Analysis of Women in TV Commercials
A paper which examines the portrayal of women through television advertising and its cultural and economic effects.
Despite constant pleas from feminists to TV advertisers to start portraying women accurately, erroneous and limiting stereotypes still prevail. If women are not depicted as the happy homemaker, they are being promoted as nameless, faceless objects of desire. These labels contribute much to impeding women’s advancement into the traditionally male-dominated political, economic and social arenas. This paper defines what the images of women are that are projected through television commercials as well as determine the economic and cultural influences that mitigate such stereotypes. The writer shows that only in identifying the problem and measuring its gravity can we start to effectively reverse such restrictive portrayals of women in TV advertisements.
It is interesting to note that there are not any absolute rules or codes of conduct for the advertising industry. It is understood that governments do not intervene directly in terms of advertising content as long as the content does not violate any universal definitions of decency. Normally there is an industry organization that regulates the kinds of material bombarded on the public. Glory Dharmaraj, the Women’s Division executive secretary for justice education recognizes that advertisers, sponsors and television writers control the media, Viewers may not pay to watch TV but they buy the advertised products . . . [Mass media]’s first responsibility is not to tell the truth, or even to [viewers], but to corporate America.` There aren’t any hard and fast solutions to this problem but in the long term, it is believed that if there were to be a substantial increase in the number of women occupying positions of power and authority in the media industry as well as in big business, this would contribute much to addressing this dilemma. And who knows, maybe a few decades from now the focus will shift from one of inaccurate portrayals of women in television advertising to inaccurate portrayals of men in television advertising.`