SCSU Anthropology Essay
Watch “Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women” (MEF, 2010, 45min, with Jean Kilbourne).
As you watch, pay close attention to Kilbourne’s analysis, especially her analysis of how advertising represents and portrays women; how advertising represents men; and the social problems (such as sexism, eating disorders, or gender violence) that she argues are related to advertising’s image of women. Also pay close attention to the concepts or terms that Kilbourne uses to analyze gender in advertising (such as, but not limited to, body image, objectification, dehumanization, silencing, normalizing, infantilizing, power, etc.). Think about what these terms mean and why they are useful for understanding how gender is represented in contemporary advertising.
After watching the video, here’s your task:
Find at least three examples from current or recent advertisements or advertising campaigns that illustrates some of the points made by Kilbourne in her film. It could be something that appeared in print, TV, or online. Then, analyze the advertisement or advertising campaign. What points about gender, sexuality, sexism, or body image do your examples illustrate? Use some of the concepts or terms that Kilbourne uses to deconstruct and analyze your advertisement. Submit your analysis along with your examples.
Follow these guidelines, or your score will be reduced:
- Tell us how you found the ad and where it appeared.
- Make sure your examples are recent, from the last 1-3 years, and not images discussed in the film.
- If possible, paste a copy of your examples with your post. Scan or photograph non-digital examples you discover.
- IMPORTANT: Please find an example on your own that originated in the United States. Don’t just Google “sexist advertising” and skim through the images. Actually examine print magazines, social media platforms, websites, or billboards in your community. If you do not indicate the source of your example, including where and when it appeared, then you will not receive full credit. I want you to engage in your own cultural analysis.
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