Ads and Women

As I was furiously pedaling the most realistic fake bike at the rec. center (you know the one with the screen in front of it so you can go for virtual rides through Mayan ruins, Grand Sequoia National Park, around a velodrome track or play this weird game where you chace dragons…) listening to The Dead Kennedys, I noticed that 3 out of the 5 televisions had ads aimed at women and fashion. The two in my range of vision were: (1) about how I can lose weight by eating a cereal that tastes like flakes of cardboard, which featured a middle-class 30-year-old white woman with brown hair, dressed in jeans and a slim-fitting tee-shirt dancing around and eating her cereal. And (2) depicting a tan, tank-topped, buxom blonde who was showing me how I can stop those pesky bra straps from ruining my perfect fashion sense (apparently the perfect fashion sense entails a lot of tank tops and low-cut clingy tee-shirts). And just as quickly as the dancing white woman was there, she was gone. Replaced by another ad appealing to women’s keen eye for fashion at low, low prices! I wanted Sarah Haskins to pop out and give me a hilarious and satirical schpiel on Target Women: Fashion. And of course all these women are insanely happy about eating their cereal, hiding their bras, or finding stylish clothes for cheap (mostly because the clothes were made my slaves, but that’s a post for another time). None of these women in the ads had average body types, or were women or color. Sure some ads will throw you girls with melanin a bone and put in a biracial woman or if you’re lucky a light-skinned Black woman. You will very rarely see an Asian-American woman, Latina or a woman of any other race in advertisements. (I might be mistaken, as I do not have a television and am reduced to mooching off friends or when I go to the rec center/plex. So let me know).

Oh and here’s a cool link that collects offensive ads of all kinds: http://www.genderads.com/Gender_Ads.com.html

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4 Responses

  1. You pretty much hit it on the head LO. The only place I can remember seeing ads that involved women of color and/or average body types (though I’m not sure what that means other than not horribly skinny) is the Food Network channel. Of which commercials on there aren’t geared towards making one look better or eating flavored cardboard.

  2. Another site that highlights bad ads in general, with a couple posts on sexist ads weekly. He especially has it out for American Apparel:
    http://copyranter.blogspot.com/

    • As much beef as I have with AA, I must give them props for putting people who are unconventionally beautiful in their ads, as well as a good sprinkling of people of color in their ads. Even though these people are treated as sexual objects…

  3. Here’s another blog entry on “White Beauty” in advertisements from a great blog that Delphicoracle has brought up before

    http://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2009/12/07/white-skinned-beauty/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

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