Consumerism is called the social and economic order and ideology that drives people to buy more and more goods, products or services. Consumerism began to grow in the second half of the twentieth century and soon became an integral part of every aspect of human life, transforming politics, economics and culture.
Consumerism has a huge impact on people. Often companies use gender and class structures, strategies, stereotypes to successfully sell large numbers of goods and services. A clear example of this is an increasingly popular marketing strategy that involves offering more and more gender-specific products to consumers. Nowadays companies use different techniques to popularize their products, and sometimes these strategies affect humans’ culture and habits. Nowadays a lot of companies use women as a “magnet” to attract people’s, consumer’s interests and attention.
The consumerist market has always tried to use and reproduce stereotypes and attitudes in society, to create a specific image of the female body and to establish a standard of beauty in order to produce and sell more products. In this essay I will try to examine why these strategies have negative impact and influence on humans’ culture.
In the documentary film “The Giant Feedback Loop” creators conduct research to determine what advertising strategies are used to make products popular. Creators believe that teenagers are an answer to make things popular and trendy, “teenagers are the most studied generation in history(“The Giant Feedback Loop”).
If companies see what teenagers see and perceive, then companies might reach their peak of popularity ”If you don’t understand and recognize what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling, you’re going to lose”(Rob Stone, “The Giant Feedback Loop” ). In an article “The Coolhunt” Malcolm Gladwell , conducts research and describes how companies find a key to popularity.
Companies have specialists who conduct researches to find out what people want, what is cool, in other words specialists who “cool hunt “ “.Many companies don’t trust themselves to do this kind of research, so they hire experts who can find these cool kids and speak their language”(Douglas Rushkoff, “The Giant Feedback Loop” ).
Sometimes cool hunting and advertising strategies work terribly bad, it manages to change culture and habits, propagates ideas and stereotypes that has negative impact on humans. One good example of that is a sexist advertisement, nowadays women’s beautiful bodies, sexiness, healthiness, are used to catch a consumer’s attention, where women are objectified which implies dehumanizing people. Objectivized women are portrayed as not passive social beings who have thinking, feelings and rights, but as a passive object.
Objectivization focuses on any part of a body or on a skill and exploits, sexualizes, uses it, it puts some women under pressure “The pressure on women to be young, thin, beautiful is more intense than ever before”(Jean Kilbourne, “TED Talks”) . It should be noted that the standards of beauty that make women pursue are photoshopped and is unrealistic and unattainable, “The image isn’t real. It is artificial it is constructed. It is impossible” (Jean Kilbourne, “TED Talks”).
However, on the other hand, the complexities and feelings of vulnerability that these standards instill in women are tangible and true. At first glance, trying to fit in these beauty standards is an individual, personal problem for every woman, however the real problem is that everyone has to see one of the bashful, refined versions of beauty, and there is no diversity in the representation of women in the media.
Media is like an indicator of life agenda and shows us the “true” path to what is the right and what is wrong. Advertisements directly give us a “formula” for how you can live. Nowadays advertising is available to all members of the community, including teenagers.