Body Hero Jean Kilbourne: The Divergent use of the Male and Female Images in Advertising

“What does advertising tell us about women? It tells us as it always has that whatʼs most important is how we look. So the first thing the advertisers do is surround us with the image of ideal female beauty. Women learn from a very early age that we must spend enormous amounts of time, energy, and above all money striving to achieve this look, and feeling ashamed and guilty when we fail. And failure is inevitable because the ideal is based on absolute flawlessness.”

“Men basically donʼt live in a world in which their bodies are routinely scrutinized, criticized, and judged; whereas women and girls do. This doesnʼt mean that there arenʼt stereotypes that harm men; there are plenty of stereotypes that harm men, but they tend to be less personal, less related to the body. Men, in general, donʼt experience the emphasis on appearance that women can never escape.”

Jean Kilbourne