Gender stereotypes in advertising : Always “Like a Girl”
Essentially, stereotyping in advertising is the use of caricatures, be they based on truth or perception, to portray an idea in a short amount of time. With these quick-fire caricatures, there is no need for a thirty-second commercial to include a back story to the featured idea, as audiences fill in the gaps based on preconceived notions of what that person or situation represents. This facilitates a relationship between audiences and the advertisement in which audiences can understand a simplified situation with little to no information, and thus make purchasing decisions, however can be damaging towards the affected groups.
This page displays various types of stereotypes in advertising:
Jean Kilbourne’s documentary “Killing Us Softly” speaks about how advertising portrays people in the media. The problem, however, is she mostly focuses on the objectification, expectations and stereotypes of women. Though women are often put under stereotypes in advertising, men experience the same type of pressure. Which aspect of this advertising-society dynamic started stereotypes first? Do media shape us or do we shape the media? It seems like no one will ever know. It’s a never-ending relationship.
I love this toy add because it counters the gender stereotype that certain toys are made for girls while others are made for boys. It also counters the idea that women are the ones typically responsible for ironing and vacuuming. Normally both of these toys would be targeted at a female audience, but this ad dares to take toys to a whole new level. It stands up for the idea that vacuuming and sweeping are no more a women’s job then a man’s, and children of both sexes can enjoy playing make believe with these kinds of toys.
There was another picture that I came across from this same catalog of a boy and a girl playing with a castle that would typically be marketed towards a male audience. Once again, there is no reason why a girl cannot enjoy playing with castles and dragons. Toys should be advertised to both genders in order to help eliminate gender stereotypes. With both of these ads we do not see strong characteristics of masculinity or femininity, but rather a more androgynous gender role is being displayed with a combination of the two.
For Christmas this past year I bought my daughter her first set of hot wheels cars. She is only 1 ½ but I want to start her out early so that she knows she can play with any toy that she pleases as long as it is age appropriate. In fact, she plays with her hot wheels and wooden truck more than she does with her baby doll. Children should be able to decide on their own what toys they want to play with, without being influenced by gender stereotyped advertisements. I have a great deal of respect for the makers of this catalog and I hope that we can see more advertisements like this in the future.
In a society that likes to pretend that racism does not really exist and that we don’t have the motivation or willpower to pull ourselves up, legitimate racial concerns are thwarted and African Americans are expected to be immune. African Americans are told to, We should keep talking about race until race doesn’t count. Racial stereotyping in advertising may reflect subconscious or unintentional bias. Regardless, we must at least give it our attention even if it does not command national attention. So here’s what you can do. You can write a letter letting the advertiser know that it is denigrating to African Americans and unacceptable. It’s what I did.However, research by Kolbe and Muehling (1995) indicates that the evaluation of gender appropriateness can be altered through non-stereotypical advertisements. They found that, boys who viewed ads with a female actor were more likely to indicate that the toy was appropriate for both genders than boys who saw male actor only ads. The boys who saw the male actor ads said that the advertised toy would be preferred by boys only. Girls who say the female actor ads also indicated that the toy was less appropriate for boys only.This is stereotypical advertisement because talking about the work that men and women do only women can do the work of home while men works to provide them money. Hence this advertisement defines that the men cannot do any work at home without the help of women. So, this advertisement directly reflects the most common stereotype regarding gender.This essay will discuss the use of stereotyping in advertising. Stereotyping in advertising is defined as a representation of a cultural group that emphasises an attribute or a class of people as they have a certain way of doing things, which may or may not accurately reflect reality (e.g. blondes are senseless, Italians are attractive). Stereotyping sometimes can be viewed as an advantage, for example, how athletes are fit, this type of stereotyping encourages society, creating an understood symbolic meaning. Stereotyping can also be seen as a disadvantage, as a characteristic can be viewed as a negative, which creates a misrepresentation of a specific group or trait. (Moriarty & Mitchell, 2011). Studies have said that the general problem with material that is stereotyped is usually just assumed about something such as ethnic and racial groups. These assumptions and beliefs have created a split between cognitive psychology and the stereotyping literature, suggesting a contract that may not be able to be justified (Shelley E. Taylor, 1978). There are many ways in which stereotyping in advertising is used and is written about, but this essay will focus one just one area of stereotyping in advertising which is how people get socialized to the role of gender stereotyping in advertising. Gender role stereotyping in advertisingThis finding is significant because it indicates that males may not respond negatively to female models in advertisements. Nontraditional presentations appear to have the capability of altering the gender-appropriateness classifications of an advertised product. Kolbe and Muehling argue that this finding is important from a social influence perspective, because boys who saw counter-stereotyped ads were more likely to indicate that the toy was for both genders than were stereotyped ad treatment males. Overall, their study suggests that some changes in gender appropriateness are possible, but are limited by the already strongly held beliefs by children about gender and the lack of counter stereotypical advertisements presented on television.Racial stereotyping in advertising is not always negative but are considered harmful in that the "repetition of a stereotype naturalizes it and makes it appear "normal".