Monday, May 1, 2017

One of the most important aspect used through media is advertising and media industry depends on this aspect for capital. One of the ways which influence and attract audience towards products is advertising through women. In order to achieve such priority, women according to corporate culture are meant to be attractive. This strategy of advertising via women has been happening past many decades and eventually this resulted in the way how women are represented in society. This resulted in a stereotypical notion that if women are not attractive their role within society is negligible. This extent of representation of women in media goes beyond advertising, and it can also be seen in movies, TV shows etc.

The above figure indicated “Sex Sells”, a commonly practiced advertising strategy where putting a woman (particularly an actress or a model) in the image attracts attention of the audience towards the product.

Unfortunately, the ideal beauty standards set up by major firms like advertising, TV shows and movies induced a huge amount of pressure upon how a woman and girl must be and women across the planet desperately try to achieve it. But, this representation is manipulated in various ways like dieting, makeup, digital editing techniques like morphing, Photoshop etc. thus resulting in an achievable standard. Most girls, particularly children are unaware of this act, try various ways to reach this naturally unobtainable beauty standard. This unobtainable beauty standard causes severe health issues and extremely dangerous psychological disorders and mental strain. Usage of excessive makeup causes skin cancer and inappropriate dieting standards cause anorexia, but people who control media care little about the effect imposed on general public via media since profit is priority. Beauty standards witnessed through Photoshop editing and morphing will not occur unless individuals go for plastic surgery which is not 100% safe. This act of representation of women with ideal beauty standards is also seen in children movies and animated children films/cartoons and it instantly affects children since they are impressionable.

Being affected at an early age induces a concept that pretty girls and women have a place in society whereas the rest do not resulting a huge psychological pressure at an early age which is harmful and children try to imitate what they saw on TV right from a young age deteriorating their morality. In film industry audience come particularly to see the actress in the movie and actresses are expected to be attractive or they lose their career. In fashion industry, models are passively forced to resort to unhealthy means in order to stay in shape by taking diet pills and other chemical products. Adults and children who watch these programs daily/ and or frequently over various media sources like TV shows, cartoons, fashion, movies etc. began to think that such beauty standard could actually be achieved and strive for it without realizing that there is entirely different story behind the scenes which the corporates who pull the strings of media do not reveal.

In the image, women are represented in a sexual manner for magazines and this beauty is unobtainable because of computer editing, but common people do not realize it. Due to its negative factors, representation of ideal beauty standards in media must be prohibited and as far as advertising is concerned, there should be no unobtainable imagery of any host to promote a product or service in commercials etc. Actions are being taken to prevent anorexia among models in France where they need to show BMI and a doctor’s certificate to show that they are compatible for the profession. Despite France implementing this rule since most models come from France and anorexia is a common dysfunction among French models, similar rules must be implemented within all countries both for models and advertising hosts. Across the planet, several countries are trying to implement these rules for safety and health factors for women but are not being effective because media has the power to change the opinion of people towards any organization or institute.

Written by Praveen Durugu