we eat, what we wear and the work and play of the whole nation” (Women in Advertising) One of the first major studies of television advertising was conducted by the National Organization of Women in USA, who published the results in the New York Times Magazine in 1972 (Hennessee 1972). The study analysed more than 1.200 commercials shown on US television over an eighteen month period. It found that more than one-third of adverts shown women as domestic agents who were dependent upon men, and nearly half potrayed women as “household roles in functionaries”. The study also reported many examples of women depicted as “decorative objects” and portrayed as “unintelligent” and it highlighted the fact that men occupied almost all the authoritative roles in adverts” (Gender and the Media Roslind Gill, 2007)

As it is said in the first paragraph the research; "Women and Media" that I conducted deals with ‘the influence of advertisement on women’ which mainly considers the above mentioned fact the ‘objectification’ of women for decoration. The psychological view on women I could find was ; women like a lot to imitate the beautiful persons, and also they feel that they will receive a lifestyle that portrayed by the models. There is a theory in psychology that when there is stimulation there is a reaction, so when stimulation gets abandoned the reaction also increases. There is bond between stimulation and reaction. Thus when via the advertisement the same message is repeated the consumer goes and bye the product as result of that. And also when the commercial is repeatedly shown the tension of the viewer heightens as ‘when shall I become this kind of beautiful person’, and then frustrated. So as a result of this other repercussions takes place like family conflicts, need in go for a job to buy these kind of productions etc. and the women who start to use them become addicted. It is said that there is a weakness in female cognition that she does not have much ability of reasoning and as a result of this she tends to use these productions. (BUT PERSONALLY I DO NOT ADMIT!!) This weakness in reasoning comes in the situations like this in which the women consider their beauty which goes with sexual attraction or reaching to the higher social classes. So the advertisers make use of these weak points of women.

Advertisements influence the women psychologically for some extent and from that influenced group a part reacts physically by using the productions. The advertisements on cosmetics appeal the women’s need to become fair to become beautiful to be attracted to have a sophisticated life The mentioned appealing points are interpreted in different fields like this; In psychology- Weaknesses and Motivating Factors that goes with Anthropological Reproduction. Advertising-Human nature Beauty culture-Needs Feminism- Beauty Dilemma should be rationalized There are psychological (frustration, family problems, jealousy) and physical (chemical reactions) after effects regarding the influence and usage

But women should be strong enough to think well and take their decisions. Do we going to be slaves of advertisers or do we going to maintain our beauty and PERSONALITY according to our need? If we have our own powers and confidence then we can stand by ourselves.

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