Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day Advertising and Women

Of all the things about the American media that bug me, I don’t think there’s anything more destructive than the portrayal of women in advertising.

Sex sells. It always has, and it always will. But it’s the KIND of sex that is being sold that disturbs me. Billboards, commercials, print ads, and even the packaging on stuff we buy all seem to agree that an attractive woman must be about 5-foot-six, have a size 2 waist, enormous breasts, no ass and long, blonde hair (or in some cases brunette, that’s not a set standard, it seems.)

I don’t have any problem with that at face value. It obviously works, otherwise nobody would notice it. I don’t have any problem with the women, either. They’re good looking and someone probably paid them a lot of good money to pose for an ad. But the subtext when you see all this advertising with the same types of women is that all women look like this, or SHOULD.

Women feel pressured by it. They want to look like the hottie on the billboard or the women in the “buy this thingamajig for your girl on Valentine’s Day” ads on TV. Men feel pressured by it. They want to HAVE the hottie on the billboard. She may be a complete bitch, she may be psychotic, she may a vapid airhead, or she may be a quality girl with a great personality, a good heart and the type who would make a wonderful wife and mother. But nobody knows, because she’s ACTING. She’s POSING. It’s not HER they are selling, but her IMAGE. But lo and behold, if you walk into a shopping mall, a grocery store, or even the local Kwik-E-Mart, you can find products designed to make women look like this advertising model. Magazines scream “Lose weight!” “This season’s top fashions!” “Fabulous hair!” “Makeup tips!” “This celebrity used to be a toad like you, but look at her now! See how she did it!” Clothes are designed to cover as little of the female body as possible, or to accentuate certain aspects of it.

Women pressure one another to fit the archetype. They pick on each other and give each other “advice”. They figure that the closer they get to the perceived pinnacle of perfection, the more men will notice them and other women will accept them.

Well, folks, I’ve got news for you. Most women don’t look like that archetype. Most men, at least mature, real men, are not that picky. If we were, then every male friend I have who is married or in a relationship would have that type of girl. They don’t! Women and men come in all shapes, sizes, colors and varieties, because God made us that way.
Think of the world as a candy store with the members of the opposite sex representing different candies. Some people go right for the chocolate, some want a flavorful, long-lasting gum, some go for the sour stuff. Some choose a lollipop, or refreshing mints, or chewy gummi bears. How boring would it be if EVERYONE chose the same thing? In both candy stores and sexual relations, some people stay loyal to the same brand for life, some try a few different flavors before deciding, and some devour everything in sight until it’s bad for their health.

But I’ve analyzed it to death. The point is, ladies, don’t be pressured by what the media tells you. You’re beautiful in your own unique ways. Tall, short, fat, skinny, blonde, brunette, it doesn’t matter. God made you unique, and men love you for it.

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