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Friday, September 9, 2011

Being Yourself and Not "Madison Avenue" SmallAdvertising and Its Consequences

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It is amazing to find how strongly advertisers and society in general tout their products. I am using this time to examine the effects of advertising in both commercial and print. How the media affects our self-esteem, the increase of violence against women and children, and whether advertisers add to our own demise, in spiritual growth, financial, and in being safe. Everybody wants what the Joness (your neighbor, a co-worker, etc.) has, they want the flashy look of Madison Avenue where the rich tout their money and the women in their thinness are painted to look healthy. Before this assignment, I would glance through my monthly issue of Cosmopolitan and not notice how the advertisements kill my self-esteem.


We have small boobs and need to change them(see ad for Be Your Best), we are obese and need a special pill or potion, to selling us a car to make us look sexy to the opposite sex(Toyota Rav4.) In addition, if that is not enough, they tell us our children are obese and they need a pill or a potion too. (See ad for Pedia Loss.) Avon has a new formula called Cellu-Sculpt. that takes ...an inch off your thighs in four weeks. And Botox Cosmetics sell toxins to make you look young into late life, We promised to grow old together, not look old together. The ad shows an attractive pair, and he can clearly get his arms around her as he snuggles her close. Ads for products like Metabo-Life, Zantrex-, Chinese Diet Tea, and Triple Lean- claim to help you lose weight and keep your energy. Moreover, there are even formulas to help you perform in the bedroom like Fabulously Female or Masculine Male, found in advertisements though mass medial like Cosmopolitan, as if a pill is going to tell you where to touch and how to feel. We have articles like Suggest This in Bed and Hell Boil Over With Desire, Know What Hes Thinking During Sex? Sure? and For Lovers Only-Blow-His-Mind! To tell us how to work it in the bedroom. (Cosmopolitan.)


Charles A. ONeill points out in his essay found in Exploring Language that if you dont buy this version of the American Dream, search long enough and you are sure to find an ad designed to sell you what is takes to gain prestige within whatever posse you so happen to run with. (15) I discovered that even without a posse, if you look different from everybody else, you are deemed unattractive. In some countries large people are a sign of the wealthy, perhaps it is because they do not have the food or choices as we do in the United States of America. However, illnesses like mine may not get the treatment, and that I feel is much worse than being deemed morbidly obese.


The personal reflection was awesome and eye opening, as I look around my own home and at the daily purchases, I realize that I generally do not get a good deal for what I buy because I have learned through the commercials what things I cannot live without. Ultra, Super, or Economy packs are some of the symbols I see on much of the things in my home. And with the beliefs that fat or carbohydrates are bad, my times in the stores seem even longer as I search for the lowest fat and carbohydrate content, because I cannot decide whether to follow the Atkins Diet or just reduce fat content alone. Further more, the meal sizes at fast food restaurants have nearly doubled in size in the last 0 years, and the price has multiplied as well. I can still remember when a serving size of Pepsi was 1 ounces, and it is now 0 ounces. It is no wonder we are a nation of obesity, as portions have increased so have the preponderance of fat people. Yet we are blind to our folly, the American commercial attack, then targeting our self-esteem when we are no longer the ideal size the world thinks we should be. Medications that are pushed on us like Lamectol, one of the ones I am on, have side effects that include weight gain, cravings, and sexual side effects. I am not able too loose the weight I want, in fact, I have gained about 5 pounds in the last year. I have never been small, and with the drugs I never will be. And to society/media there is no excuse, I know the looks I get when I drink another Cherry Pepsi in public from young girls who apparently think they know how I got to be so big. Ooh, cant the fat chick stop? I hear the laughter, see the damning stare. They have not had kids, are lucky to have a body that works well.


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How society view women can also be scary, to some we are less valuable than the men we might love and support. The Media Wise Video Game Report Card calls attention to the growing tendency to depict graphic violence against women in the industrys most popular games. In this seasons best-selling game, Grand Theft Auto Vice City, players are rewarded for kicking a prostitute to death. (Media Report to Women) they continue to point out that; Areas of special concern include


Violence to women, Growing levels of video game addiction;


� Inaccuracy of ratings;


� Parental lack of awareness regarding content;


And the failure of many retailers to restrict children from mature-rated games. The Media Wise Video Game Report Card also analyzes recent research, showing that violent video games are linked to aggressive, violent behavior.h In addition to this report , Media Report to Women, has another article in the current issue called gMadison Avenue Meets Stupor Bowl Witless Ads Gave Is Sex, Violence and Yes, vomith They point out that g...Super Bowl on Sunday Jan. 6, left the crowd I watched with disappointed. Once again, women were the butt (literally, in the case of one Budweiser ad) of jokes. Violence in the form of promotions for upcoming feature films and sex in promotions for after-game viewing (underwear-clad heroine of gAliash) seemed endless. The ferocious tackling of a football player in a Reebok commercial- a guy hired to get after office slackers - seemed far worse than anything going on in the Super Bowl itself does. The puke on a truck windshield in come commercial was simply awful.h This clearly glad I do not watch sports, and this kind of advertising only makes me cringe. The ads were clearing designed for young men and possibly uneducated people, who would put up with the visual and auditory assault ads clearly put the viewer through? It is incomprehensible that sports leagues would endorse this kind of abuse, of course television companies claim they cannot give us ggreath performances without the money sponsors throw at them.


I have examined the effects of advertising in both print and commercial of women and children. The message we may all hear if we each analyze what media and society pushes at us is that we are not good enough, because there is always something wrong with us. We can all play the blame game when we are assaulted or get fat on Mc Donaldfs fast food on commercials and media. We can sue the bar that sells us too much alcohol when we get into accidents. Laws are designed to allow us the freedom to sue, even when we are in the wrong. Just look at your TV guide at how many judge shows there are, how many times we are willing to go public and air our dirty laundry.


When our loves hurts and abuses us whether emotionally or physically they can blame the antisocial video games they play. As consumers in a consumer oriented society, there is one way to stop the madness without suing everybody, and that is to stop buying magazines that have offensive messages, turn off the TV if you do not like the message you see and hear, and stop buying video games that show violence (Frogger getting hit with logs in age old Atari video games was bad enough!) I f they have no buyers or ratings for their product, they will have to change for the consumer, the only ones paying the bill are the ad hype men from the advertising firms. I encourage you, my reader, to take a week off from the hype. Pick up a book, sit down and relax, and revel in the idea that great books do not lower your self-esteem or have breaks every twenty minutes or so for another product they feel you cannot live without. In fact, you should be proud of your comprehension and reading ability.


Works Cited


Cosmopolitan July 00 Multiple advertisements and headlines


OfNeill, Charles A. Exploring Language 001 The Language of Advertising


Media Report to Women gWomenfs role in Popular Video Games Stripped Down and Killed Off g Also, gMadison Avenue Meets Stupor Bowl Witless Ads Gave Us Sex, Violence and Yes, Vomith


Volume 1, Number 1, Winter 00


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