Representations of Women in Media

Since the media is the media, women have been objectified and sexualised. Out of 500 films 30.8% of speaking characters are women and out of those female characters, 28.8% are wearing sexually revealing clothes as opposed to 7.0% of men. 26.2% of women actors get partially naked while 9.4% of men do. For every one woman in a film, there’s two men.

In the British CQ’s 15th Annual Men of the Year Awards special edition magazine they had two versions of the cover, one with CQ’s woman of the year and another with the solo artist of the year, Lana del Rey and Tinie Tempah respectively. While Lana appears completely naked in the magazine, Tinie is fully clothed wearing a sophisticated suit. By putting women naked on magazine covers, it not only objectifies women by treating them as an object to appeal to men but being naked has connotations of vulnerability and it’s making women seem as vulnerable objects.


Another example is Tom Ford’s advert for their first fragrance for men, where it shows a woman holding the perfume in between her breasts.

Probably one of the most controversial adverts by Dolce&Gabbana, where it shows a woman being pinned down by a man while 3 other watch. It indicates that the woman is like a simple source of entertainment, a sexual object, perhaps it also indicates gang rape. Everything in this advert is wrong so it got banned.

Another very controversial advert, that indicates that if you propose to a woman and give her an expensive ring she will “open her long for you”. Meaning women are easy and buyable by expensive gifts.

This Axe advert advertises 2 new fragrances that you can mix and create a new one, to show this they used a wet woman being sexy and it says “Psychologist + Swimmer”. They could have used a male model and advertise the exact same thing but they didn’t. Again, objectifying women to sell a product aimed at men.

Positive representations of women in the media

Take this Dove Real Beauty campaign, which shows women of different ethnicities, body shapes, laughing and smiling, it represents women in a real and positive ways. It sends a message to women out there that it’s okay to be yourself, to not be ashamed of your body type or your skin colour because of what the media tries to tell you

Dove is actually a very good brand once in comes to campaigns that represent women in a positive manner. Take the two campaign posters above, it’s not only aimed at younger women which is usually what the “body positive” campaigns do but Dove tried to appeal to the older audience, to make them feel confident too and show them age is just a number.

Another advert that represents women positively, they did not use either stereotypes or nudity to represent women and sell a product. Just simply beautiful women smiling and represent a pleasure in life, like the advert says.

A 1980s Yves Saint Laurent perfume advert, who also positively represents and appeals to women. Usually a lot of perfume adverts tend to show women in a sexual manner, wearing revealing clothes, with men all around them, but this one does the opposite. It shows just a women, in her office, not wearing revealing clothes, just her.

The media either represents women in a very negative way, over sexualising and objectifying them to sell their products or appeal to the male audience. But it also represents women in a very positive way, there are people out there fighting for the good representation of women and making it happen.



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