Women as sex symbols in advertisements Essay
Women as sex symbols in advertisements, 492 words essay example
Essay Topic: sex
for the rest of their lives (O'Kelly and Bloomquist, 1976).
Companies that use women to advertise female products would first consider the target to which the advert is directed. If the target is women, the company would portray the woman in such a way that other women could also identify with the woman and the product but if it is targeted towards males, the woman's image is portrayed as a bonus for buying the product (Dispenza, 1975). Portraying women as sex symbols has even penetrated the sports industry where physically active women were used in advertisements that supposedly sent sports messages but has a sublime sexual appeal embedded in them. This situation was confirmed by Poe (1975) in her examination of magazine advertisements in US during 1956 and 1972.
In an interview conducted by Cone and Belding (1972) to know how women perceived the way their image was portrayed in advertisements, only 15% actually showed some form of satisfaction for the images they saw on TV. Women themselves have been convinced to see the positive side of these advertisements because that is the only way their minds would be at rest but the question is What is the positive side? The answer to this question has been mentioned earlier on There is no positive side except for the money. Some companies argued that portraying women as sex symbols in advertisements was essential for the promotion of the company's corporate image. This is purely true because people easily get attracted to anything with sexual elements or contents but the benefits associated with these attractions are only exclusive for the company and not the woman.
At this point most of the descriptions above were related to North America therefore let us examine the trend in Western Europe. The argument would slightly shift from women's perception of the portrayal as sex symbols to the effectiveness of advertising in relation to how women identify with the images portrayed. It is more or less like delving a deeper into the opinion of Dispenza (1975). As stated earlier on, the major short run purpose of any advertisement is to create awareness and attract potential customers but the long run goal is to exercise sales and generate profit. Therefore the prime function of attractive images must have an economic backing in one way or the other. Most Europeans have this misconception that the ultimate aim of a female in life is to attract and retain a man in all circumstances. That is why most women used for advertising are young and extremely attractive. From now till the next century, concentration on women would only be centered around their physical beauties and attractions especially in activities involving advertisements. The message behind female products is that the male would reject the female if she has any physical defects such as skin complications, body odour or protruding stomach, bad breath and so on. on the other hand how males perceive females is exactly what is portrayed in adverts and they