The activity of advertising a product or service has taken a leading role in the culture of consumerism in which we live. Advertising should be ethical, but unfortunately it is not, it should also be truthful, but this is not the case at all. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself if you are buying a certain product to satisfy a basic need? Or if you are buying something in order to satisfy an image that society pressures you to fulfill?
It is possible that as citizens we do not always keep in mind how advertising and marketing affect our way of making decisions and seeing the world. Even worse, we do not realize that advertising causes us to see ourselves in a negative or insufficient light.
Marketing is usually associated with the economic area of a business. It is the way to generate more sales, get more customers and make a product attractive; however, it is accompanied by the creation of social and cultural categories and standards. The main concern of the marketers and their clients is to promote the intended message or perceived benefits to the target audience regardless of the actual benefits of the products or service.
The marketing techniques perpetuate a culture of feeling inferior and comparing yourself to others; they tell us that the products they sell will make us feel as true members of society, otherwise they will make us feel less and categorize us as less deserving of value and well-being. Women are taught to behave and look a certain way by the beauty industry, the fashion industry and even the dieting industry. Day by day we are saturated with images of an idealized beauty that can only be obtained with cosmetic surgery, digital retouching or makeup.
It becomes profitable to set new and unrealistic standards. Body hair is disgusting, gray hair makes you look old and unkempt, you should have long and slender legs, your eyelashes should be longer and your eyebrows should be thicker. All individuals and groups are victims of false standards but women are the ones who bear the brunt of them. The beauty industry profits from socialized insecurity. Instead of bringing the greatest happiness for the majority, this unfortunate act has continued to bring sadness, pains, and other social vices to the greatest number.
After all, people only buy something if they believe it will solve a problem. Companies manage to influence consumers so much because they make you think that there is something wrong with your skin, hair, clothes, etc. That we must wear a suit of armor to cover our “imperfections”, that you don’t have the ideal face shape or the right eye shape to wear a certain color of eyeshadow. Remember that we should not be judged by whether or not we wear makeup, that’s up to you, but the makeup industry does promote these superficial and prejudiced judgments, so that the cycle of insecurity and product purchase is not closed.
While mass media and advertisers can benefit from the exploitation of women, the majority of the public are left to face the consequences of their selfish act. Commercials are no longer ethical because they always present women as tools or objects, sexualized. Companies tend to capitalize on the female figure. Before buying a product, analyze if the purpose of your purchase is to get closer to false ideals or if it is because you consciously made the decision to buy it for you and not to please anyone else. It’s not very profitable for brands when we are self-aware.
The function of a commercial is to sell better and before the rest of their competitors, therefore they will do anything to be able to position themselves up to the top of the market lists. advertising is exercised without control by anyone, at any time and without guarantees for the consumer. Don’t be part of this game between multi-billion dollar companies and remember that your value does not come from buying a product, love your body and take care of it healthily. Change how you measure your growth with useful metrics that reflect your courage, your determination and your effort.
The only real long-term solution is for people to develop enough self-awareness to understand when mass media is prodding at their weaknesses and vulnerabilities and to make conscious decisions in the face of those fears.
Novicov, A. (2017). Our Insecurities Are Very Profitable to Brands. february 10, 2021, de Alexander Novicov Sitio web: https://www.alexnovicov.com/insecurities-profitable-brands/
Valenti, J.. (2014). Beauty companies now want women to feel insecure about our insecurities. february 10,2021, de The Guardian Sitio web: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/19/beauty-companies-women-pantene-sorry
The recovery clinic. (2021). DOES THE ADVERTISING INDUSTRY FEED OFF YOUR BODY IMAGE INSECURITIES?. february 10, 2021, de The recovery clinic Sitio web: https://www.therecoverclinic.co.uk/body-image-and-the-advertising-industry/
Md. Mahmudul Alam, Ahmed Aliyu, Shawon Muhammad Shahriar. (2019). Presenting women as sexual objects in marketing communications: Perspective of morality, ethics and religion. Journal of Islamic Marketing, 10, 3, 5, 7. february 10, 2021, De ResearchGate Base de datos.
About the author:
Born in the port of Veracruz, Mexico in 2002, Paola Vanessa de los Reyes Castillo has lived all her life in Mexico City. Growing up she was in contact with art and sports, they helped her form her personality and live her day to day life in a more conscious way of her surroundings and her lifestyle. In high school, she became interested in history and the differences between cultures internationally. She has always liked to understand the world from other perspectives. Nowadays she studies International Relations but she is also interested in law, she is part of debate groups in British parliamentary mode and she also like to participate in MUN. She has a book club and is a member of her university’s writing and storytelling workshop. She has a goal to work in her country’s Foreign Service or get more involved in negotiations and diplomacy. She believes in gender equality and that education is the basis for growth as a society.