Representation of Women in Advertisements

Advertisements are a crucial part of mass media and the whole television industry. The prime use of advertisements is to sell products but not only do advertisements sell tangible products; they also sell products that are intangible. These intangible things vary from pictures or representations, principles or morals, love, sexuality, achievement and much more. One significant issue that advertisements are infamously known to sell through images is how the ideal beauty of a woman and her body should look like. The use of a woman’s body as an object in advertisements is seen as an example of commodification because it sells to and attracts a mass audience. Watching a couple of videos by Jean Kilbourne, a feminist speaker who spoke about advertising’s images of women, made me more aware of how underrepresented women are in advertisements because most of them focus mainly on the woman’s body instead of other things that make up who they are. The representation of women in advertisements is very dehumanizing which can lead to violence. One deceitful and convincing aspect in advertising is the use of today’s technology of Photoshop. Photoshop is a crucial part of the media and helps sell a woman’s body even more. These photo-shopped advertisements of the perfect body and look on a woman affect the lives of everyday people. Girls tend to learn from an early age what the ideal female beauty is depicted as, which in return can lead to obsessions and health problems, such as anorexia and bulimia. This leads to a controlling image of how woman should look like, which is sexy with flawless skin, beautiful, unnaturally thin, no wrinkles on her face, and much more. These images of impeccable women are also the perfect example of media and social construction. The media constructs how the ideal woman should look like which lowers the self-esteem of women who don’t look like what they see in the media. Women who do not live up to these standards eventually gain a sense of failure and are seen as unacceptable to some.

Representations of women in the media have become a serious problem in today’s world. As we become a more technology-advanced society, women become more falsely advertised, dehumanized, and hyper sexualized. I think the media should begin to stray away from the ideal image of a woman and should change their perspective on women. We are not objects and we should not be sold as objects to a mass audience.


“Advertising is one powerful force that keeps us trapped in very rigid roles and in very crippling definitions of femininity and masculinity.”



One thought on “Representation of Women in Advertisements

  1. Good points–discussing “Killing Me Softly” (where the videos were from) would further your argument. How might this link to concepts such as commodification?

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