From the psychological perspective, how does advertising affect women?

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wordprof eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You and I treat women as individuals, as persons.  The advertising world sees a demographic block of purchasers called “women” (they break the group into smaller subsets, by age, weight, race, marital status, etc.).  The prevailing attitude toward women, according to advertising psychology, is that they all want to return to the conditions when they were most sexually attractive to males—young, unwrinkled, big eyes, etc.—what is called the Darwinian imperative, to attract mates for procreation.   So they target their products to these supposed desires in women—make-up, diet products, sexy clothes, hair styling products, etc.  What this does to the psychological response from women is to gradually twist their own value constructs—they see advertising catering to these physical desires, and psychologically start to “forget” that their real values are honesty, integrity, security, clear thinking, etc.  So advertising gradually changes the psychological self-image of all consumers.  Women start to conform to the desires that advertising assumes they have.  The same kind of image-alteration takes place in men.