Killing Us Softly 3: Advertising's Image of Women
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Killing Us Softly 3: Advertising's Image of Women

1999, Psychology  -   123 Comments
Ratings: 7.21/10 from 57 users.

Killing Us Softly 3: Advertising's Image of WomenTo a great extent, advertising tells us who we are and who we should be. What does advertising tell us today about women? It tells us just as did it 10 and 20 and 30 years ago that what's most important about women is how we look. The first thing the advertisers do is surround us with the image of ideal female beauty so we all learn how important it is for a women to be beautiful and exactly what it takes. Jean Kilbourne continues her groundbreaking analysis of advertising's depiction of women in this most recent update of her pioneering Killing Us Softly series. In fascinating detail, Kilbourne decodes an array of print and television advertisements to reveal a pattern of disturbing and destructive gender stereotypes. Her analysis challenges us to consider the relationship between advertising and broader issues of culture, identity, sexism, and gender violence.

Sections: Does the beauty ideal still tyrannize women? | Does advertising still objectify women's bodies? | Are the twin themes of liberation and weight control still linked? | Is sexuality still presented as women's main concern? | Are young girls still sexualized? | Are grown women infantilized? | Are images of male violence against women still used to sell products?

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123 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Women and Men are not a different species. We are not from different planets or even different sides of the planets. Left alone boys and girls will gravitate to the same kinds of games, language skills will improve in boys and physical activity in girls amoung other things.Most of our differences are the effects of socialization.(our few real differences we ought to celebrate, I know I do :) Advertisers today objectify 'both' sexes (not equally, but it's getting there) only because more boys are feeling the same kind of socialized mind control, worthlessness, and insecurities that was previously felt mostly by girls - and #1 always #1 is that that kind of insecurity building advertising WORKS...SO I agree with others that only a conscious society who both LIMIT advertising (3 years of my life is 3 years too many IMO), and Control the Images used will result in effective change...
    Right now however, I think we all have more important things to be doing and should stop shopping altogether-as in stop being sheep and start being activists for our own good health as well as health of the planet. -Peace

  2. some of it i could tell true with media's effect, that count all kind of wrong messages, but its also about how people react on it, if they think abit for themself what might is too much too less.
    well the only thing i can be sad of is when i was teenager i got my fingers burned, wrong messages to boys i do know now :) but when your young you try copy others and look in television and might get a little bit wrong idea what is pretty and what is some adult sexual messages.
    I dont want to be a feminist at all ^^ because of my bad exsperience i think im abit more sensitive to comments i see as "you own fault, should have known, the dumb answers with kitchen blabla" ^^
    i maybe think its about your own past how you take all this big talk with men/woman stuff

    sorry my english if i did some mistakes ^^

  3. more feminist propaganda? more "oh my god im such a victim! im so oppressed!"

    meanwhile woman have at least 300% more social, political, and legal advantages over men.

    1. Nah man, you're wrong. Women earn less than 1/10th of the world's income and own less than 1/100th of its property. My numbers are fact, and yours sound like you are upset with your ex girlfriend.

    2. And those facts are well Woman's day magazine

    3. Bullsh/t!

      You literally could not be more wrong!

  4. Its hilarious how she enjoys a commercial about a breakfast cereal featuring men which has the obvious message that women should stay thin!

  5. lol you are so wrong , this is not true at all, women chose to act like objects noone force the, so stop qq.. this is rly not true!

    1. If you started with saying "my apinion is" i could someway accept your look on this ^^ seem to me you look very black or white with this.
      This is about womens yes, she goes into that topic only, but its clear media have alot of power, if you think about mental ill, crimes, racism and homofobia, as she came short into. media can give a wrong picture, and that can lead to more stigmatize and misslead how it in reality really is :)

  6. Excellent speaker, extremely intelligent woman. Very, very sexy..... Thanks

  7. Beauty may be Illusional, which I interpret to mean Idealized, but Ugly is objectifiable and surrounds us on a daily basis. Shouldn't we, at least, strive for beauty and perfection and not let outselves "go"? This rule should, by the way, apply to both men and women.

  8. All things in a capitalist system must first be objectified in order to be marketable for profit. I wonder why Revlon does not market a new Mother Teresa line of make-up.

  9. This was beautifully put together. It still rings true over 10 years later. Anyone who watches this should follow it with The Century of the Self, which goes into detail about how Sigmund Freud's theories on the subconscious mind were used by corporations to sell products as well as government to manipulate the masses. Ads are quite calculated. Whether corporations could have predicted the effect on society is debatable.

    Yes, men are being increasingly objectified in ads today as much as women, but don't act as if it is on the same scale. The portrayal of women in ads has its foundations upon the millenia-old idea of them as passive, sex objects. And you can't just "ignore" these ads or "block them out" when they're constantly in your face. You don't even have to watch television to be bombarded with ads. They're on city buses, magazines, billboards, etc. The images remain in your subconscious whether you want them to or not.

    The real issue is how the images in most ads change (or not) your perception of yourself and/or those around you. Some people are able to see through their deceptions. But most people internalize the images and this results in self-hatred and low levels of self-confidence or a distorted view of how things should be (depending on the type of ad of course).

  10. manfruss:
    "I know girls who don't look at a guy twice unless he's build like a body builder. If you don't have a washboard six pack, kiss date night good buy."

    It sounds like you understand exactly how advertising poisons the brain. It's too bad that you know girls like that but TRY to realize that it's NOT normal and not what girls worth your time actually think.

    Though this doc has chosen (for its own reasons, there is no evil agenda I'm sure) to focus only on one side, then if anything, use it to understand that side.

    The world must be balanced, you're right, and all we can do is show through our own behavior and actions how things really are, not the way advertisers want us to be. Don't buy those products, treat others with respect, it comes back to you by those who understand, and the world can move on.

  11. beauty is an illusion

    1. No it isnt, it is a state of being

  12. "The world of humanity is possessed of two wings: the male and the female. So long as these two wings are not equivalent in strength, the bird will not fly. Until womankind reaches the same degree as man, until she enjoys the same arena of activity, extraordinary attainment for humanity will not be realized; humanity cannot wing its way to heights of real attainment. When the two wings or parts become equivalent in strength, enjoying the same prerogatives, the flight of man will be exceedingly lofty and extraordinary."

  13. Man hating is something that becomes more and more common. Almost like a new trend, and the latest fashion. Piss on men, they f&^k up our world. My concern is that the affront women feel about ads, and how they are portrayed, is also an affront to men. I don't believe in the the "victim, persecutor, rescuer" paradigm as these are merely paradigms of create conflict, and not solutions.

    So, there is an ad that is unrealistic for women to attain, and creates this false sense of self for them. It has an equal effect on men, telling them this is what your ideal woman is. Not only does this same ad hurt the self image of women, it hurts the image men see of women. Equal damage, as there is so much more for men to seek in a relationship than just the physical good looks (whatever that means).

    Men are sexualized in commercials just like women. All the commercials tell men that they have to have this perfectly "V" shaped back, and six packs, and abs and pecks that bulge and could knock the starship enterprise outta orbit. That a man has to have a high pay job, and have power and control over his life and his world. How much of this information about boys is damaging to their self image?? How unrealistic of a view does it give women of what their men should be like?? I know girls who don't look at a guy twice unless he's build like a body builder. If you don't have a washboard six pack, kiss date night good buy. So don't tell me for one second that women are the only people harmed in our over-the-top-consumer society. Our culture of "F*#k God and buy a car", materialism, preoccupation with the world of the physical, is leading us down a path that will have all people feeling disconnected, unloved, and hurt. We live is a world that uses people and loves things, when we really need to love people and use things. One girl I know even said: " I don't need him to have a mind, just a body like that I can ride all night long."

    How often do you hear of the boy toy, the cougars out prowling the night looking for young meat. How can we say men are not sex objects? Let's be real folks, humanity is being harmed. You can't cause emotional and psychological damage to one sex without harming the other. Both are hurt equally. Period!

    1. I totally agree that both genders are objectified and harmed in tons of ways. But one big difference between objectification of women versus objectification of men is that men are shown as empowered and strong in advertisements. Yes, this definitely creates very unfair standards just like advertisements do for women, but it does not create a climate that encourages physical abuse of men. It perpetuates the idea that men should be strong, and women should just be "sexy". These are damaging ideas to both genders, but one idea empowers the gender as a whole while the other encourages submission. This is a recipe for physical violence.

  14. You do not have the right to demonize either sex based on marketing and the assumption of perceptions they may or may not hold. I am a 22 year old male and I have few if any of these prejudices against women. Instead I seem to share more of the insecurities. and with the romance of society and nationalism weighing on our backs we tend to forget that each others conscience is just a serious of emotional triggers rationalized to form bull**** defenses for our ego. How does one place their value? Is it not by action. Why concede your propriety to anger and fruitless rewards. Pleasure/pain incentives, that is what matters. Create your own passion cultivate your own pleasure, why trifle.

    If it makes it better i will list all my physical insecurities so hopefully you Won't feel so isolated, insecure and victimized.
    Short, ive been rejected many times because of my height.
    Small hands even for my short stature.
    My ass is flat.
    My body hair seems confused at exactly where it wants to congregate.
    My skin is porous, and i get acne.
    No matter how much i work out my biceps will not keep up with my other muscle groups.
    Also stretch marks on my bicep, armpit, thighs chest and shoulders that look horrible.
    Not vascular enough.
    I currently weigh 170lbs and have love handles at my lightest i weighed 135 and my love handles where still the same size, with no ab definition.
    I wish my d*ck was bigger, not that its small. It works **** you!
    Did i mention thin wrists.
    Anyways all this discombobulated meat on the bones will one day be dust so might as well just have as much fun as you can with it while you have it.

  15. Advertising is a b!tch to everyone, not only women. Maybe it's high time we took it all with a pinch of salt. It would have no power if we all just ignored it.

  16. This chick is an id**t... over feminist with a chip on her shoulder.. yes women are objectified as physical items through media and advertisement and yes rediculous amounts of pressure is put on them to be "beautiful" and to look unaturally perfect.. but u cant say **** like.. the ideal of skinny women is to cut women down to size.. thats just chosing to take something the most unrealistically offensive and unlikely way.. theres an emphasis on skinnyness because fat is seen as unattractive, so therefore the furthest you can get away from being fat (very skinny) is what is viewed as most attractive... and when she refers to the mens calvin klein add for jeans as not being sexist because it doenst point out something wrong with a man eg his penis.... most sexist womens adds dont point out something wrong with the women, they give and example of an unaturally beautiful and unrealistic women and at the same time allude to the possibility of this being you if you buy the product ect, which is exactly what this add of the naked man with the jeans is doing. Jean Kilbourne does raise some important points but she is chosing to take things as sexist as she possibly can when it more then likely isnt even the intent in most of her examples (eg the hands over the mouth images or the 'let your eyes do the talking' ad) she is being as unrealistic as the images and depeiction of women she is discussion. She is overly feminist which makes her complete argument biased and unreliable

  17. I wonder what happened with her when she saw 16 and pregnant. anyway i agree with her. ads lead to violence and sexual offense towards women and teenagers dressed like hookers, sometimes i feel like i live in some kind of sexual fantasy created by a congregation of sexually frustrated CEO's who are trying to make their sick dreams come true.

    1. Women do not get raped because they are "dressed like hookers." Women get raped because they find themselves in the presence of a rapist.

  18. Travis,
    Nice to know you are one of the few men who do listen to your mother. If we all listened our mothers, there would be no war or brutality. No sane mother would want her children killed and her home destroyed.

    Yes, greed is a cause because those with lower quality minds fail to understand that we have to share. They want to take the good stuff only for themselves and some of even lower minds will turn to violence to do it. It is very much a cultural phenomenon, best exemplified by male dominator cultures, which bring out the worst in everyone.

    It's not women who are committing genocide like Hitler etc. It's not women who wiped out millions of American buffalo last century in machine gun shooting sprees. It's not women who are the terrorists. I could go on and on...Should I write a book called "1001 Atrocities Committed by Men in History." That could get kind of negative, you know.

    Male dominator cultures (not all men) have degraded the quality of human life on this planet and are designed to wage psychological warfare on anyone or thing that threatens them ie women, minorities etc. It's nothing more than a power grab. Instead of working together to create a win-win situation, its winner takes all. Both men and women are caused to lose faith in the feminine, which is the counterbalance force to the masculine. These cultures deliberately engineer mistrust and hate towards others who get in their way to keep themselves on top.

    It is very difficult for a women in particular to actualize her higher capacities in this type of society, and if she is not careful, she will end up playing the destruction game like the men or being vengeful and catty. When we make women think less of themselves, this is what you get. It is self fulfilling.

  19. Christina is full of it, most guys when growing up follow and listen to their mothers more then anything, So in a way they are leading. And most the worlds problems I believe come from greed, an attribute shared by both genders. Seriously hate it When i am blamed for being male.

    I tell my girlfriend she is gorgeous without makeup etc, its her GIRL friends who tell her she looks gorgeous and better in this and that. Sorry about the rant.

  20. The male sex has come to dominate this world through brutality and in so doing has severely degraded the quality of life on this planet for all species and the environment. It has a very low understanding of the quality of human existence, as evidenced by the fact that male dominated history is replete with war, rape, coersion and exploitation. It refuses to allow us to take faith in women's experience, it aims to disempower women, to damage our mental health, reducing women to quarrelsome harpies, etc. The patriarchy is founded on the backs of women. Humanity can do much better than this and it is only through women's guidance that it can happen, but this is difficult since we are trained to ignore womens voices.

    We are terribly out of balance. Men govern over the material world and women govern over the world of relationships. Both need to be in balance for society to function.

  21. This doc helped not want to die today.

  22. Hi all.
    This is a sensitive topic for both genders, and surely after having read the comments, it is appearent that the issue ignites the strongest of feelings. As a man, I must admit that I am unfairly partialled to side with my own gender, I am however also a university scholar so different perspectives matter and tend to create a deeper understanding. In other words; I forced myself to watch this doc, in order to try to understand the female side of the argument ( how very feminine of me). To my suprise I liked the doc, because even though it focuses primarily on the protrail of the ideal woman in the world of advertising ( which is of course dispicable), at the end it also addresses the crisis in masculinity.
    I urge you to put aside any anger you might be feeling after having watched this doc and watch the documentary called " The Tough Guise: Violence, Media & the Crisis in Masculinity". It will offer a deeper insight into the opposite argument, after that, you can draw your own conslusions.
    My personal conclusion is that both genders suffer, in different ways perhaps, but I think it would be wrong to blame one or the other gender. We need to stop blaming and start understanding (or at least try) in order to stop suffering.



    1. Im really happy about what you told here, i so agree, and i would love to see a similar documentary about this for "other side of view" :)
      I sometimes bust myself thinking abit in feminist side, i truly think it depend alot about where you was raised and what you been exsperienced in your life.
      My first bf was violence and ended with me getting into unwanted sex, i was 14.
      as understandable i begin to look different on men, simple to try protect myself, and for me the simpel way sorting out was total caveman-thinking men=bad woman=good, now im 20, got alot of help, and i think this is so interesting truly.
      i dont have the same looking at men anymore, defense mechanism do alot, simple you try avoid bad stuff happening again.
      what i try to tell is i agree, and i want to see both side of one story.
      I think media can be one thing for young people to go the wrong way, but with that told there is so much else making you end where you do.
      with the wrong guy i meet, i learned so wrong how it all is with boys girls, and that your body was the way of being accepted.
      Dunno if this maybe tell a little bit of what i think some young girls end easyer out with, with the wrong messages, like media.

  23. Here is a simple fact, advertising relies on image. Do you want your product associated with an attractive woman that appears to be intelligent, sophisticated and graceful or a fat unattractive woman that is intelligent and tries real hard to pretend to be graceful?
    And by the by men are objectified and trashed to a greater extent than women in the media. Get over yourselves ladies.

  24. This documentary was pretty amusing. Jean's got a sharp tongue with her little jokes and all. She made some pretty good points with some of the ads provided. Women are always objectified in the media. Always the domestic little homemaker. And when men have an ounce of femininity, they are displayed as being weak. But I agree with a previous post that she was reading too much into some of those ads. I had to "lol" and shake my head because the accusation was pretty ridiculous. For example, she was attempting to prove that many advertisements showed women being silenced. One of those ads had the Asian woman that said "barely there." In her eyes, she was barely there, ignored and invisible. In reality, the words in the ad never told the "woman of color" to shut up. I'm a woman. An Asian woman in fact. When I hear barely there for a make up gimmick, I think of light weight make up that's barely there. It's like when a person accidentally spills a bucket of paint on a canvas and people crowd around it claiming it reflects the mental anguish of the artist against oppression. It's just spilled paint, darn it.

  25. An hour after viewing:-what do I remeber?. Well rehearsed patter and spiel from Ms K. Audience behaved like trained mammals;only without the skill to do something like a seal or walrus. Note the gamma male or two 'in' with women. The case for women is obvious; but do they have to be told again to 'wake up'-it's a new century!
    We all know the socio-political/gender studies argument, which has some weight. I like women. I could say more' but a comment section -oughtto be brief.
    In a proverbial 'nutshell'. Women today fly fast jets-and since 1994-in theatres of war; -and they are 'terrific'.
    Still-; there wouldn't be a wheel; a combustion engine-let alone a J79 engine on a Phantom F4-if it were not for the 'male brain'.
    I know this is controversial. Please don't rush to insult.

    Worse again-and this is from the sublime to the ridiculous; -for decades -why do women allow advertising men or sons of the devil-'dickheads' make infantile and patronising copy and film on 'sanitary products'. Perhaps allow is not the verb as it implies power; but why do women seemingly not complain. There are advertising authorities, if one can believe it.


    1. Yes, men have created all of those things, they have also used their "male brains" to keep women from obtaining equality for most of history. Its pretty hard for someone to invent something of importance when they are told from birth they dont have the mental capacity, when they are unable to receive an education of equal caliber to a mans, when they have their personal rights restricted by law, and when they find it impossible to get anyone in a position of power to hear them out because they see a female and automatically cease to seriously consider them or their ideas. So maybe women havent been as seemingly productive as men have throughout history, but men havent had half of the population holding them down, lawfully binding them to live without a voice or rights and forcing them to work and function in only the capacities of life deem acceptable for them. If our rolls were reversed, women would have invented it all and men would be fighting for equal rights today.

    2. ok LA----Thanks for argument without insults. I just spent 2 hours with a man who did insult me over -some 'man stuff'. His name was 'Smith' ---yeah really!!! while my real name +web blogs -is out there for all to see. I was about to 'give him both 'both barrels'. Instead I took aim with a pistol; and told him about Carl Jung's view on hypocrisy or been 'not nice'. I think I wasted 2 hours and left myself open to more 'crap'

      On M /FWe'll never know, I guess

  26. Great documentary.

  27. Advertisements are so powerful that they make everyone think things they shouldn’t and make us act how they want us to act. People who think they are unique or different are wrong. Even if you don’t follow what most ads say and you are not trying to lose weight or, maybe even gain, to look attractive, you are still following some sort of image you want to go by.

  28. jamie fennessy, your rash remark addressed at Ms Kilbourne proves her right on several points (i) that advertising defines and shapes the way we value women and their anatomy (or parts thereof) (ii) that advertising shapes our perception and treatment of women and (iii) that advertising shapes the importance men place on certain parts of their anatomy, however small :o)

  29. Note how the whole audience (mainly women) had a nice laugh and a giggle when the commentator started talking about mens penises in a derogatory fashion.......

    if she want's equality, she should start with her own f--k*ing mouth

    1. the only reason they were laughing at that is because it is true, most women wont say 'oh my god one of your balls is smaller than the other, im nto having sex with you' or 'you penis is sooo short, worst than my lays boyfriend'. But men on the other hand, will mostly care about the woman's body. Most woman actually care about a word called 'LOVE'. So stfu ***hole.

    2. Women are equally as shallow as men. but they care about other stuff. such as status, money, fashion etc. and if you dont, guess what, not all men are shallow either.

  30. I never would of realized the reality behind women in the media. I have just understood that women must look like barbie dolls for men. In order,to feel appreciated and if we want to keep them around we must stay silent to the way we are being treated.

  31. Im good looking male feminist, who would like to address the consequenses of this so called "masculinity", that keeps portraying men and boys into being an a**hole, detacht of any kinds of emotions. What is masculinity anyways? Its a bullsh*t socio-culturally constructed like femininity as well.

    1. you should look up the movie tough guise. its like the killing me softly but about men. i had to watch it in my gender class along with this movie. it answers those questions

    2. This is something I don't agree with. Nature made us a certain way. Still, we are intelligent beings and should use this to our advantage instead of our disadvantage.

  32. I don't think looking good solves everyone's problems. Sure movie stars and models have glamorous lives, but they don't seem all that happy. Drugs, divorce, cheating... it never ends. We all start in our 20s wanting perfect guy/girl, but hey we all get over it and realise no one is perfect (from what I see, usually in late 20s). If someone leaves you because of the way you look, it's not you that have the problem. I say try not to get involved with these people in the first place, they will eventually learn when they go home lonely everyday. :P

  33. more of a lecture than documentary. the info is redundant but would provide good examples for an introduction to media studies.
    her solution is of course true (people need to change themselves) but one thing advertisers have done so well is to play upon the triggers and what can be called weaknesses in us.
    she's right when she says the awareness part is important (and why i recommend it as a good introduction)
    maybe knowing it could "break the spell", so to speak.

  34. shes pretty cute, id have sex with her

  35. I saw an earlier version of this in college and have never forgotten it. The ads haven't gotten any less ridiculous or insulting. The image of the emaciated young woman with the watch on her upper arm is one of the most offensive I've ever seen. Thank you, Jean Kilbourne, for your message and for your important and necessary work.

    "The world has never yet seen a truly great and virtuous nation because in the degradation of woman, the very fountains of life are poisoned at their source." ~Lucretia Mott

  36. "So stop buying things." ~Don Draper

    Advertisements play to the consumer, expecting their desires so to best personalize the advertisement. Better effort could be spent in trying to place value in women's natural self-image than attacking something as large and unstoppable as American advertising is. Advertisements don't benefit by forcing a negative ideology on women, they do it because they think it'll sell more hair and make-up products.

    Besides, with over 3,000 ads seen daily, how hard can it really be to pick out a small handful to prove any point on advertising themes. No doubt women are objectified by mainstream media, but picking out specific examples is meaningless considering the plethora of content out there. They're disregarded on a daily basis. She reads from specific ads as if they mean something. As if no one has ever looked around at consumerism and been disgusted.

  37. All too often I have heard women actually being referred to as "It". It! Well, for me, that was it.

  38. I can understand both sides, as a woman whom models I suppose I am lucky with my body, however I did get breast implants, and like any woman I am still not happy with my body.
    However Being attractive has its ups and downs, it does open doors for me, which is what I use it for. To lore them with something shiny to sell them something. I'm my world I'm selling thoughts, ideas and art. But I do use sex to attract.
    In the same breath I hide from being the conventional attractive by making silly faces and videos, covering myself in tattoos and dreading my hair over ten years ago.
    For years I hid behind many facial pierceings for being attractive was a burden, men only wanted me for sex and woman where jealous, so i could never make any real friends.
    So since age 14 I hid in my studies of all subjects. Only at age 18 when talking to a close friend how the worlds view of my body placed me in a sexual box and how this upset me, did he influence me in that I should use what I was gifted to spread a larger message. Since then I have, and anyone that knows me now can see that.
    Sex does sell, and woman hold the power in the long run no matter how tuff a man looks. However we do live in a world where woman have been repressed, objectified and harmed for being attractive or not. This comes from both men and woman and being if we are being brainwashed as a culture or simply acting out our primal nature in our new complex world, i believe its fine as long as you are not hurting anyone.
    However this Documentary is showing what may of my conventionally less attractive female and male friends have voiced, how perfection is unobtainable and we are punished all day, every day for it.
    Attractive woman become a object, and less attractive woman become undesired and made to feel as such on a regular basses by the the constant bombardment of advertising.

    1. I don't believe you can be brainwashed, since you don't have a brain.

    2. I just looked for all the smart comments you have made here so far...where are they?

    3. Seriously?? You use what you were gifted with to "spread" a larger message??? Are you sure your not spreading something that grows in a petri dish? The real challenge is in developing a brain then actually
      using it. Geesh...

    4. "Are you sure your (you're) not spreading something that grows in a petri dish?"

      Are you a man or a woman? Either way you are mean, and proving her point!

    5. There is a great Latin saying that you should have implemented. Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses. (If you had kept your silence, you would have stayed a philosopher (i.e. wise)). It was a very long time ago when I read such shallow words.

    6. A lot of women swim in shallow worlds....but many like to dive in deeper water when they get an opportunity.


    7. Not many pretty girls would lay it openly this way.

    8. "However this Documentary is showing what may of my conventionally less attractive female and male friends have voiced, how perfection is unobtainable and we are punished all day, every day for it. "
      I feel you have voiced this yourself very clearly, by having prosthetic breasts surgically implanted into your body despite being a very attractive person. Your statement is that you CAN be beautiful and it's still not good enough. You can be a rebellious individual and still bend to the pressures of unrealistic expectations. Someone like you going that route almost makes it more hopeless. It's like when Gwen Stefani got a boob job.. HUGE bummer to so many girls and grown women, and men who actively accepted her as "hot". You are not hurting anyone directly by making choices for yourself, but you have to realize we all influence ours peers and anyone that looks up to us. Please don't be offended as I don't mean to attack you specifically... but young girls and even mature women need to feel like they can find a place in rebelling against falsified cultural norms, with creative fashion, obscure tastes in music, etc.. piercings, tattoos, making statements of being "different" and finding pride in that. You go and do that, and then prove it's not enough to make you feel confident and awesome and beautiful, so you... go and get a boob job. It's really confusing, and i feel you are contributing to the confusion, pressure, and stupid, hurtful, superficial competition among women. I'm not singling you out because this pressure to be EVERYTHING at once affects all women. You can be skinny like a model, but you need the big boobs too. You can have the big boobs that "men want", but you're a little too fat. You can be the hot punk rebel, but you need to look like Pamela Anderson too. it's F****D!

  39. This is nothing more than dogma. She finds evidence to support what she already believes to be true. She is a fraud who can't even get her definitions straight. She refers to cropping an image as dismembering women, which she claims advertisements do to women and not men, except of course, for the Dockers ads that only show us their pants.

    1. The truth hurts.

  40. Don't blame the adverstisers. Blame the idiotic public who buys their products. I grew up not letting anyone telling me what I should wear or how I should look. I didn't make many friends, but I don't give a damn because I made my own choices. Try to tell me what to do and I'll tell you to go screw your mother.

  41. Try looking at advertising's (and the larger media's) portrayal of MEN: men, especially white men, are almost always portrayed as bumbling idiots. It gets worse: on television shows and movies, men getting kicked in the testicles is viewed as "funny". When has comparable brutality EVER been shown to women?

    1. You know... in real life? Back in the day when it was acceptable to beat your wife, or in present day when it's still difficult to get convictions for rape. Don't compare goofy tv antics with real life violence.

    2. Are you crazy? oh, you poor white man! Have you ever seen Burn notice, dexter, californication, 90210, B&B, action flicks, twilight... man I could go on forever but I don't watch tv much now and why should I have to give more examples? The Godfather, Scarface, Citizen Kane, LOTR, Indiana Jones, Batman, Superman, Wolverine, Dirty Harry, Fight club, Pulp Fiction, Gangs of New York... if you watch any movie you will find "strong" and sexy men.

      But anyway, the movies with the id**ts are way more realistic anyway so whats your problem? I live with 5 guys in their twenties, got plenty of male friends, in a long term relationship, had a few boyfriends, and I know how dumb and immature they can be.

      Newsflash: MOST Guys ARE BUMBLING ID**TS. They actually do think farts and balls are also really funny. You call this "brutality"? You are a joke, obviously know nothing of hardship.
      Try getting your period each month, being scrutinised daily by everyone, starving yourself to look good or giving BIRTH. it's f***ing hard being a woman, hence why we can handle stress more/are stronger and live longer (science speaking not me) cause biologically we evolved to cope in extreme conditions. We carry life around with us, that's brutality honey. Men are awesome of course (ones that are stronger than YOU clearly) so don't give us your sob story here.
      When has brutality ever been shown to women? Are you f***ing joking? Hmmmm ...everyday it is! dont even mention the way muslims treat them, damn. Anyway back to developed countries:

      Look at ALL movies and tv shows- hot guys, some comic relief and the hot chick/slutty chick and dorky one. If you watch a comedy movie or tv show like family guy of course all men and women are going to be made fun of, thats cause its Comedy. Women's jokes are just different humour at our expense, usually making fun of our sexuality or something. It is still rude of course, but comedy needs to call cheap shots sometimes.

      The biggest issue is that these "bumbling id**ts" such as the ones in the Hangover (who are -sadly- just portrayals of the average guy, most men are pretty dumb, especially the lower-class ones) and for some reason they always get a really hot, rich, smart GIRLFRIEND? wtf? thats so unrealistic, yet that is the part that sucks. You think you have it bad, us girls are expected to actually date scum like those dirtbags. - Never in a million years thanks! Guys mostly are awkward bumbling m***ns, that part is true, but they don't get the hot girls. That part is a lie, lol.

      No wonder you are offended at the mens jokes, someone as pathetic and whiny as you must have the back bone of a leech. You are the kind of pathetic, spineless male that people make fun of; hence it explains your insecurities.

  42. Thank you for having this documentary up. I've watched it twice in a classroom setting, but it inspires me in such a way that I keep coming back to it and trying to be active in battling offensive ads and the negative ways they impact the way we look at ourselves.

  43. this falls on deaf ears by the looks of most of the comments.

  44. Wow... from about half the speak I stopped laughing. The media is so disgusting that it's not funny anymore.
    I've always been very conscious about the message that is transmitted through ads about women, but to be confronted with so many of them, in such a short period of time, really makes you wonder... what the f*** is wrong with this society.

  45. shes pretty hot

  46. Interesting.... the ad that inspired her---the product was for birth control---something that frees women from fear of getting pregnant---and the images in the ad woman's head--were things that keep her tied to domestic duties. so these two worlds and ideas are in conflict, the two ideas of women are clashing.

    1. very interesting... makes a lot of sense. I too would hate to get pregnant but I like domestic duties to keep our home nice.
      But I suppose to answer this I would say it's different giving birth to just keeping house.

      You can always walk away from your chores, but you cant walk away from your children. fear of doing the dishes is nothing, and can't be compared to fear of ruining your body through birth and raising a child.

      Domestic duties don't ruin your body or put you through pain and anguish like children do.
      Cooking for myself and my boyfriend doesn't tie me to him forever like a child would.
      Keeping house can be fun and makes me feel useful, but having a baby would make me exhausted and make me feel more than "useful" but totally 'used up' from being awake and busy 24/7.

      Domestic duties is a way to keep things nice and I actually enjoy it (when im not studying, working, or out with friends) and is an easier way of enjoying being a woman without actually having babies, and having a purpose instead of lazing around being a dirty, lazy, fat bitch. You can love your home and not want kids around.
      I don't think wanting to live in a nice clean house always equates to wanting to be a mum! lol.

      I see what you mean about the clashing "ideology" of being a woman, but for me its like having my cake and eating it too. I get to keep my partner happy, we have great sex and have a clean home (I enjoy housework, im very visual after all and like tidy things) and NO kids. So i can walk anytime I want to. We get to play house with no burden of responsibilities of a damn child. haha.
      Overpopulation is a huge issue anyway, so wont be a long time till I consider burdening our planet even more...

  47. Advertising always contains the same infantile message that is "you are a sad little BABY, and if you only bought our product your life would be so much better". Advertising isn't wrong but psychological manipulation and brainwashing are key elements in turning the world into mindless consumers bent on buying ALMOST anything that's marketed to them..

  48. I went to art school and heard tons of this crap. I love how she's like only 5% of women look like the girls in the ads. But I see tons of fat and regular babes that are married and banging retards after a trip to walmart. What is she wearing lipstick for? Geez

  49. Power to the feminists! Gender equality will never come unless we fight for it. Slave-owners didn't wake up one morning and think "hmmm yeah, I think I'll go down to the quarters today and unshackle them! They should go to school and get themselves an education!"

    We have to create the world we want to exist in, we have to fight for the world we want our children to grow up in.

    Beauty for girls/women/females is a ridiculously fleeting and hollow power. We must downgrade it to mean nothing, so that all the other amazing things about being a human are brought to the fore - your heart, your wit, your personality, your creativity, your brain. It shouldn't be swept aside by "oh, but she's got great tits."

    The time is now! Let's create the future we want to see for our girls and boys.

  50. It's interesting that male commenters are inclined to justify the arguments presented here... I think as a female, it's easier to see that she is not cherry-picking or over-generalizing as much as it might seem. That said, I'm not sure how much ads can be blamed for increasing violence towards females. I wish she had some kind of evidence to back that up, rather than her own wildly emotional interpretations of some ads.

    Though I have actively seen gender roles and photoshopped beauty coloring my and my girl friend's experiences in adolescence. A LOT of young girls say they think they're ugly, and really dwell on it, though they have no reason to think so.

  51. I think this documentary is very educational and want to share a commercial that I feel should be added. The Heineken -The Tiger commercial bluntly sends a message that women are prey for men. This implies that men should take what they want from women without any concern for women's wants. Always a good message to send to a society where 1/3 of the women are raped at some point in their life and many of the rapist feel they have done nothing wrong.

  52. Some advertising I think sways to these things because they are easy outs. I mean seriously, how do you sell douche, go ahead, in your mind make up an ad for douche that does not have a woman in it. That doesn't talk about her NEEDING it. See that's the key in advertising - if I can't convince you that you NEED this product by pointing out a flaw in you that this product will blanket then how do I get you to buy.

    There is objectification of women but the animal print thing, look, that's just what women of color seem to like. The way I understand this one is trying to connect with african roots. Lots of pelts there because the strongest kill the other animals and humans just happen to take the skin and reuse it. See, you can look at it that way also. This woman is using the skin of a leopard for her handbag, isn't she strong, she kills animals (probably with her other handbag made of crocodile) just to get a new handbag. But I guess if she is standing awkward in a coutre ad then this person would see it as just another demoralize the female shot. She is probably standing awkward to get your attention, to make you look at the page because you see something that looks... different.

    Advertising is how you WANT to see it. It can look all bad or it can look even worse. It never gave me an eating disorder and I'm not materialistic nor do I even like makeup, maybe some of us are immune tho she can't fathom that. I understand that she is trying to make us aware that advertising is well advertising us but she may be believing that there is a larger scope to these ads. The majority of the ads I didn't see until today meaning they never affected me and my self image.

    1. douche is unhealthy and not recommended by doctors anyway, the very product itself is sexist. for instance, do you believe that a guy's nuts don't smell just as sweaty, since they are in the same region of the body, yet there are NO products directed at men to improve the hygiene of JUST that area of their body, yet women are made to feel that there is something inherently "dirty" about their genitals.

  53. Terrifying. The message of "pay attention to what you're buying into" can never be dated, even if the examples are.

  54. fantastic. a little dated, but still really relevant. when's killing us softly 4 out? it's about time!

  55. "...advertising tells us who we are and who we should be." You got it all wrong. I am advertiser, and a man, and here's how it really works:

    - Advertising doesn't tell anyone who he/she is, and who he/she should be. It merely exploits desires you already have.

    - It's a fact of nature that men prefer pretty women. And women love men. So woman knows the prettier she is, the easier for her is to get the man she wants. Advertising does not force anything on woman, it merely exploits her basic desires.

    - When the advertising (featuring women) is targeted to men, it has nothing to do with women :). When a male brain sees a hot woman, he gets horny, and the only things he wants is to hump her. And he will do whatever he needs to make it happen. Hence, advertising tells him: buy this and you'll get to hum this hot babe. And he buys it.

    In short, there really is no conspiracy. Advertising merely sells what people want to buy. Man wants pretty woman. So woman wants to be pretty. She wants to be desirable. And it's basic biology, our evolutionary heritage, not male chauvinism.

    Man have the same problem. We even have two heads, and only enough blood to run one at a time - and this gets us in all kinds of troubles.

    Advertising only exploits the desires you already have. It's not advertisings fault, it's yours. And if don't want to participate in evolutionary race, than don't. Nobody is forcing you.

    1. Yeah, you're right, women want to be dominated and objectified. It's not about 'being pretty' it is cultural creation of an expected appearence. There is a difference between being 'pretty' and being 'beautiful' in a culturally expected way. So what you're saying is pretty women are thin and dont have any unique features? If it was only about 'being pretty' then they would have size 12 models who don't have protruding cheek-bones on the cover of whatever magazine.
      Are you not forgetting the house wife roles presented? Is that another thing that women desire, to look after a man's needs and ignore her own. And just because you work in advertising does not mean you have the whole picture, its much bigger than any one person.

    2. That's assuming that every woman wants a man. Your comments speak to the heterosexuality of 90% of ads we see. I'm straight.. but you're an idi*t.

    3. Advertising can create the demand for sand in a desert.

  56. Just as I thought, this woman is a feminist. Only feminists would say things like this. She doesn't want females to be feminine and has a problem with it. You can be feminine and still be strong mentally, you dont have to be passive.

  57. To Lori:

    Why are you and others missing the "big" picture? This is what is being taught to our children--and it has nothing to do with monitoring our children--this is everywhere and you can't be with your children everywhere!! An immature young child I'm sure doesn't have the requisite abilities to distinguish facts from "fantasy"--if you want to watch porn, all the power to you--however, it shouldn't be public or on prime time t.v. and forced down the public's throat, especially children who just might misinterpret the messages!!!!

  58. She talks as if the consumer's desire to be good looking is a new phenomenon driven by commercialism. That's rediculous. People have always been interested in their looks. Biologically, we are attracted to good looking people because it denotes health and vigor (i.e. the ability to birth and raise children). Magazines and ads show people who are impossibly good-looking because it's what sells.

    Her sex negativity got on my nerves, too. I hate it when people treat sex as if it's holy, and porn is evil. Many of the ads she showed were trying to sell products through fantasy, which is what porn is all about. Studies have shown that porn has no negative effect on the vast majority of men who watch it. I enjoy porn, myself, because it helps to get me in the mood and thus, strengthen my relationship with my boyfriend.

    And to say that these ads lead to the objectification and abuse of women is retarded. If anything, women enjoy greater freedoms and power in their relationships than ever before. I mean, abuse still happens, but at least now, abusers are condemned and women have resources for help.

  59. in reply to "A person". I don't think its over analysed at all but rather the way we look upon gender and race etc are so well ingrained in us and we learn how we should think about "the other" from a very early age(something that was also mentioned in the documentary). The way advertisers want us to perceive the world and each other has become normalised and mainstream to the point that they, themselves, are perhaps not even reflecting over it as being sexist or racist!Although I would say that every move is very well thought out.

    Great documentary-should be shown in schools.

  60. Just a response to the arrogant 8472 above:

    Your comment,

    "IE, if the general cultural ideal of status was that men were supposed to be on like terms with a morbidly obese woman who shopped at Walmart, then commercials would show just that. But I digress."

    I digress! It worked, you have been programmed! Why shouldn't you be on "like terms" with this woman? Maybe she has a Ph.D. and is shopping at Wal-Mart for the best prices for supplies to donate to a shelter? You obviously feel superior in reign because of her looks.

  61. I don't worry too much about it cuz my standard of beauty is far from the 'natural, blonde, cookie-cutter, mainstream' norm. Ladies should at least take major solace in the idea that womens' portrayal in advertising is totally as bad for guys, maybe moreso than you think.

    Men's magazines are filled with swimsuit models and such, and seriously, all it's doing is giving a message to guys that they might have a chance. And they don't. Never, ever will. You think women get moody over not looking like an airbrushed model? Try telling some random douchebags who actually get upset at the thought of their dates, girlfriends, even WIVES not turning them on like those ads - and actually writing to the magazines about it - will NEVER have anything close, and they completely freak out.

    I'd say 'scary' freak out, except I'll admit, it feels kinda good and it's pretty funny to watch how enraged like tantruming kids they get when you take the time to remind them mediocrity is the hub of their existence, and it'll never change.

    In a way, I always also found it kind of healthy, or like in a strange way I'm helping out a fellow American - cuz who better to remind some dick that no amount of wishing or lusting will ever get him what he wants, than from someone (like a woman) who's been there a thousand times and lived to bitch slap him with that reality?

    1. yeah thats EXACTLY why women get so upset! You just said it.
      You think that women take solace in thinking that men will never be happy with them, always comparing, etc etc? why do you think it became an issue to begin with?
      You just made it even worse for everyone. So not only do we think we arent good enough but oh men dont either.
      I know that dumb, ugly and average looking guys think its realistic- thats why I get so annoyed. I always get average looking and dumb guys hitting on me (plus hot ones, which is good), i hate it, its very insulting. Molestation etc which was worse. Just cause im hot im not a f***ing toy.
      Plus they talk about models like they can date them, and I explain that its a fairytale!!!
      Makes me wonder how deluded they all are. its sexist and disrespectful- i'm not blind buddy, I can see I am better than you hence why I have HIGHER standards (I bet many girls feel this way too! Our space is always invaded by f***ing creeps!)

      It makes us even sadder to hear you say that men dont get turned on my their wives and girlfriends cause thats why women get so upset to begin with (Maybe that will be me in 20 years when Im ageing), cant you figure that out? Anyway guys like that are superficial m****s.

      I know its realistic to like youthful and fit women, so ageing is kinda okay - but when its unrealstic its just st*pid for guys to think us girls look perfect all the time! Girls like me who are "model hot" still get pimples, greasy hair, hangovers, we get periods, we get grumpy, we get flus, we get dark circles under our eyes and we need to shave our legs. Deal with it. Even "perfect" girls arent always "fake and perfect". We are human. When you forget that hotness includes being HUMAN it p*sses me off.

      cant you just love us how we are (being hot, but not PERFECTLY AIRBRUSHED) like we love your hairy, smelly selves?

      I am very attractive, but I still am aware I will age, I will gain weight when I have kids etc etc, so yes all of us will experience it, and im not the hottest girl in the world anyway so I compare myself with models. The prettier us girls are the more vain we are, its true.
      I'd be in the top percent of hot females in the world due mostly to my age and then genetics, but not THE hottest, obviously :P. and even I get f***ing upset, even more so because I am so obsessed with my looks I compare myself all the time.

      I always complain to my boyfriend that he won't be happy with me cause of all the images of other girls around. My friends also agree they feel the same way. like they must compete for their mans attention. yes all girls feel like this, it sucks! Thats why we starve ourselves and buy so much cr*p.
      So when you bItch about how insecure we are and how long we take to get ready and go shopping, remember this: IT'S YOUR FAULT.

    2. Hey, Grace, you don't have to keep the weight you gain from pregnancies. I found that breastfeeding really helps with that, especially after the second year...also getting out and walking with the baby and hanging out & playing with your child until school age rather than going right back to paid work so someone else can be the primary caregiver and focus of the child you worked so hard to conceive, gestate and birth. You sound young, so plan ahead so this is possible...I did, and, while it took a decade longer than I thought, it all worked out. Plus, and, here is the key, get into the best shape you possibly can before getting pregnant in the first place! You compare yourself to the models, so, Heidi Klum would be an excellent example for you (4 kids!).

      I'm 42, I'm hot, but, I am aging and now I am old enough to really enjoy being hit on. It will pass, but, it hasn't yet!

      I don't need to compete for my man's attention, if I did, I'd have gotten rid of him long ago. Men really like their women to be real, sure it is fun to look at beautiful men and women and their beautiful bodies, but, a real man will love you, pimples, periods, armpit/leg hair and all. Give yourself a chance to have fun on your own...and remember if a man's head is turned by another, let him go...many many fish in the sea if you are as attractive and hot as you have fun! You don't have to sleep with every man you date....

    3. Grace, when we, as people, take personal responsibility and throw it out the window, nothing changes. If woman were happy with themselves and took Gods grace, forgiveness, mercy and love and aimed to please God we would not worry about what men think/want or look to them to tell us who we are. We are precious children of God, loved no matter what. Unfortunately, when you say "it's your fault" to men, you are handing over the power right in their hands. And maybe... your boyfriend will leave you not because someone is hotter, but because you complain too much and blame others for your insecurities?? At the end of the day our choices are our choices. Who do you love more yourself or the attention you get from a man? If we don't love ourselves we can't truly love others.

      This all comes to you in love... ponder... be proud of who you are right now and forever.

    4. April, your message is very inspirational and I will take it to heart. It is our own responsibility to uplift ourselves. But it can be very difficult for many women to learn to love themselves and overcome their insecurities in a male dominator culture that demeans them. Some really cannot do it all. The point is that it is the male dominator cultures that are creating these problems for women and men in the first place.

  62. @Lola

    This is one shortcoming. Are there any others to back your case that are relevant in Western society? I as a woman have never experienced any sort of gender discrimination in any aspect of my life. I'm going to say that I represent a fairly new generation as I am quite young, and the attitudes towards females in the public realm that I have been exposed to have been not prejudiced to a detectable degree. Yes, I'm aware that this is anecdotal but I think that the general mindset of the youth is certainly important because they are indeed the future leaders of Earth.

    Also, your attitude is not only negative but unproductive. Complaining, and claiming that women are deluded does nothing at all to solve your so-called problem.

  63. What a GREAT documentary. She was right in everything she said.
    So true.
    The documentray was very interesting from the beginning to the end. Brilliant.

    I think this documentary should be shown to girls and teens.
    Even at school!

  64. Equality, appreciation and respect for women in the west is an illusion.It's one of the biggest lies that we women bought into.Take for instance the fact that women earn less money than a man in the exact same job.Enough said.

  65. Brilliant, a clear and often entertaining talk. Makes you notice these messages implicit in advertising that are psychologically (and sometimes physically) damaging to girls and women and alienate true beauty and attraction.

  66. Man is stronger than woman; that's why man have certain tasks and woman have other. This doesn't mean that man have to rule woman. Sex is a feeling and is natural to man and woman. But anything being advertised is just for money, people do it for money. We just have to deal with it. For those who say that woman is portray like an object, I think is a woman fault herself because most women are best friends to money and will do anything for money. In the other hand, men take advantage of, watch and enjoy what women do for money. Porn has its advantage too to some people who are rejected by other, and it's both man and woman who are addicted to porn but mostly man. Women do provoke man everyday by the way they dress, walk and speak. Some women cannot go out without make up, why is that? Why women always try to look sexy? for who? I guess men. Men are every day targets in the street, at school, at work, every where, especially if he has money. Man can seduce woman and probably get nothing, but women are good for it, they use their allure, or seductions to attire men to themselves, by the end the man get blame for it. Most men have high sexual drives, what most women don't. Watching porn is just another way for people to please themselves without hurting nobody else and to keep them disease-free since there are many sexual transmitted diseases around.

  67. Caroline, it may be that pornography itself is inherently dehumanising. It encourages a person, often alone, to become sexually aroused based solely on another person's appearance and physical action. The person viewing has no relationship or knowledge of the subject's personality--his or her heart, mind, etc. The viewer only knows the physical aspect of the subject. Thus, pornography encourages a person to see other human beings based solely on their physical appearance. Since our physical appearance is only a small portion of our beings, we must conclude that pornography dehumanises to a certain extent. This is true philosophically, but I tend to feel as though it is also true in reality. I have so many friends and loved ones who have unexplainably turned quite mean and manipulative right after becoming addicted to pornography. This isn't conclusively causal, but it is interesting to think about.

  68. Look, I'm not going to slam on anyone in particular, but a lot of people are going on about how these images STARTED or what CAUSED them. She's not arguing about any of that, people - she's only saying they exist. And they do. If you want to go into WHY, then you're watching the wrong documentary.

  69. As a feminist and a pornographer I object to the dehumanisation of sexuality by it it's association with products for sale. I find a whole range of sexual images acceptable to myself, but not when there is inference that innate sexiness is somehow linked to particular consumption!

  70. Could i possibly get the 34 minutes and 23 seconds that my teacher made me waste watching this video. She is passive cause she is in an elevator and we all know elevators are a dangerious place. This lady is some kind of retarted.

  71. This is the worst propaganda I have ever seen with the use of such loaded words and ideas. Anyone with an intelligent mind can see through that and that she constantly twisted the message inside advertisements. All in all, advertising is not meant for the faint-hearted and it's meant to be fun and full of lies (so that people like yourself will buy from them). Just because you can't see through the deception, doesn't mean the rest of us can't. For you information, when someone says a product is the best/most effective/expert-recommended, 99% of the times are false as everyone brand would say the same thing.

  72. Yes this video is very informative and very true however the view of women that the advertising implies did not start with advertising, but with patriarchy itself, a social system, where the male gender is and has been revered and valued over the female gender. The gender roles that appear in advertising were defined early on in our society by men. Historically and traditionally until around the 1920's women were not allowed to take part in society at all. They were instead prescribed a role of "femininity" that was created by men in order to keep women in the home taking care of her husband and the domestic duties. Women were then and continue to be considered something "other" because women are not men, the default sex. The horrific advertising messages displayed in this video are a symptom of the opinions of women that already exist in our society.

    It's interesting to me because I have been witnessing a kind of amnesia in our society. I too was guilty of this amnesia prior to my decades of research into patriarchy, woman's history and feminism. Since sexism and the oppression of women isn't currently as blatently in our faces like it was in our recent past, we have forgotten that it existed at all and that patriarchy, a social system that was created by men and continues to favor men over women is no longer a problem. This of course I realize is not only due to memory loss but due to the fact that men and women don't learn about the history of women but instead exclusively about the history of men in school. In academics unless we take elective "Woman's Studies" courses which were recently created due to this disparity, we do not learn about the enslavement of women by men, the woman's suffrage movement and feminism that ensued because of this oppression and the fact that women have had to fight in order to gain just basic human rights that men have always enjoyed.

    What is astonishing is that as recent as the 1970's women won the right to control their own reproductive health, only 40 years ago! In the 1920's women finally won the right to vote. Prior to this, women weren't allowed an education and were expected to marry and take care of her husband, children and their elderly family members. Men actually believed that women had smaller brains then men. They also believed that a woman's energy was taken up by her reproductive organs; therefore, she had no energy left for anything else, except to take care of her husband and home. And the men had quack science that backed them up on these false assessments. Therefore women were taught to believe this nonsense themselves and for the most part they did.

    Further, women were not allowed to have their own identities, but instead had to take on their husbands identity. If a woman displayed interests or passions of her own, she was sent to be fixed, given drugs, shock treatment and if that didn't fix her, she was committed by her husband to a mental institution. A woman's role was to only make the husband look better in society. To be a trophy wife. Women were pressured to be satisfied and happy in this prescribed femininity and if they weren't, they felt like there was something wrong with them not something wrong with the prescription. The sad part is that for the most part women had this empty feeling inside, that there domestic duties could not fulfill. During these times from 1920's to 1970's women were given the sole task of decorating their homes and hosting social gatherings and settled into the "Domestic Goddess" phase. This is the origins of woman's consumerism and boy what consumers women became!

    Advertisers know this history all too well. They understand intimately the psychology behind trying to fulfill oneself through buying things. So then knowing this history, why are we surprised that advertisers have these ideas about women?
    What we see in advertising is a giant mirror that displays the sexist ideas that we already have imprinted in our minds and/or subconscious back at us. Advertisers perpetuate this aspect of our society because it is lucrative to them. They depend on the fact that women historically in patriarchy have been oppressed, objectified & devalued and due to this negative conditioning believe that they can only have value if they are men. Women then, because they are not men, have to get their sense of self or value through their association with men. The outcome of this is that women became literally and then later more unconsciously dependent on men for their well being. This dependence is being exploited by advertising agencies to sell products.

    Think about it. The advertisers understand that unhappy insecure women buy more stuff. That women attempt to fill their emptiness by buying things; hence, the shopaholic. That this is what women have done and continue to do; therefore, they can literally bank on it. Historically due to their conditioning, women have become the largest consumers, not just because of their unhappiness, but also because they tend to be the ones who purchase their household supplies including their husband's and children's. Women are the "gatherers" in our society, left over from the hunter gatherer times. Advertisers know this too. Advertisers know that women have to keep feeling insecure and insignificant in our society in order to be the avid consumers that they have been and continue to be. So essentially they understand fundamentally that if they want to get to a man's money, they have to go through the woman.

    I always wondered why then the advertisers don't have commercials that are more empowering to women. If women are the consumers who are spending the money, then why aren't women being catered to? Well, because that has no proven track record of being lucrative yet and even more damning is that psychology doesn't support this either. Do empowered women buy more things? Probably not. Fulfillment comes from within not from external means. When the value of women increases in our society, advertising will follow. I do however believe that advertising will continue devaluing women as long as they can get away with it due to it's proven track record for making money. Therefore, change will be slow in this area and will probably have to be forced. How do we force it? Buy not buying products from the advertisers who perpetuate these negative ideas about women. Will this happen naturally if women become more empowered and more fulfilled? Yes. When our society begins to value women and the power structure becomes more egalitarian, spending habits will change and so will advertising.

    Advertising is a reflection of society and the outcome of supply and demand. Let's demand better.

  73. Thanks, Jean.
    You did a great job. Very impressive and provoking.

  74. Gosh, Anthony, thanks for mansplainin' that to us.

  75. Look, not to spit on the overall message... Because equality is peachy keen for all races, genders, whatever...

    1. Advertisement is a symptom of an arguably sick society, not the cause. I mean, besides the basic mechanism that advertising runs on being that the fadism of the culture determines what is acceptable/useful, you run into a logical fallacy. "Perfect Female Beauty" has been around since Popes have been hammering off genitals. If you have an argument to make about that, I'm pretty sure you'd just be preaching to the choir, but at least you'd be preaching to the correct choir.

    2. If you cherry-pick examples, and then make wild generalizations, then connect them to wilder explanations, then you end up with a weak point to begin with. What it boils down to is that there isn't just some omniscient force called "The Media" which makes things to batter on the minds of women. There are going to be some bigots, some sexists, and some genuinely poor thinking people who come around and make Ads. If you look for them, you can find them. But it doesn't really sync up with the media image at large, except when it it relates to point number one- above- and point number 3, following. Furthermore, suggesting that these images are a significant factor in causing violence towards women is whimsical at best. Even by saying things like "this alone isn't causing battered women..." does not justify that one of your major points about advertisements and their relation to women that are being battered.
    Or, as something I would say to a new speech student, "Just because you really care about something, doesn't mean that you should put it in your speech, especially if it isn't relevant."

    3. Part of male status is the subjection of women. If you want to appeal to the ideal male, you give them the fantasy that they will be so appealing to females, that they will come in troves and do anything you ask. Might I add, that this is true in some powerful women, too. "Cabana boys" don't really exist to degrade the common woman. It's a status thing. Why this is a dominant aspect in men, and a deviant in females could be a legitimate topic for feminists, or equalists, or what have you. But again, you'll find that everyone's saying the same thing, probably because the idea has a real and sensible base. However, since advertisements objectify status (because the very concept of advertisement is to objectify everyone within them- men, women, children, geckos... Wants, needs, fantasies... They are not supposed to be a culturally enhancing platform for progressive thought), they will use that figure of status in their assumption.
    IE, if the general cultural ideal of status was that men were supposed to be on like terms with a morbidly obese woman who shopped at Walmart, then commercials would show just that. But I digress.

    I'm going to be frank here. I'm a business guy, and I'm a speech guy. Advertisement is a terrible thing for a variety of reasons. However, maintaining the notion that current advertising is "Killing Women Softly" is mostly inaccurate. Maybe it was different in previous decades, but I'm afraid I wasn't of the presence of mind to be able to know personally at those times. There are a number of major archetypal issues with how women are viewed and treated by society, but it is media presentations like this that cause people to seriously question how realistic movements made for equality are being taken. If you want to make the world a better place, start revisiting age-old traditions, and try to find meaningful ways of changing them.

  76. Look I hate to be "this guy" but in this country, in this day and age the constitution is extinct its not about freedom or liberty are all people being treated in the same way. No one cures diseases they treat it.In a recession when times are hard your government tells you to spend money not save then bail out the banks at your expense and last but certainly not least when it comes to advertising making money before any race, religion or gender. its up to us to raise are young ladies properly because big business doesn't care.

  77. Well, it was accurate, she's a good speaker...
    But a few ads were over-analyzed... Sometimes not everything is a metaphor.

    Otherwise, great job.

  78. THis is a little dated, But quite accurate.

  79. : /

  80. Wow, that was a really powerfull 30 min lecture.
    I haven't seen the actual documentaries yet.
    Everything she said is true, and what even worse now is
    that its not only in America, but almost in every part
    of the world.
    -The adverts/ objectification i mean.

  81. The video is thought provoking and powerful. Women often forget that the "perfect" woman in the jeans ad is a product of airbrushing. Jean Kilbourne is right on with her perception of the ways in which a woman's body is negatively presented in fashion magazine advertisements.

  82. In the end ALL advertising (or selling) is bad.

  83. Powerful video, vey well made, which shows just how dangerously misleading advertisements are and how they effect women in a negative way.

    I would recommend that evey woman, also every man should watch this and think about the terrible reprecussions such advertising has upon the youth of today.

    Thanks for posting.

  84. It's sad that women in real life may suffer from how men treat them just because of unreal images created by mass media. Every human being has the equal right to freedom and respect. It's demoralizing that women are presented as objects - of sexual abuse or violence. This abnormality needs to be fixed.

    Advertising is not like that in many other countries, so don't be misled that it's inevitable!!

  85. very good, very true, but too short.

  86. I love this video and the message it delivers is so important because women tend to believe it more than men that they have to 'look good to feel good' but we should believe in ourselves ad our indivisualities so that others also do and respect it.

  87. As an evolving Spirit utilizing a male form, and as a player walking, talking, pondering my role on (stage Earth), I'm grateful for the clear message Jean Kilbourne delivers. It's indeed a very worthwhile focus as she places emphasis on "the more things change the more things stay the same." The underpinning term I wish to emphasize, from a personal evolutionary standpoint, is my 'cognition' toward this matter. 'Cognition', defined as destinct from emotion and volition. Should a 'critical mass' (observing all worthy matters) succeed in keeping emotions destinct then an evolution is also defined.

  88. Show this to three females and three males and watch their reaction.