Media Analysis Essay Examples
Women are the target of stereotyping by the media more often than any other group I observed during my research. Females are most often portrayed in domestic roles, as mothers and homemakers who must be perfect in this capacity. Meanwhile, they are also expected to live up to a nearly unattainable standard of perfection with their appearance. These ideas are consistently expressed across all forms of media, however, it is most aggressive in advertising.
The message is this: Ladies you can have it all, but you need help from – insert various product here. An internal sense of insecurity and low self-esteem is fostered by the media’s message so that the women are then encouraged to look for solutions to their perceived problems in products available for sale. The advertisers are selling lifestyle solutions. Through consumerism, women can be more attractive, smarter, thinner, better chefs, more loving wives, more involved mothers, more efficient housekeepers.
This tactic is not new. It harkens back to the 1970’s and 1980’s when we were told that women could “bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and do anything that a man can”. I believe that was an old ad for perfume. The portrayal of women as beautiful, domestic goddesses sets up an unrealistic standard for the average lady, who then spends her time, energy and most importantly, money, chasing that image which she has been programmed to believe is ideal.
It is overwhelmingly negative to convince women that they are inferior when compared to the perfect visions of females in the media. It is this cultural farce that has been perpetuated throughout the decades that has led to issues like anorexia and bulimia in teenage girls, as well as complicating the roles of husband and wife in the home. Perhaps it is not a stretch to state that these stereotypes have been primarily responsible for the breakdown of the American family unit and increasingly high divorce rates. Dissatisfaction is bred through the messages of advertising. When women are inevitably disappointed by their realities as compared to the images they have been sold, the trouble as to how they will chose to reconcile these differences becomes important.