Advertising


Scroll down to the bottom for the blog response to the film Killing Us Softly.

20 Important Reasons to Study the Media

The Center for Media Literacy

Advertising Age Magazine about trends in advertising

AdWeek Magazine about trends in advertising

Jean Kilbourne Jean Kilbourne is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work on the image of women in advertising and for her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. She is the creator of the “Killing Us Softly” series of films.

Jean Kilbourne’s TED Talk: “The Dangerous Way Ads see Women”

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About Face About-Face arms girls with the knowledge and tools they need to fight back against a culture that diminishes and disempowers them. See their gallery of offensive ads.

AdFlip The world’s largest archive of classic print ads

Adland Advertising information as well as access to commercials and an archive.

Center on Alcohol Marketing to Youth The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health monitors the marketing practices of the alcohol industry to focus attention and action on industry practices that jeopardize the health and safety of America’s youth.

The Gender Ads Project A website that examines how gender is portrayed in print  advertising.

Now Foundation – Love Your Body The National Organization for Women’s Love Your Body Project examines stereotypes around beauty and ads that both demean and empower women.

Sociological Images a blog that offers image-based sociological commentary on a wide range of social phenomena. The aim of the blog is to encourage readers to learn to see how social institutions, interactions, and ideas (including advertising) affect the individual. Check out their Pinterest account for boards on various types of advertising and marketing.

Tobacco Ads: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Trend Hunter Trend Hunter follows the latest trends in the U.S. and around the world.  Trends are both the cause and effect of many advertising campaigns.


KILLING US SOFTLY BLOG RESPONSE

As discussed in class, respond to Killing Us Softly 4, the film you watched in class OR the article you read for homework on men in media. Use your first name and last initial so that you may be identified. (If there is more than one of you with the same first name, last initial, be creative.  How will I know who you are?) What did you agree with? Disagree with? What made you angry? Sad? Frustrated? What part or parts stuck with you and why? Your response should be at least 150 words (8-10 sentences).  When possible, use quotes to support your points. Your argument and/or idea will be stronger if you support it.

You should also respond to AT LEAST two other people’s comments.  More class participation credit will be given to those who comment more.  I will be reading all of your comments, so check back for my responses.  Although I cannot respond to all of you individually, I will make comments where I see fit.  -Ms. Mc

100 Responses to Advertising

  1. Peter M says:

    I agree with Kilbourne and her statement that “Ads are getting worse because more people are working towards the ads.” Also, there are ads everywhere you go you do not even realize it, and advertisements will never stop coming because it is a significant way to make money. Ads tell us who we are, and what we should be. Especially for women, because “Being skinny is ideal in the ads”. Many celebrities are upset with ads because their bodies are being significantly altered without consent, and this leaves many with poor self-esteem and depressed. As stated by Kilbourne, “Women’s bodies turn into objects, and this causes a hostile environment with discrimination and racism. One part that really stuck out to me was the fact that anorexia is a major issue in women’s advertising. Lots of women have many eating disorders, and feel very conscious about their look. The ad industry leaves many questioning themselves and their bodies.

    • Ms. Mc says:

      I agree. What do you think should be done about the anorexic models in America?

      • Peter M says:

        I think they should be treated better, and if not, they should stop performing for ads because their lives can only get worse.

        • Amalia C. says:

          I agree as well. If a model is suffering from a disorder such as anorexia, they should not be allowed to further promote themselves to the public in a good light. Instead, I personally think that they should be forced to take time off of work until they can enter a healthier mindset for themselves and can promote a healthier lifestyle to other people.

        • Amalia Cho D. says:

          I agree with this statement. If a model is suffering from a disorder such as anorexia, they should not be able to further promote themselves to the public in a good light. Instead, I think they should be forced to take time off work until they can enter a healthier mindset for themselves until they’re eventually able to promote healthier lifestyles to others.

      • william j says:

        I agree and I think the US should institute a law like the one being pushed for in Europe, this law would make it so that models need to be above a certain weight

    • Ryan G says:

      I agree. I believe that all models under a certain weight or BMI should not be able to model anymore, potentially fixing anorexia.

    • Kara D says:

      I agree with your argument that ads are getting worse for women. This is partially fault to social media, which delivers many more ads now than it did in past decades. People subconsciously take in information from ads, and this creates an ideal of women’s beauty that is difficult to uphold. Women have been objectified for decades, and it doesn’t seem to slow down as times goes on.

  2. Clark P says:

    Clark P

    The film Killing Us Softly 4 taught me things about advertising that I had no idea about. One thing I learned was that women in ads are turned into objects. A quote from the film states, “Turning a human being into a thing is almost always the first step toward justifying violence against that person.” Women are objectified in ads which makes people see women as just an object and not an actual human. Advertisements have changed the way that people view others but especially themselves. Another thing I learned from watching the film was that women of race are rarely shown in ads. “Women of color in particular are supposed to ‘shut up’ and be ‘barely there.'” Most companies that use women of race in their advertisements tend to lighten their skin and alter the way they look before showing the ad to anyone. Black women are usually in jungle scenes wearing animal patterns as if they are animals. The way that people objectify women and alter the way people look because of their race is something that needs to be stopped.

    • Ryan G says:

      I agree. Colored women should not be objectified ever in ads or commercials.

      • Ms. McMane says:

        Hi Ryan, the term “colored” is outdated — we use “people of color” or “women of color” now, but I agree with you!

    • Sasha B says:

      I agree with you, women are often dehumanized and seen as objects. I find it incredibly disturbing that magazines and media would even think to lighten the color of a women or man of colors skin.

  3. Sofia K says:

    Sofia K
    The film “Killing Us Softly” 4 showed me how not just women can be affected by ads but also woman of color and men. It’s in two very different ways, but these two portals set expectations for who the man or women should be. I knew that women were portrayed as objects but I never knew how much worse it was for women of color. Kilbourne says “Women of color in particular are supposed to ‘shut up’ and be ‘barley there.'” This quote made me think about all the ads I have seen and see that women of color are told to become white or there not important. I have never noticed men in ads until I read the article and watched the film. Men are portrayed as violent. This teaches young boys that they should be strong and oppress their feelings. That isn’t a great message because when they grow up there only going to know how to express their feelings through violence.

    • Clark P says:

      I agree with you. The film also showed me how women of any color and men can be affected by ads. Ads set expectations for how women should look and how men should act. I also never noticed med in ads until I watched the film but now I learned that men are portrayed as being violent and that these ads teach young boys they need to grow up being strong and dominant.

    • Ms. Mc says:

      Yes, as a parent of both a boy and a girl, I see problems for both. I don’t want my son to think of violence as masculine, and I don’t want my daughter to feel silenced. I believe that the first way to combat these things is to educate people about them.

    • Sasha B says:

      I agree with you, I often see women of color being objectified and looked down upon in ads whereas white women are praised. I noticed that more through this film and also saw it in men. I noticed that men are portrayed violently as well, which gives an unrealistic standard for some boys.

    • Peter M says:

      I agree. I think women of all color should receive equal treatment, and there should be zero exceptions. I also agree with you, I always knew women of color received worse treatment, but I never realised how bad the treatment really is.

    • Riley R says:

      I agree with you that negative messages are displayed from stereotyping men in advertisements. The notion of men being at their best when they violent and oppress their feelings is incredibly false and is a danger to society.

  4. william j says:

    I found it interesting that over our entire lives we can watch 3 years of just ads. These ads are a problem in our society because they are causing unrealistic stereotypes to be created and used. It was also interesting how the expectations of people are contradicting, “women have been getting this message that they are supposed to be both innocent and sexy.” It also really stuck with me of how much time advertiser put into altering images. The film said that some advertiser take 4 women just to make 1 advertisement. Also as people are fighting for the objectification of women, the objectification of men has began to increase causing more problems, as Jean kilbourne said “In many ways, the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

    • Ms. Mc says:

      Yeah, it’s scary to think how much time we waste in our lives on advertising! I like your point about the expectations created by advertising. They’re impossible.

    • Riley R says:

      I also agree that it is very interesting the amounts of advertisements we are surrounded by every day. Prior to watching this video, I did not realize how deceiving some ads are, where they combine different body features to create the “ideal” woman, which is impossible to look like.

    • Riley R says:

      I also found it interesting how much we are surrounded by advertisements every day. I did not realize that ads were deceitful in the way they use different body features to create the “ideal” woman. This promotes a negative message for girls, making them believe that they need to alter your appearance in order to be seen as beautiful.

    • Juliette L says:

      I agree with I do think it is crazy how much time advertisers spend time on just trying to change every aspect of the model and making them look completely different.

  5. Ronan M. says:

    In the film “Killing Us Softly 4”, many good points are brought up, however there are some that I disagree with. One such example is the claim that, “Turning a human being into a thing is almost always the first step toward justifying violence against that person”. I disagree with this statement, as I believe there are many different factors that contribute to violence, and objectification is not nearly as involved in it as it is made out to be. One point that I do agree with is the idea that “stereotypes wound all of us”. I believe that stereotypes back people into a corner and erase the identity of the individual, however stereotypes will never fully go away, and are a permanent part of our society. I also agree with the claim that advertising sells more than just products, because commercials and ads are a huge part of the modern world, and their influence is astoundingly large.

    • Ms. McMane says:

      Can you expand on the idea that “there are many different factors that contribute to violence, and objectification is not nearly as involved in it as it is made out to be”? What factors do you think are significant?

    • Peter M says:

      I agree with your statement that advertisements sell more than products. However, I disagree with your point that stereotypes wound us all. I believe some are unaffected by stereotypes, because many are used to them or some do not show any emotion or feel any certain way about stereotypes.

    • Zach S. says:

      I strongly disagree with your statement. The objectification of a human being conveys a message that they are something of little value and should be “used” for something. Often times Women fall victim to this. In today’s society, we see the objectification of Women directly correspond to violence against them. This needs to be stopped.

  6. Alyanna D says:

    I agree that it has always been the norm that men are portrayed as bigger, stronger and violent. Additionally, advertisements believe that women are vulnerable and are “supposed to be both innocent and sexy, virginal and experienced, all at once.” The stereotypes that society has created for men and women are unfair because they don’t include a diverse amount of people. For instance, “a body type that statistically only 5% of women have, is the only one we ever see as desirable or acceptable.” Women have various different appearances and body types that can be considered beautiful. I am thankful that there’s been a lot of change and that there’s still hope. Recently, models and celebrities of different races and appearances are being used in advertisements, and are portrayed as beautiful. Also, people have begun to be more aware and educated about analyzing ads, and are starting to protest in order to change the world’s values and beliefs towards advertising.

    • Fiona K says:

      I agree, its crazy how only a few body types are shown in advertisements. People come in all shapes and sizes. Nobody should have to see an advertisement and then have negative thoughts about their body.

      • Amy K says:

        I second that one hundred percent. Girls and even teens grow up believing they may need to lose weight to be considered pretty by someone. Although this may not be true this is the exact message ads put in our brain. Skinny means pretty. Thankful there have been many new models in recent year not just boosting the confidence for women of all sizes but all races too. These ads display pretty does not always look the same.

  7. Amalia Cho D. says:

    Stereotyping hurts all people and men are not an exception to this cause. From the article, “How Do Media Images of Men Affect Our Lives?”, we are able to learn that from a young age, boys are taught that they need to be unemotional, calculated, aggressive, and independent in order to be considered “masculine”. Unfortunately, being sensitive, caring for others, or accepting help is looked down upon. I personally disagree with these ideas of traditional masculinity because they hurt boys growing up today and don’t allow for them to reach their full potential as people. I believe that it’s unfair for the media to send messages to boys/men that don’t lead to particularly healthy lifestyles. For example, discouraging men to open up to others, and threatening those who do otherwise. The article mentioned above even states, “These narrow masculine standards can lead to discrimination against those who deviate from them.”

    • Ms. McMane says:

      Amen! Totally agree.

    • Peter M says:

      I 100% agree with you here. I think that boys should have emotions, and not hold in thoughts all the time. They should not be stereotyped because it can ruin one’s self-esteem significantly.

    • Fiona K says:

      I totally agree with this. Everyone should be able to express their emotions no matter what their gender is. Boys should not have to ignore or push away characteristics that are “feminine”.

      • Maya N says:

        I agree with this as well, young boys and even adult men should not feel constrained to feeling a certain or way or supposed to “act” a certain way. Everyone is and should have the opportunity to express themselves no matter your skin color, gender, race, beliefs. Perceiving men as mean and tough does not help out the younger generation in any way shape or form.

    • Alyanna D says:

      I agree because it’s completely true that toxic masculinity affects boys and men in negative ways. The media will portray men in these violent, powerful poses and young boys especially will believe that that’s how they should act, which isn’t true at all.

  8. Sasha B says:

    Sasha B
    In the film “Killing Us Softly 4” I agreed with many of the topics Kilbourne discusses, such as the objectification of women. Kilbourne discusses how women are essentially morphed into certain objects which I see all the time in media. Kilbourne says, “(Advertising and gender roles) dehumanize all of us, both men and women.” Both genders are used poorly in the media in order to objectify or meet certain standards. Kilbourne discussed how women are pushed to be the ideal image of beautiful; the perfect height, perfect body, small, and white. She mentions how this body type is almost unattainable, and I completely agree. Kilbourne says, “A body type that statistically only 5% of women have, is the only one we ever see as desirable or acceptable.” The media portrays women to be something almost impossible, forcing young girls and women to spend their entire lives trying to live up to this high standard. I was incredibly disgusted to see little girls being sexualized in these ads and that somehow, no one has ever spoken up about it. A part that stuck with me was when Kilbourne explained how ads perceive women to be sexual yet at the same time, pure. It is impossible to be both, yet the ad teaches us that this is what men want. These ads that objectify and degrade women and men give everyone a specific, impossible stereotype to live up to.

    • Clark P says:

      One thing that stood out to me was that the body type that all women are supposed to have is not possible. All women in ads are altered and edited to look like a different person when it comes to their waste size, breast size and other factors.

    • Julia B says:

      I agree that sexualizing little girls and boys is extremely disgusting. It honestly seems to me like a messed up practice. Women and men shouldn’t have impossible expectations seen from ads. Some people can’t meet the standards ads have set up, and people can and do die from trying to achieve these results. What’s really confusing is that the advertisers know this is happening, but make their ads worse and worse. Why hasn’t our government done something about this already? It pretty much started in the US, but other countries are trying to stop it. Not our government, at least it didn’t say so in the film.

  9. Juliette L says:

    In Killing Us Softly 4 there are many things that i learned and agree with. Jean Kilbourne says, “[Advertising and gender roles] dehumanize all of us, both men and women.” I agree with this because while everyone always mentions how bad it is to depict women in such ways not many people mention how bad it is to depict men in some ways. In How Do Media Images of Men Affect Our Lives, the author wrote, “Sexual stereotyping begins early in men’s lives.” I thought this was interesting because it shows how men go through a similar thing as women do with stereotyping. While men are taught to be strong and be a “man” women are taught to be sweet and pure while also having a sex appeal. “The sexualization of little girls and teenagers [has gotten worse]”, said Jean Kilbourne. Girls are staring to get sexualized and forced into the beauty stereotypes at very young ages and there doesn’t seem to be many addressing it. Girls are also always told to be ladylike while boys are just told boys will be boys which is a bad stereotype for both boys and girls.

  10. Sofia K says:

    Sofia K
    One part that also stuck out to me was how anorexia being a major problem in women’s advertising. The advertising industry uses unhealthy skinny models. It is to the point where the body type is normalized.

  11. Patrick P says:

    Patrick P

    In the film “Killing Us Softly 4” produced by Jean Kilbourne, many topics are discussed that I both agree and disagree with. Kilbourne states that “Basically we’re told that women are acceptable only if we’re young, thin, white, beautiful, carefully groomed and polished, and any deviation from that ideal is met with a lot of contempt and hostility.” and that “A body type that statistically only 5% of women have, is the only one we ever see as desirable and acceptable.” I agree with this statement because nobody is perfect, but all girls are expected to be. Another thing Kilbourne brings up is the inequality of race in advertising. Kilbourne says that “Women of color in particular are supposed to ‘shut up’ and be ‘barely there.'” and that “The ads are always the same unless race enters the picture.” I also agree with this statement that white women are looked upon higher than women of color, and are treated much better.

    • Peter M says:

      One thing that stood out to me was how women are treated. Women are not accepted unless they are slender, white and pretty. I think everyone should be accepted no matter who you are, or what you look like.

  12. MR says:

    After watching Killing Us Softly 4, it struck me that in the since the documentary came out, not much has changed in the modeling industry and in ads. I agree that both men and women are being sexualized in ads, but women have to deal with it more intensely, making it more dangerous. The models in ads are portrayed as very skinny and submissive, this is being told to the people how they should act and look. Jean Kilbourne states that models have a body type that statistically only 5%o of women have, which is the only one we ever deem desirable and acceptable.” This may cause lower self esteem and depression, to the women who are trying to recreate this body type. This act of having to be skinny is also detrimental to models who are told to diet, making them prone to eating disorders. – MR

    • Ms. McMane says:

      What do you think can or should be done about this?

    • Amalia C. says:

      I was pleasantly surprised during the video to find that a few countries were taking the steps to promote healthy bodies for women, such as going through actions like banning models under a certain BMI. Of course, the steps taken certainly weren’t enough, but I believe that it’s a step in the right direction towards a healthier society.

    • Zach S. says:

      It is definitely true that both Men and Women are sexualized in ads today. I agree with your point that we live in a society in which Women are in more danger because of this sexualization due to the objectification of them. This is because sadly we live in a world in which Women are more likely to be raped or secually asuslted compared to Men.

    • Zach S. says:

      I strongly disagree with your statement. The objectification of a human being conveys a message that they are something of little value and should be “used” for something. Often times Women fall victim to this. In today’s society, we see the objectification of Women directly correspond to violence against them. This needs to be stopped.

  13. Riley R says:

    I was very surprised to see how much ads affect us in our daily lives. For example, most people think they can ignore ads, but the reality is that 92% of them are received into the unconscious mind. Here, subliminal messages of sexuality, dehumanization, and violence have surrounded us for several years coming. For women, the ideal body type that statistically only 5% have are displayed through many ads we see everyday. Jean Kilbourne analyzes from these advertisements that women are supposed to be innocent and sexy, and virginal yet experienced. This impossible standards to live up to most like affected the statistics of 91% of cosmetic surgeries being performed on women to enhance their looks. Along with stereotyping women, men have also been becoming increasingly more objectified as shown in ads. Kilbourne reports that masculinity is often linked with brutality and violence, inspiring young boys and men to grow up in the same manner. Essential communicative skills such as talking about your emotions and using your words to dissolve conflicts are characteristics that someone “unmanly” would possess. For both gender roles, advertising has been extremely dehumanizing and will continue to be a problem in society as long as these toxic messages are still being shown throughout the media.

    • Peter M says:

      I agree with you 100%. I do not think men and masculinity should be associated with violence, as this stereotype is very wrong. Many men in the world fulfill masculinity without violence.

    • Fiona K says:

      I agree with you. Before watching the film I didn’t realize how much ads influence us. Even if we try to block them out they are still there. It is ridiculous how advertisements tell men that they shouldn’t express how they feel.

    • Tori P says:

      I agree with what you said about the contradicting traits that women and girls are supposed to possess in society. They cause many women and girls to degrade themselves and hurt themselves mentally and physically. The same goes for men, too. They shouldn’t have to have masculinity and be violent in order to exist in society.

    • Juliette L says:

      I agree with you about the stereotypes that men and women are put into like how the women are supposed to be virginal yet sexual and how men are supposed to be very masculine. Also i agree that masculinity shouldn’t be linked with violence and that it giver young boys the wrong message

  14. Sofia K says:

    Sofia K
    I agree. I never saw how women of color are shown as unimportant. This creates terrible self esteem for young girls of color.

  15. Fiona K says:

    I agreed with how the film discussed that advertisements tell women that their appearance is more important than their intelligence or opinions. I was frustrated with how advertisements piece together multiple women to make one ad. This makes it nearly impossible for women to have good self esteem. The film stated, “Basically we’re told that women are acceptable only if we’re young, thin, white, beautiful, carefully groomed and polished, and any deviation from that ideal is met with a lot of contempt and hostility”. This ideology makes it very difficult for women to think positively about themselves. It made me angry when the film showed the Heineken commercial that morphed a woman’s body into a keg of beer. The commercial completely objectified women. The part that stuck with me was how eating disorders in Fiji girls increased after receiving a television. Clearly, the advertisements that are shown are extremely toxic and can cause girls to become very self conscious. The film said, “a body type that statistically only 5% of women have, is the only one we ever see as desirable or acceptable”. The girls in Fiji most likely saw extremely thin women and this caused them to have negative thoughts about their own bodies. If advertisements showed a more realistic range of womens bodys maybe there would be a decrease in the amount of eating disorders.

    • Maya N says:

      I agree that advertisements should not take part in multiple women just to get an image that is not real and should not be shown to young girls. I also agree that the Heineken commercial objectifies women as a keg of beer rather than a human being.

    • Alyanna D says:

      I was also very upset when I learned how advertisements involving the objectification of women increased the risk of them being depressed, having eating disorders and low self-esteem.

    • Amalia C. says:

      I wasn’t aware that advertisers pieced together different women into a single image supposed to represent a “woman”. This new piece of information is very surprising, and shows how strongly women are objectified today, where the advertisers only take parts of what they like in certain women.

  16. Kara D says:

    The points that Kilbourne brought up in her talk were very moving and eye opening to media portrayals of women in today’s society. It makes me angry that women are portrayed as fragile and subservient to men. Kilbourne says “As girls reach adolescence, they’re taught to they should not be too powerful.” This creates the idea that women are less powerful than men. Another interesting part of Kilbourne’s talk was that women are overly-sexualized in ads. She states that “the sexualization of little girls and young teenagers has gotten worse” and even now, ten years after this talk, girls are still being sexualized at this young age. This is dehumanizing, and creates an ideal for beauty that it’s almost impossible to uphold. Kilbourne has continued making this talk every ten years, and the ads continue to stay the same in the nature of objectifying women. There seems to be little change; although women today are said to have close to equal rights to men, this objectification argues otherwise.

    • Zach S. says:

      I totally agree, as the objectification of women sadly continues all across the world, it teaches little kids that Women should be subservient to Men. We need to be teaching the opposite message. Kids need to be taught to be kind and we need to encourage equality for all.

    • Tori P says:

      I completely agree. The sexualization and dehumanization of women, and especially teenagers and young girls needs to stop. Just because products are being sold, doesn’t mean bodies should be sold as the real price.

    • Ms. McMane says:

      Yes, that quote about power is really true. I think the advertisements really show women as meek and lacking power, which is a terrible message to send.

    • Catherine M says:

      I agree with Kara when she says that young girls and teenagers are being overly sexualized in ads, especially at a young age. Making the young girls and teenagers look like this give some girls a little insecurity and making those girls feel vulnerable thinking they are not good enough for society.

    • Jamie S says:

      I agree with your statement about how women are being dehumanized, as many ads featuring women have the woman as some object, furthering the point that women are being objectified. I also agree with what you said about equal rights. The media says that women are almost equal to men, however the way the media portrays women completely contradicts that statement!

    • Olivia D says:

      I agree women should not be promoted as a product and dehumanized. It starts to create a view that violence toward women is okay and society gets the wrong image.

  17. Zach S. says:

    I definitely agreed most about how the objectification of Women has become a major problem, and the advertising industry has made it far worse. By showing Women as objects solely for the use of Men, it indirectly creates a culture in which violence against women becomes more likely. When she said “Men don’t live in a society where they are likely to be raped”, she was correct. This shows that the objectification of Women can be far scarier and more destructive than objectifying Men in advertising which is also more rare. The part that made me very angry about the advertising industry was when she showed all the ads of dangerously thin Women. It made me mad because these body types aren’t common in America at all. Also, the extremely thin body types are downright unhealthy and the health of a person needs to come first. When these body types are encouraged everywhere, many girls may choose to prioritize their appearance over their own health, and that is very scary. The parts that stuck with me most was the sexualization of Women to sell products that are completely unrelated to sex. For example, an ice cream ad in the video depicted a group of Women with little clothing on, sending a sexual message. This just doesn’t make sense because the product is ice cream, and sadly that isn’t the only example.

    • Maddie c says:

      I agree, the culture of violence against women is very problematic. I feel mad too about the body sizes in america being anorexic sizes.

    • Ms. McMane says:

      Zach, I love your comment, “many girls may choose to prioritize their appearance over their own health, and that is very scary.” I wholeheartedly agree.

    • Catherine M says:

      I agree with Zach when he said many girls choose to prioritize their appearance over health because they want to fit in with society. And one of the only ways of doing that is if they are skinny and slim, which is the way society is portrayed in advertisements.

  18. Catherine M says:

    I agree with Jean Kilbourne, when she says that women are identified as objects or toys. Magazines tell women how to look or feel, if you do not look skinny you should feel fat and should buy a product that will either make you look skinny or makes you become skinny. You see an average of 3,000 advertisements daily, most people think they are exempt from them while in actuality it sticks in your mind, weather you know it or not. most advertisements show the woman portrayed as super skinny and thin with no wrinkles, while in actuality they are photoshopped to look like that. Supermodels even say that they wished they looked liked how they were portrayed as they do in a magazine. What advertisement companies are doing to models and people making everyone want to look and feel skinny is dehumanizing just because they want people to buy their products. The profit of the advertisement companies are most profitable when we feel the worst about ourselves. But also as Jean Kilbourne mentioned, signs of progress around the world is happening and people are becoming more aware of the fact that people are being categorized as fat and they should feel insecure.

    • Jamie S says:

      I like how you added statistics to your post, further proving that advertising does more to us than we realize. This objectification that you mention makes women feel like they must be inferior to men and have no say.

  19. Tori P says:

    One part of Killing Us Softly 4 that really stuck with me was when she talked about women being objectified. More specifically, when there were ads that showed women’s bodies turning into objects such as beer bottles, kegs, and more. Kilbourne even says, “Turning a human being into a thing is almost always the first step toward justifying violence against that person.” I also never really noticed certain things until she pointed them out, and now I feel like I’ll always notice. For instance, I never realized how unachievable the body type that some women have really is. Some of the photos she showed have alarmingly thin women. Although they are most likely photoshopped to some degree, she talked about a model who died of anorexia at 88 lbs. It’s crazy to me that companies and agencies don’t stop this; people are endangering their physical health, yet the problem is still so prominent all over the U.S., and even the world.

    • Kara D says:

      I agree with your argument. It’s funny that when Kilbourne talks about women being objectified, and the ads portray them as actual objects, such as cars, alcohol, etc. Companies just want their products to sell, and don’t care about the wellbeing of those selling them. Sometimes I don’t even notice the extent to which women are being objectified in ads, but Kilbourne’s argument will forever change how I see ads of women.

    • Ms. McMane says:

      In some countries, there are laws against featuring models below a certain body weight. Do you think that it would be a good idea to do this in the U.S.?

      • Tori P says:

        I think this would be a tough law to get used to, but I also think it’s a good idea because it may teach models and other people to think more about their health.

    • Jamie S says:

      I totally agree with what you said about super skinny women in advertisements. I cannot believe that companies don’t realize the danger they are putting models in by telling them to lose more weight, or maybe they do realize and don’t care enough about the women to do anything about it. It seems they only care about themselves and the money they are making.

  20. Maya N says:

    I agreed with Kilbourne’s idea of how many women are sexualized in many advertisements these days and how they are seen more as objects than humans especially women of color, “The truth is that sex is more important and less important than our culture”. One thing that did upset was how many teenagers and young adults have an expectation to look like thin models or they are not considered “pretty”, ” a body type that statistically only 5% of women have, is the only one we ever see as desirable or acceptable”. Some parts that stuck with me are that men should not be shown as tough or masculine in the advertisement because growing up in a culture where young boys are expected to be something they are not is harder for them so speak up about, “boys grow up in a culture in which men are constantly shown as perpetrators of violence and talking, communication, is so often seen in our culture as a weakness in men”.

    • Zahra S says:

      I agree with you, boys should not have to fit into this masculine standard. I also think that the statistic about only 5% of women having the body type depicted in advertisements is important to remember. Women and girls shouldn’t have to compare themselves to a standard that is impossible to achieve.

  21. Maddie C says:

    I agree with what Kilbourne has said. She points out how women are objectified or discriminated against in advertisements. In this we see that women who are not tall, thin, and perfectly beautiful are usually not shown. Even so some models themselves get morphed into other models in order to give that “perfect” look. These women also usually fit into the criteria of being white, blonde haired, and has blue eyes. This is unrealistic in that everyone has different features and most people take this as that is how they have to look. Even men get discriminated against: they have to have the tough guy look, abs, and no feminine features. Men are taught by this to become tough, don’t interact with feelings, and most importantly don’t care. This type of masculinity is often linked with brutal violent behavior which most women don’t like. Kilbourne say media images influence violence and how one third of women are killed by a significant other. This all shows how both gender roles are used against in advertising.

    • Jamie S says:

      I agree with your statement about how stereotypical women in advertisements are white, blonde and blue-eyed. This might make young girls want to alter their appearance in ways such as hair dye and skin lightening products.

      • Ms. McMane says:

        Yes, it’s terrible. As you’ll see in our next unit for The Bluest Eye, a lot of dark-skinned women are encouraged to bleach their skin — a really damaging process. 🙁

    • Olivia D says:

      I agree that everyone who sees ads even the models themselves start to feel self-conscious when they don’t fit the stereotypes portrayed. It makes them want to change the way they look which is very unsafe.

  22. Jamie S says:

    Kilbourne’s statements about how women are portrayed in the media are very shocking, as many women are often seen as objects or extremely, unrealistically skinny. This gives young girls the wrong idea about how their bodies should look. In the film, Kilbourne says, “The sexualization of little girls and young teenagers [has gotten worse]”, meaning that these young girls who view these advertisements want to be just like the women in the ads. This causes them to act or dress differently, or even diet in extreme ways to achieve the same body as the women featured. What made me angry was the advertisements featuring men and women. The men are portrayed as very big, buff and aggressive, while women are often small, fragile and sexualized. What surprised me was how some countries and governments are trying to end this unrealistic stereotype of women by banning certain models from being featured. For example, women under a specific BMI are not allowed to model in certain countries or magazines.

  23. April M says:

    I found the film interesting by didn’t quite agree with everything she said. Most advertisements she showed were sexualizing women and men and applying the stereotypes to men and women. There were some advertisements that I thought were silly and funny that shouldn’t have been overthought about. Stereotyping mostly comes from advertisements and she did a really good job exposing how they do it. Although ads are sometimes always ignored, people still try their best to look for their ¨ideal¨ man with the abs, straight hair, and tall. The same goes for men trying to look for their ¨ideal¨ women who have the perfect chest, waist, hair, and eyes. Sadly, this is what we look for in people and we bring ourselves done when we can’t find the ideal person but sooner or later people will figure out that the perfect person doesn’t exist and that they are fake and made up.

    • Ms. McMane says:

      April, you said, “There were some advertisements that I thought were silly and funny that shouldn’t have been overthought about.” Can you be specific? Which ones did you feel that way about?

  24. Amy K says:

    After watching, Killing Us Softly 4 I was quite surprised by the almost never ending examples of objectifying ads for both men and women. The truth sadly is sex does sell. However in order to sell sex these ads put the ideal women on the cover. These show us what is most important is how we look. Many women who are brought up seeing these ads develop low self esteem and eating disorders. While many of the women in the ads have eating disorders, specifically many have anorexia which causes men to compare women who are so skinny it is unhealthy to real life women. Other times the models are digitally altered creating the ideal women meanwhile no one looks like that in real life. Truly it is quite sad how falsely portrayed women in the media create the incorrect ideas of life to women from a young age as well as men when looking for a partner. It frustrated me that there has been little to no improvement to ads within the last 40 years and the objectifying ads if anything has gotten worse.

    • Michael Cankosyan says:

      I agree that the showing of ideal women in ads causes unhealthy things in women like self-esteem issues and eating disorders. I think it is devastating that advertisers purposely make women feel bad about themselves to make them buy a certain product.

  25. Tara E says:

    In “Killing Us Softly 4″, a film by Jean Kilbourne, it talks about today’s media and how it treats us as humans. Specifically, how it treats and portrays women in media. She talks about how women are objectified and set at impossibly high standards that can never be met, even going as far as putting these standard on children. She says things like,”Basically we’re told that women are accepted only if we’re young, thin, white, beautiful, carefully groomed and polished, and any deviation from that ideal is met with a lot of contempt and hostility.” It’s revolting that women must be these perfect Barbies. This even applies to little girls with Jean saying things like, “As girls reach adolescence, they’re taught they should not be too powerful,” and “The sexualization of little girls and young teenagers [has gotten worse].” I love this message that the film is saying, that you should love yourself for the way you are, and not by what a model on a magazine looks like.

    • Julia B says:

      I agree. It is unfair that women should feel like they have these standards that are impossible to achieve. It also feel racist that the ‘ideal’ women should be white, but little representation from non-white women and men who only are in ads only to sell skin lighteners. Or they’re there to show that white women are superior to them.

  26. Michael Cankosyan says:

    I agree with the topics discussed in Killing Us Softly 4 like the objectification of women and the unconscious effect advertising has on us. Advertising shapes how we view almost everything; it “tells us who we are and who we should be.” Some ads objectify women by only showing parts of their body, without their face, while others literally turn women into objects, like the product they are trying to sell. Turning a women into an object is “the first step toward justifying violence against [them].” Additionally, all the women portrayed in advertisements look the same and have the same body type. This causes women to try to look like this, but, in fact, only 5% of women have this body type. Plus, women are “getting the message that [they’re] supposed to be both innocent and sexy, virginal and experienced,” which is basically impossible. Advertisements also, although not as common, objectify men. Masculinity is linked to specific characteristics and men that have other characteristics are shown as being weaker. These stereotypes that advertising creates dictate how we live our lives and who we try to be. This is, in my opinion, a huge problem.

  27. Alivia M says:

    I was shocked at how ads impacted our society. I was surprised at how little of an ad’s message is received through the conscious mind. It frustrated me when she talked about how models were being fired from being “too fat” when in reality if they were any skinnier they would be anorexic. Especially since anorexia is such an issue in the modeling industry they should be promoting models to eat more or gain weight not firing them for it. It made me sad when a model died from anorexia but had still modeled while being that skinny instead of getting help. What stuck with me was how they had to piece together different women to make the perfect girl. It’s completely unnecessary and there’s no way anyone could possibly look like that. What also stuck with me was how that model Cindy Crawford had said that she wished she looked like Cindy Crawford. It’s sad that they have to photoshop women’s bodies to make them more appealing, especially without their permission, when it’s completely unrealistic. The film says “A body type that statistically only 5% of women have, is the only one we ever see as desirable or acceptable.” This is just sad because it teaches girls that they are never pretty enough and it teaches guys to criticize girls based on their bodies.

  28. Olivia D says:

    After watching the film, Killing Us Softly 4, there are many things that I agree with. Jean Kilbourne brought many things to my attention especially the way female models are portrayed. They are always very skinny and often to the point where you can see their ribs. I was surprised when Kilbourne talked about how many of the models that had passed away from eating disorders and can imagine how hard it is on all women. These types of ads try to portray the “ideal body type” that many people cannot achieve and it ruins women’s mindsets thinking they have to look like that. In the film, Kilbourne stated that “a body type that statistically only 5% of women have, is the only one we ever see as desirable or acceptable.” The mind subconsciously takes in 92% of ads and whether we know it or not we are taking this in and applying it to ourselves daily. Women are not the only ones affected by these ads. Both men and women are objectified and judged. It makes society think that being different is bad and sends out mixed messages. However, I was glad to hear that a lot of magazines are now using different body types and real-life women, instead of just models.

    • Amalia C. says:

      I think that it’s amazing that we subconsciously take in 92% of ads, while being aware of only 8% of it. With this in mind, advertisers should be extra aware of what they’re showing their viewers, and it’s sad that they abuse this fact.

  29. Julia B says:

    I think advertising creates a toxic society. Women are being turned into objects and that makes women feel like they need to change their bodies. The media portrays women as thin objects who only exist to be inferior to men. Only 5% of women have the type of body the advertisers love to show. This hurts women’s self esteem, and it leads to many mental problems like depression and anorexia. Men are also being portrayed as these silent, violent figures, who only want women for their physical features. This creates the notion to boys that they should be violent and not show their ‘weak’ emotions. It increases violence and objectification in society. The saddest part of these toxic ads is that children are seeing this, changing them to become similar to the stereotypes, only increasing the toxicity as the years go by.

    • Zahra S says:

      I totally agree with you. It is very upsetting to know that children are growing up in this toxic society with advertisements that make them feel bad about themselves.

  30. Zahra S says:

    I think that the film we watched in class is very important to discuss because not many people know the effects of advertisements. When looking at one of the three thousands ads we see during the course of a day, only eight percent of an ad is processed consciously. This means that we don’t realize the message of most ads if we see them at first glance. I am very angered by the fact that women have these ideal beauty standards. Even viewing some of the ads in the video got me upset. The example that we are setting for young girls is not a good one. The video states that, “For years now [women have] been getting this message that we’re supposed to be both innocent and sexy, virginal and experienced, all at once.” There is no possible way to achieve all of these standards. Why should we be changing ourselves to try and reach an ideal that men created? Also, it is scary and upsetting to see so many images of women being raped or killed in advertisements. I don’t understand why we as a society think that it’s okay to portray women in that manner. Seeing this video and reading about all of these advertisements has helped me realize that something needs to be done. We always say oh look how far we’ve come. Well, seeing all of these current advertisements goes to show that we still objectify women and have these horrible double standards. We wonder why as a society women are experiencing eating disorders and other health issues; advertisements are part of the problem.

  31. An N says:

    I agree with Jean Kilbourne’s film Killing Us Softly and how advertisements have become more and more demeaning to women lately, especially on how her appearances would be considered more important than her intelligence or personality. Such as how in many ads they must crop together a multitude of women to form the “perfect” woman. With ads and tactics such as these it makes it much more difficult for women to be able to accept themselves as they are. One such quote from the film perfectly explains this, “Basically we’re told that women are acceptable only if we’re young, thin, white, beautiful, carefully groomed and polished, and any deviation from that ideal is met with a lot of contempt and hostility.” The girls in modern day ads fit this to a tee, as since they are made up of many,many women cropped together to become the “ideal” woman to many people’s fantasies. Sadly, this has created a plethora of contradictions and misconceptions that women are forced to embody. A prime quote to represent this would be, “For years now [women have] been getting this message that we’re supposed to be both innocent and sexy, virginal and experienced, all at once.” This quote provides prime evidence about the contradictions and misconceptions that women are expected to know. After all, how would it make any sense at all if a women was to be both a virgin yet experienced? This just further reinforces how ads have been destroying the images of women everywhere.

  32. An Nguyen says:

    I agree with Jean Kilbourne’s film Killing Us Softly and how advertisements have become more and more demeaning to women lately, especially on how her appearances would be considered more important than her intelligence or personality. Such as how in many ads they must crop together a multitude of women to form the “perfect” woman. With ads and tactics such as these it makes it much more difficult for women to be able to accept themselves as they are. One such quote from the film perfectly explains this, “Basically we’re told that women are acceptable only if we’re young, thin, white, beautiful, carefully groomed and polished, and any deviation from that ideal is met with a lot of contempt and hostility.” The girls in modern day ads fit this to a tee, as since they are made up of many,many women cropped together to become the “ideal” woman to many people’s fantasies. Sadly, this has created a plethora of contradictions and misconceptions that women are forced to embody. A prime quote to represent this would be, “For years now [women have] been getting this message that we’re supposed to be both innocent and sexy, virginal and experienced, all at once.” This quote provides prime evidence about the contradictions and misconceptions that women are expected to know. After all, how would it make any sense at all if a women was to be both a virgin yet experienced? This just further reinforces how ads have been destroying the images of women everywhere.

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