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The Distortion of Women’s Self Identity
Throughout my childhood I have been burdened by very low self-esteem, I often pondered the root cause of this burden. My first thought was to blame my parents or high school bullies, this was until I began to obtain a higher education, with that education I began to realize the medias involvement with the socialization of women. My eyes were open to the severity the media has had on my generation and how it has gotten worse in recent generations with easy access to social media. As a concerned parent of a soon to be woman I have decided to investigate further and explain how advertising portrays woman.
This topic is very fascinating to me because the media portrays woman in most cases as objects, victims, among many other unappealing things. The media seems to be a logical answer to many self-esteem problems for women. It could be a source of information as to why some woman lack in confidence and leadership. I am hoping with this research I can help other young woman in my small community see past what the media is pushing on them and learn to think freely without stereotypes and restrictions. I hope that if we can educate them while they are young and make them aware of what to look out for while empowering them, the socialization from the media will become less acceptable.
There are a few social psychology theories that tie to this subject. Classical conditioning in which the product which could be Budweiser elicits a positive response by using or sexualizing women triggering an unconditioned response or positive feelings for men. Leaving men to associate Budweiser with positive emotions and thus inducing the consumer. Opernant conditioning as seen in advertising such as Axe body spray. In those commercials they propose that if men buy their product they will in turn get positive reinforcement which would result in herds of beautiful woman that will follow their stench. The negative reinforcement would be that if men do not buy their product they will miss out on all the all the women. The theory of planned behavior is used in advertising because it plays on people’s emotions. During the woman suffrage movement, there were ads that acted on both men and women’s emotions eliciting an attitude and belief. Men protested or did worse to stop women from voting, while women protested for their right. They all planned a behavior and those ads took advantage of a sensitive topic to per sway their view.
There are many complex advertising strategies used when they advertise the portraying of women. The biggest and most illicit message the media uses is fear. Every depiction of the perfect woman seen on television or the media is false hope and unequal comparison to every little girl, woman, or even man watching her. It elicits the fear of never being good enough to fit her standard, never measuring up. They use the guarantee, that if you use these products you will stay beautiful longer or that these materials will make you more popular. Star power is used to illicit women to buy more expensive material items to feel up to par like the wealthy actresses. Some actresses even have their own product to women to be like them buy buying their product.
I plan to use the internet of course, and images on google to display the severity of the situation. I plan to use commercials, Facebook ads and YouTube to find examples. The library on my Marymount I will use for looking up information that is reliable and I want to use my book to help with theories.
Aronson, E., Wilson, D.T., Akert, M. R., Sommers, R.S., (2013). Social Psychology. Pearson
September 8, 2016 Social Media Topic Proposal – The Distortion of Women’s Self Identity