"It’s not that Dove actually cares about our feelings, it’s that addressing our insecurities is another tool in their marketing arsenal, a marketing ploy. But regardless of whether Dove is trying to be a positive or negative influence, companies shouldn’t be manipulating my self-esteem for profit in the first place."
The man-friendly features on this “robust power tool for ironing,” described on the Philips website as the “Anodilium soleplate man iron,” include “more power, more steam, more performance” to give you “an endless excellent gliding experience.”
lol FOREVER at ~irons for men~ especially ones that are masquerading as power tools. IT’S AN IRON! Using it will not suddenly turn you into a dreaded lady, I promise.
Click through for more unnecessarily ”masculinized” products, including tea, cereal, candles, and paint.
On November 25th, our amazing executive director Dana Edell was on 20/20 talking about what she called “eroticizing childhood.” We’re not totally in love with this clip (why so much blame on the parents? why no solutions other than sports? why didn’t they say Dana worked at SPARK?!) but it’s a great overview of some of the problems we’re facing and it’s definitely going to help us spread the conversation.
Jenny Gill was in New York’s Cornell Weill hospital earlier this year for the birth of her son, Jack, when a photographer stopped by to take snapshots of the mother and newborn. The practice is common in hospitals, but what the photographer did next surprised Gill.
“In the middle of taking the pictures, she pulls out this cutely wrapped onesie and says, ‘Oh, here’s a free Disney onesie. We’ll just need your email address,’” Gill recalls. “It weirded me out. I just gave birth, please lay off with the Disney already!”
Disney is unlikely to lay off anytime soon, and neither are the countless other brands in need of dollars. They’re part of a trend—fueled in part by digital devices—toward aggressively targeting a demographic that didn’t exist, in marketers’ eyes, until recently: infants to 3 year olds. By getting their logos and iconic characters in front of babies—even those with still-blurry eyesight—they hope to establish brand-name preference before she or he has uttered a word.
"By creating so many illusory images of physical perfection, whether on store aisles or storefront ads, magazine covers or TV shows, we speak more to the profit margins of companies than the self-esteem of today’s girls. The unsaid message of that endless rack of juniors’ pushup bras? No matter what size you are, it still isn’t good enough."
I can appreciate that someone is trying to market beer to women—really, I can. But this is totally missing the mark. Instead of degendering beer marketing, this is making it so, so much worse. Pink? Light? Low carb? Sweet? In a six pack that looks like a purse? And I’m supposed to fall all over myself to drink it because I’m a woman? Get out of here with that nonsense and get me a pale ale.
"Those sexy ads that seem to portray women as sexually empowered actually make girls think about their own bodies in more sexually objectifying ways than more passively sexualized ads do. The authors think this may be because ads that put women in positions of “power” while simultaneously sexually objectifying their bodies make women feel that they must take control not just of their relationships with men, but of the way their bodies look as well. Of course, the irony of all this, according to Helen Malson, is that these “empowering” images pressure women to conform to a very narrow and sexualized “beauty ideal,” while at the same time the women in the images are presented as if they chose to be looked at in this way. This aspect of choice is part of what makes the images seem “empowering,” but it’s also what makes them so damaging – Women think to themselves, If that’s what real empowerment looks like, then I better make sure I look like that too."
Where’s the line between sexualization of women and sexual empowerment in advertising? Check out the SPARK research blog for more.