There Is Still More To Do In Order To Elevate The Image Of Women In Advertising
There Is Still More To Do In Order To Elevate The Image Of Women In Advertising
There Is Still More To Do In Order To Elevate The Image Of Women In Advertising
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There Is Still More To Do In Order To Elevate The Image Of Women In Advertising

The image of women in advertising has evolved quite a bit, and it must be said that much progress has been made considering where we began. But even in the Me Too era, there is still work to be done to deconstruct certain persistent stereotypes. That is why we must continue to denounce unacceptable sexist campaigns and educate people. Here is a brief overview of the evolution of the image of women in advertising.

Much progress

In the 1950s, women were systematically associated with the figure of the housewife, a sex object or someone submissive. But a lack of diversity of bodies and skin colours can also be mentioned. Moreover, the vast majority of women are still not able to recognise themselves in ads.

In fashion, the automobile industry, household appliances, food... women are consistently seen as objects and are hyper-sexualised.

Concerning brands that concentrate on beauty or women's menstrual protection, hypocrisy also has its place: body hair is non-existent and when you want to sell sanitary protection, blood is blue.

From the beginning, advertising has shown us female figures that are fantasised, idealised and mainly created by and for men. These images feed clichés and reinforce sexism and gender stereotypes.


Fortunately, mentalities are changing, slowly. Some women's brands have decided to take a feminist turn in how they operate. The Nana and Dove campaigns, for example, embrace the diversity of bodies and skin colours. The Nana brand also takes the initiative to address everyone - men and women - through the words of little girls with inspiring speeches to dismantle sexist clichés. But also by speaking frankly about menstruation, which is ‘normal’ and which is naturally red. Everyone knows that, but no one dares to show it.

Minorities in advertising are also increasingly highlighted, such as the LGBT community and people with disabilities.

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Feel the wind in your hair ✨

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Nothing should be given up

The advertising industry is evolving positively, but at the time of writing, it is Le Temps des Cerises brand which is continuing to be sexist in order to sell its new jeans. On the advertising poster, a pair of buttocks in jeans can be seen with the French slogan ‘Freedom, Equality and beautiful buttocks.’

The denunciation of this type of advertising campaign which pollutes the public space with sexism and images representing women as objects must be pointed out. And the power of social networks on this should not be minimised.

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IT’S OUR VERY OWN PERIOD FAIRY, Bloody Good Ambassador @emmabreschi, speaking a whole load of bloody truth ❤️ . Posted @withrepost • @emmabreschi Sometimes, just sometimes I wish mother nature would text me "hey gurrrrl heyyyy! Just letting you know you ain't pregnant xxx " 😂 But for real, those who menstruate shouldn't be punished for not getting pregnant! Think about those who don't have the luxury of bleeding freely 😔 This goes out to my people of @bloodygoodperiod ♥️ A cause dear to me, fighting for those who deserve to bleed freely 👊🏽 PERIOD 👊🏽 #endperiodstigma #periodpoverty #endperiodpoverty #bloodygoodperiod . . . . . #periodpoverty #endperiodpoverty #donate #donations #volunteers #volunteering #hygienepoverty #letourpeopleflow #periodpower #menstruationmatters #periodtalk #periodpositive #periods #periodpower #periodpowerful #periodproducts #menstruation #periodchat #menstrualequity #refugees #asylumseekers #bloodybabes #bloodygoodperiod #emmabreschi

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Another phenomenon, much more perverse and dictated by our capitalist society, is emerging: Femwashing. This new term reflects the behaviour of brands in the face of the Me Too movement. Since the liberation of women's voices, brands obviously cannot remain insensitive to the global social phenomenon, so they try to integrate it into their advertising by rethinking the image of women. Many brands now use feminist movements to get their message across. In other words making money off of feminism.

The fight against sexism, stereotypes and objectification of women must continue. And let us not forget that women represent the economic power of the market; the means of pressure for a better representation of society exist if we decide to work collectively.

By James Guttridge

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