THE CASTING OF WOMEN IN ADVERTISING. Realizzato con il finanziamento della Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri Dipartimento per le Pari Opportunità

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1 THE CASTING OF WOMEN IN ADVERTISING Realizzato con il finanziamento della Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri Dipartimento per le Pari Opportunità

2 The roles of men and women have always been different and even if at the beginning of the 20th Century women gradually obtained the right to vote in many countries, they continued to have a weak position within society. Traditionally women were seen as the homemakers and men were the moneymakers. While the men were off at work making the money, the women were at home, taking care of the children and the household. With women limited to their role in the home, men held all the jobs in the advertising business. Men, therefore, created all advertisements; and advertisements represented a woman s point of view as seen by men. As men s view of women was that they were destined to be housewives advertisements portrayed women in this limited role

3 Womenin adsashousewives As these American advertisements show, in the 50s and 60s women were portrayed as the angels of the home, whose tasks were mainly cooking, cleaning and looking after the children

4 Also in Italy advertising in the 50s and 60s showed women busy at home

5 Even at home in their environmnt, however, women were frequently seen as weak, frail beings who needed men s help, approval and reassuring words In this advertising the woman has burnt the meal and probably spoilt the dinner. She is sadly looking up to her husband who is ready to reassure her. This type of advert supports the view of an extremely emotional, vulnerable woman who is not Reliable or self-assured like her patronising husband. Here the woman is making sandwiches. The hushand behind her seems to be saying: See what I have bought to help you wrap the sandwiches or: I told you it would be easier

6 In this ad a woman is going to buy one of the houshold equipments (cooker, vacuum cleaner,food processor) she is going to use for her daily chores at home. Here again she is portrayed as someone who, if not well advised, might not be able to make the right choice.

7 In the advertisings women were always elegant, even while working This is an ad of 50s. Also this ad shows a woman (housewife) at home. She is cooking in fact we see her in front of a pot. She is wearing an elegant, spotless apron and of course she is smiling to the camera. An ad like this wants to show that women, should be elegant, good looking and above all happy even when they are cooking in the kitchen or doing the housework

8 Here we have an example of a woman advertising a product for the house. She is very well dressed,well combed and very elegant. In this advertising the woman has a slightly different task. She is not the woman using the product but talking about it to the other women, to all the houswives.

9 Many ads featuring women, show them doing the shopping. In this ad we can see a woman carrying a shopping bag full of products she has bought. She looks happy, she is smiling as if shopping were fun. An ad like this conveys the idea that women and not men have to do the shopping, cook And look after the house.

10 Women as elegant beings In many ads women are represented wearing dresses or other clothes we usually call elegant. That would be normal if worn by common women in ordinary situations. But it s not normal as far as new advertisements are concerned, which show only prototypes which are extremely sexy, teasing and uninhibited. By choosing those kinds of elegant clothes and sexy women the result is a stereotype. The character that comes out from such ads is a superficial woman: always caring and thinking about useless things. They look silly: a woman in an ad is all dressed up ready to go to the shopping mall with her friend. To look teasing: women use elegant clothes.

11 In this image an elegant woman is holding a bottle of Campari, which is set on her bottom. The message is similar to: if you want me, you have to drink Campari first. Ads about drinks, such as Campari, sometimes show women in shameful situations. The worst thing is that the woman is not seen as a human being but as an object. Here, she is compared to those drinks like the one in which the girl is disguised as a bottle of Campari. That alludes to woman as seductive and easy to conquer.

12 ADS SHOWING WOMEN AND MEN TOGETHER Recently ads have started to show men and women together, seen from a different prospective. It s very common to see them in family scenes, most of all advertising products for the house and for children. Sometimes the man is still seen as superior to the woman : he takes up the role of the teacher the one who solves problems, who finds solutions.

13 Men and women in ads: the family In this photo we can see a funny family scene, with a man, a woman and a girl. They are represented as a happy and lovely family in front of the TV. They look very excited but very close too. In this way the ad wants to present something useful for everybody, children and adults, so all the people in this photo have the same role. However this kind of ads wants to communicate that the products can help people to have fun together and it s able to make you happy.

14 This ad represents the typical image of the happy family : the parents and the daughter together loving each other. They re very close. The women of the family rely on the man, as he is the breadwinner. In fact the wife is hugging him and he and his daughter are hand in hand. There aren t any stereotypes about clothes: no skirts for the women and all are wearing jeans so all are at the same level.

15 In this photo the man and the woman are shown with a boy in a familar context. The green puppet is the personification of the service sponsored and it wants to be fun and nice to the family. In this way the ad presents something that is connected with family, so with faith, love and home and for these reasons the man and the woman have the same role. This ad shows that the sponsored service can be useful to give peace and harmony to a family and that it s useful for everybody. On closer examination the man s head is a bit more distant because probably he wants to give value to his family. He s their protector. The woman has the traditional personality of a good mother and a good wife who is near her family.

16 In this ad we are in a family context: mother, father and son, who are facing a problem with the washing machine. Here we have 2 different points of view: The progressive image of the family Strangely the man is cleaning the house, sharing the housework with his wife. The family is united and happy, also in difficult moments Some stereotypes are still present: It s the man who brings the solution. The clothes: the woman wearing a dress in hot colours, the man wearing jeans and a jumper in cold colours.

17 When a man and a woman are portrayed together frequently we find that the man takes on the role of teacher or provider of solutions, the woman, takes on the role W W of the h passive learner. w h h e This ad represents the authority of men: Make up is something women use, but in this case it is the man who has the makeup accessories and know-how and therefore, puts makeup on her. The make-up artist in fact is a man who teaches the woman how she has to put on make up The woman is represented like someone stupid and submissive to the man s authority.

18 Man s authority over women This advertising shows the superiority of the man that wants to control the woman. In fact the man is holding the woman s arms on the pavement because he wants the control the woman, to be the best, the boss whoknowshowtohave power on the woman The authority of the man is reinforced by the group of men that are around the woman.

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