Advertising and the Body Analytical Essay by Master Researcher

Advertising and the Body
An analysis of how advertising uses the human body to sell products and ideals.
# 43503 | 1,400 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Oct 26, 2003 in Communication (Mass Media) , Sociology (Media and Society) , Advertising (General)

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This paper examines how advertising makes use of the body to promote commodity consumption. The paper focuses on female body image and the use of attractive models with products. The paper shows how advertising not only promotes consumption on a single time and individual basis, but establishes itself as a way of life, basically telling people how they should live their lives.

From the Paper:

"Beer and soft drink commercials almost invariably are constructed around one connection. The male who is doing the drinking is suddenly in the presence of one female, and then usually of others. The message is very clear: he is cool, in both the sense of the drink and what he is consuming. It is an extremely important point that in all advertising, only the male consumes either food or drink. The act of consumption and refreshment is not actually emphasized, even though the text of the commercial might mention the word refreshing or have something about quenching thirst. Another kind of thirst is being portrayed. This is the thirst for popularity, for success, and especially for popularity with women. Another message also is apparent in such commercials. This that the male is dominant and controls women's pleasure and their whole lives.
"One of the most dramatic ways that advertising formulates the human body is observed in the projection of the body image ideal. This ideal has never been defined, as such, and is totally imaginary. At the same time, it is real enough to control the behaviors of large numbers of women. Many women have developed eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia because of their preoccupation with body image. Although no one in particular informs a woman of what she must do or of how she is to live, the social expectations and pressures on her can be very high. "She has to survey everything she is and everything she does because how she appears to others, and ultimately how she appears to men, is of crucial importance for what is normally thought of as the success of her life" (Berger 46)."

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