The first step for advertisement to change would be to get rid or redefine the psychical expectations of women and to have a higher regard for the intelligence of women as well. Another aspect that needs to change would be how sexuality is expressed in the gender binary that is set up by advertisers as well.
As we all know advertisements do not only sell us a product but also sell us norms “They sell values, images and concepts of success and worth, love and sexuality, popularity and normalcy.” (Jean Kilbourne) Since we all know how influential advertisements are in our everyday lives we need to change the messages that are being sent to us and more importantly to our children.
First there must be a change of the beauty expectation of women. “You can never be too rich or too thin, girls are told. The mass media delusion sells a lot of products. It also causes enormous suffering, involving girls in false quests for power and control, while deflecting attention and energy from that which might really empower them” (Jean Kilbourne) everyone knows that girls and women are held up to an impossible standard that hurts millions of women. In many ways this unattainable expectation causes women to have a double consciousness in public. The double consciousness is caused when women know that in public women are constantly being surveyed. “Men look at women; Women watch themselves being looked at.” (Berger, page 47). The fact that women are conscious to the fact that they are being watch here is when women create double consciousness because they are always aware of the male gaze. Advertisers know how women are viewed and are well aware of the double consciousness of women and use it to their advantage. An advertiser sells us the audience a reinforcement of harmful norms in order to stay in business because god forbids they actually start creating positive and new messages. We now need to have ad’s that have real women empowered even though they are not a size zero or white.
Advertisements need to stop this portrayal that women are of a lower intelligence and if they are valued for being smart she is not popular. The mass media has caused intelligences in women to have a negative connotation because they are not the desired ones. This is disgusting and it’s one of the reasons women to not go into the hard sciences verses their make counterparts. Advertisements must have portals of women being part of the hard sciences. Once ads illustrate women not only as sexual beings but able to be engineers as well as mothers that would be an ideal world. Advertisers exploit women and for me they are raping her over and over whenever sex is sold to sell a product. I have no problem with women expressing their sexuality but it shouldn’t be for the pleasure of men. This is where advertisers gain most of their revenue is selling sex. It isn’t only women it is men as well advertisers are selling me muscularity for masculinity. ”The male provocateur is the image of the perfect athletic physique.” (page 43) The exploitation of sex brings me to my next criticisms of advertisements which are this norm of gender expression that is always being sold to us in one way another.
Advertisements need to change is the stark gender binary of pink and blue. Everyone knows that gender is never that clear cut of pink and blue and the social enforcement of people conforming to this binary is harmful for the part of the populace that does not fit this binary. The advertisers are part of the tool of having the masses conform to the stark binary definition of gender. When in all reality gender expressions are much more complicated then that and I think that in the mass media has to create conditions for an acceptance of different gender expressions.
I think the way to change this is to have the major advertisement companies to realize that they will actually gain more clientele if their portrayals of women were more positive or representative of the female population. The only real way to have the advertisements to change is to show a case that women portrayed in a negative or misleading manner is bad business.
The only way for advertisement to change is to have more subversive advertisement to infiltrate the main stream media. These subversive advertisements give counter message of the norm and if there are more of these types advertisements they eventually transcended into the psyche of the populace.