To what extent does the representation of women in advertising reflect or challenge the identity of women?
The advertisements below are considered to be gender advertisements. Each of them portrays women through strong, powerful and confident characters.
The first ad shows the woman worker with the flexed biceps. The woman wears working clothes, meanwhile, the slogan above her says “We can do it!”. The yellow colour used for the background is eye-catching and makes the audience pay attention to the poster. Initially, this poster was aimed at female labour force and its purpose was to boost female workers’ morale. However, in the modern context, the poster can be influencing both men and women of different societal groups, in order to support gender equality. The woman on the picture has a serious facial expression and looks straight into the viewer, which makes the audience feel her confidence. The woman on the picture has makeup applied on her face (brows, lashes and lips) and it contradicts the common belief that traditionally feminine elements (makeup, dresses or heels) are associated with weakness. So, suggested advertisement challenges stereotypes that are present in modern society through confronting biases related to appearance.
The ad on the right depicts the woman during the boxing training. This advertisement targets men and women of different social groups and its purpose is to embrace gender equality and women power. The main focus is set on the real model and the slogan uses the pronoun “yourself”, which tightens the connection with the audience. This advertisement mostly includes black and white colours, in order to catch the attention of the viewer. The medium shot is used, in order to show the physical strength of a woman. The athletic setting shows that there is a room for women in sports, which is commonly regarded as a male-dominated area. Moreover, there is more of the naked body shown in the second ad, compared to the first, which indicates the switch in the societal opinion on woman’s body acceptance. ‘Nike’ logotype is present in the picture. Through this, the company tries to associate its product with confidence, success and equality.
Finally, these ads attempt confronting commonly known stereotypes about women. The stereotypes are even more obvious when it comes to spheres such as industry, workplace or sport. As time goes, society embraces gender equality with a greater extent and it is evident through commercials.