English GCSE Media Coursework
1. How does advertising reinforce gender stereotypes?
Today in the late 1990’s we can not escape advertising it bombards us from all types of media and every aspect of our lives. It is a multibillion-pound industry that stereotypes genders and tells us what we could become if we use certain products.
Men being portrayed as cool, tough, athletic and stylish reinforce the gender stereotypes. One advert I have studied which reinforces the male stereotype is an advertisement for ‘Old Spice, White Water’. The advertisement shows a businessman in a kyak kyacking down a white water rapid. This is stereotyping the male businessman by showing him as an adventurous and carefree person who wears ‘Old Spice, White Water’. So this campaign is obviously aimed at businessmen who see them selves as adventurous and care free.
Another advertisement I have chosen to study that reinforces the male stereotype is an advertisement for an eau de toilette by ‘Givenchy’. This advertisement reinforces the male stereotype by showing a man in a space suit in outer space looking up beyond infinity. So as space men are looked upon as top class people who have achieved many peoples ambition to look down on the world this what he is portrayed as in the advertisement. The two advertisements reinforce gender stereotypes by showing the men as successful, and fearless. One is a business man kyaking and the other is an astronaut. For males this is how advertisements reinforce gender stereotypes.
‘Givenchy’ stereotypes Women as elegant, perfect and classy as in an advertisement for a perfume called ’Organza’. The same stereotypical role is also taken up in most other advertisements aimed at women. The woman in the advertisement for ‘Organza’ is pictured next to an enlarged picture of the bottle for the perfume. Both look similar with the curves of the body being translated into the shape of the bottle. Also the pleats in the dress are mimicked too. The background in the design is smooth and gentle showing and increasing the elegance of the woman. So this still and gentle setting is how advertisers stereotype females in advertisements.
As advertising advances though advertisers are using reverse stereotyping to attract attention to their advertisement out of many. One advertisement I have studied that imposes this reverse stereotyping is an advertisement for a larger with a young woman in a snooker club leaning against a snooker table. The whole photo is in shades of brown and in white is a quotation “I used to dream of a white wedding, what a nightmare.” This is aimed at the young woman who does not see her self as the white wedding kind of girl. This advertisement is typical of one for a male and would work just as well if it was a male and aimed at males in the advertisement.
To conclude how advertisers stereotype males and females in advertisements advertisements aimed at males are usually active with the subject doing an activity that is stylish and fearless. Where as advertisements stereotyping females have the subject still and motionless with no action making them seem elegant and stylish.
2.How far do you think advertisements reflect society as it really is?
In today’s modern world advertisements reflect society in a materialistic way. They only show the god conditions and perfect lifestyle that people want to believe is their society I like or will become.
A good example of how advertisements show a materialistic world is the models that star in them. They are usually tall, thin, and with visible curves when they are female and muscular, young and ‘cool’ when they are male.
In an advert for a female perfume by “Givenchy” a woman is shown who holds the materialistic characteristics. This is not how it really is in society. Not every woman has prominent curves, is slim and tall. This shows how advertisements do not fairly reflect society.
The same is true for an advert from a weekday newspaper advertising “DFS”. A male with similar qualities to above is sitting on a sofa reading a paper. Again this shows a materialistic world which is not a true reflection of society.