Gender stereotypes have been around since Adam and Eve. It is two thousand and eighteen and we are still seeing them, everywhere we look. We see advertisements every single day, thousands of them.
To see women and men being stereotyped a couple hundred, if not thousand times a day isn’t enough, I’ve found another ad for you to quiver over.
Special K is good, we can all agree on that right? ESPECIALLY when they put fruit or nuts or chocolate in their cereal, yum.
Well, for as long as I can remember caring about my body, which was about 6th grade, so 11 years ago, I have noticed these ads. Special K is all about bathing suits for women. Fitting into them. Looking good in them. Them being skimpy and sexy. In this ad, a literal mannequin is wearing the “ideal” Special K swimsuit. For the love of God…a mannequin? That’s what I am supposed to look like? She/he can’t even cross her arms right!
Anyway, this is a representation of gender stereotyping. I bet they didn’t automatically think, “let’s post pictures of really skinny guys in swim trunks and speedos for our ad”.
The underlying message isn’t much on the surface, unless you think about it. Am I just supposed to have cereal for every meal for a week and I’ll be skinny?
I was just browsing the web and I found an article by photographer, (gender neutral career/hobby name), Eli Rezkallah. It’s a re-make of stereotypical ads from the 1940s-60s. Here’s an example…no wonder my dad loves Hardee’s so much. He’s the cook in our family!
Advertisers are catching up to women’s standards and slowly but surely getting there, in terms of ridding media of stereotypes but we still have a ways to go.
Lester, P. M. (2014). Visual communication: Images with messages (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.
Barnes, S. (2018). Sexist Vintage Ads Completely Reimagined Just by Reversing Gender Roles. https://mymodernmet.com/sexist-vintage-ads-reimagined/