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I can't necessarily speak for how men are impacted by advertisement, but one of the more recent trends in humorous advertisement paints men as stupid and clueless, while the women are all-knowing, and loving eye-rollers.
This is a great question. Advertising taps into the dreams and aspiration of the culture. In addition, advertising often shapes cultural values. In light of this, all people are shaped by advertising. People's worth and happiness are usually tied to various earthly things possessions. In light of this, we can say that people's identities is definitely shaped by advertising. For example, our sense of beauty, happiness, and success are tied to advertising. The amount of money that advertising companies spend on this also proves this point.
I believe that advertising, for the most part, is sexist. Cleaning commercials depict women and tool commercials depict men. Some children grow up watching the commercials thinking that women belong in the kitchen and men in the garage.
TV advertising often centers around making the viewer feel a 'lack' - being inadequate in some way or another that can be rectified with a product or service. The popularity of infomercials for skin products, exercise equipment, cleaning materials and even education programmes. makes men and women see inadequacies in themselves. We are bombarded with adverts which imply our bodies are inadequate, our homes unsanitary and our parenting poor.
Women are perhaps the most targeted group, but advertisers realises that anyone is vulnerable to their 'lack' being highlighted: sadly even children.
I would say the genders are both affected by media advertising, in concert, of course, with other factors of socialization. I think women tend to be more affected in terms of their body image, their objectification by society and what expectations are of how they should act and present themselves in public. I think it is most harmful to young women with a still vulnerable self image.
I've noticed that many ads promote the perfect career woman and perfect mother, suggesting that she can indeed "do it all." At the same time (and in a few of the same ads!) men are portrayed as bumbling clueless idiots. I wonder who comes up with this stuff.
According to television advertising, the most important thing in life is to be sexy. Buying a new hairdryer will make you sexier; purchasing a new car will make you sexier; using a certain pen will make you sexier, etc. Supposedly, if one is sexy, everything else will fall into place.
TV ads tend to make women a lot more self-conscious about their bodies and what they look like. It makes them think that what they look like is what's important. This can lead to things like eating disorders or a lot of plastic surgery.
This hasn't been such a big thing with men because men are more valued by how much money they have. However, the increasing prevalence of men's magazines focused on physical fitness and such has led to an increase in plastic surgery that makes men look more muscular.
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