Illustration…Stereotypes

Published April 16, 2012 by Dezirae Mccausland

The mass media presents its viewers with millions of images everyday. Many of the images which we see create stereotypes about different groups of people. Stereotyping, as presented in the text, “Lost in Transmission: (Mis)Representation of Racialized Minorities in Media”, is “a process the denotes a prejudiced description of an entire category of people” (Quist-Adade, 2012). These stereotypes create pictures in our minds about a particular group and they become part of our constructed reality. One of the largest groups of stereotyped people is women, as they are presented in ways that demote their true equality, individuality, and independence in our world. Women are often shown as sexual objects, there to take care of a man by remaining in the home caring for the house and children. In a post by David MacGregor, he states that, “In the 1950’s and 60’s when men dominated advertising stereotypical impressions of women as inferior or subservient were not only commonplace but usual” (ThoughtSpurs, 2008). As we look at advertising from the past and present, we can easily pick out images that create stereotypical views on women. Although times are changing, and women are becoming much more active in our society with equal rights as men, there is still much degradation on women by the images they are presented. The mass media portrays the ‘ideal’ body type as tall and thin. We can find numerous images of starving run-way models, who strive to fit into this ‘ideal’ image. These images can become very harmful to young girls as disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are becoming a huge phenomenon due to the negative images women are receiving about themselves. Proper education on this matter of stereotyping of women and women’s rolls, is very important in today’s world. A very interesting and informative film called, Killing Us Softly 4, with Jean Kilbourne, exposes the truth behind how women are displayed in the mass media. Films like this help us to gain a better understanding of the realities of stereotypes that the mass media is presenting its viewers.

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