Advertising/Feminist Criticism

Feminist Criticism


Social critics like Jean Kilbourne have blamed many of women's image problems on commercials. In her film series Killing Us Softly, Kilbourne argues that ads deliver powerful messages that shape women's self-images. She claims these ads equate romance and success with normalcy, and make it appear that beauty is the most important concern of women. Furthermore, ads perpetuate a stereotype of the "perfect" woman, implying that this goal is attainable by buying the right beauty products, diet aids, etc. In reality, only about 5% of women have model bodies. Kilbourne also points out that ads containing both sexes often have the male literally looking down on the female, implying a subtle sexism.