What is wrong with women in advertisements?

The sexy woman, the clean-freak homemaker or the woman obsessed with beauty – the advertisements depict women in non-realistic and problematic ways

How many times have we seen an advertisement for a razor of male deodorant where the guy is finally presented with a sexy hot woman in the end? Women in advertisements are either depicted as sexy nymphomaniacs that are prizes for men, as housewives obsessed with cleanliness or aiming for superficial things like beauty and fairness.

Although there are exceptions, the common advertisements depict women in either of these three ways. The worst is the first kind where a woman is used as a prize for a man after he uses some product like a deodorant or razor, or maybe underwear. The logic of these advertisements is nowhere near reality. And the lack of creativity is seen clearly throughout.

Even for random products which have nothing to do with sexuality, like an electric switch or a mobile phone, a scantily clad woman is used, and her sexuality is exploited for the market value of the product. Again, the logic of the ad is not important there. The only idea here is to get the attention of viewers which they manage to grab through these sexy women.

The second kind of advertisement shows the housewives who are always worried about the cleanliness of the house, toilet, utensils or of their family. The advertisements of toilet cleaners, floor cleaners, dishwashing soaps etc not once show a working woman. Why? Can’t working women use these products? Are they targeted only to the homemakers? And why are the women in these advertisements always so obsessed with cleanliness? Also, above all…. Why are men not depicted in these advertisements? For a change, you can display a man washing the dishes and commenting on how good the dishwashing soap is.

Advertisements are always made for the targeted buyers of the products. They only look at who is the majority of the buyers are. But not all homemaker women are obsessed with the cleanliness of their house. And some men are interested in the cleanliness and hygiene of the house and their kids. So why not depict that as well in the advertisements from now on. But we have yet to see those kinds of ads.

In the other problematic advertisements, women are desperate for fairer, clearer, bouncier skin with a glow. The beauty industry is a multi-million-dollar industry and hence that proves how much we are all obsessed with beauty. But isn’t the notion ‘beauty is the ultimate virtue of a woman’ fed into our minds by these advertisements? They show us the most beautiful women out there and set the standard of beauty so high that young girls develop an inferiority complex and lack confidence.

These unrealistic standards of beauty are hard to achieve and they should not be constantly propagated through these advertisements. We should show a world where beauty is not the ultimate goal of a woman. Her goals should be other achievements in her life. And no, that does not mean a certain fairness cream’s old advertisement where a girl gets a job after she gets fairer through their cream. We should be showing girls getting jobs and achieving goals regardless of how they look.

We need a more realistic and non-problematic depiction of women in the advertisements. We need advertisements that will make a positive change in society. Although we do get a few great advertisements occasionally, the majority is in a pathetic stage. And we have yet to see a change in that.   

-Staff Reporter

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