Blog Entry 9: The More You Substract.

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Hi all:

For this blog comment, do as before.

Find a quotation from "The More You Subtract, The More You Add." Type it into the comment box and then write a paragraph or so of response.

Remember paper 2 may be about either advertising to children or advertising to women.

This is a way to start thinking and writing about paper 2.


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"The glossy images of flawlessly beautiful and extremely thin women that surround us would not have the impact they do if we did not live in a culture that encourages women to believe that they can and should remake their bodies into perfect commodities" (148).
The reason why i found this quote interesting was because i feel like our culture is the one telling us, women, to change our "bodies into perfect commodities". The words "glossy" and "flawlessly beautiful" is what every women wants to hear when describing their own body. But instead, we say to ourselves or others say to us, our body is thick, fat, big, and ugly. I am a small petite young lady, but eventhough i am little, when i wear my bikini i am still not satisfied. Ads keep telling me "the more you subtract,the more you add" and to me this means subtracting weight and adding ?? .....well, I'm still not even sure why I need to lose body fat, only that that's what ads keep telling me =(

"Some argue that it is men's awareness of just how powerful women can be that has created the attempts to keep women small"(152).

It can be debatable whether this statement is true or not but it addresses an interesting point. As the article argues, this kind of oppressing behavior begins at an early age when the development of women can be altered. For example, in elementary school, girls are often told to be silent and to behave "properly" more often than men are. This way women are being taught to be obedient and men are allowed to feel superior to women. The article also expresses how television ads such as the ones about cosmetics and clothes, "Score high on non-verbal skills"(154) encourage women to be less verbally expressive. Ironically, It has been scientifically proven that women are more proficient than men at verbal skills. In this case, "the more you subtract"(154), the more you add" should be the opposite. not only do advertisements manipulate women but they also open doors for new forms of discrimination.

"Although some people, especially advertisers, continue to argue that advertising simply reflects society (Sullum,1997), advertising does a great deal more than simply reflect cultural attitudes and values. Far from being a passive mirror of society, it is an effective and pervasive medium of influence and persuasion, and its influence is cumulative, often subtle and primarily unconscious" (145-146)

I believe this is one of the major questions of our consumer society. Which came first - the advertiser's influence to become a consumer society or our consumer identity that drives advertisers and is reflected by the advertisements themselves. Personally, I believe it is simultaneous progression in which both variables encouraged and influenced each other. Nothing exists independently and this should not be an exception. I also strongly believe that advertisements have now become initiators of social change. Today in the modern world, advertisements become the reference for American ideology of cultural values and attitudes. Ideals of beauty and standards of living are reflected and reinforced everywhere we turn. Advertisements have become our environment, our culture and our reality. To not be influenced by the media is to be disconnected from culture. We live in culture.

"'The Big success story of our entertainment industry is our ability to export insecurity: We can make any woman anywhere feel perfectly rotten about her shape'" (151).
This quote is important because it sums up in one sentence what ads really do in order to get you to buy their products: "export insecurities". In picking out the things that are wrong with you (not necessarily in your standards but in society's) ads hit your weak spot and mess with your self esteem to try to get you to consume more of what they are selling. As I had mentioned before in class and as the author mentions, what better time to mess with your insecurities than when you are a teen? These are years in which you already (and I say this through experience) feel like shit. You think you look like crap, you don't know who you are, and all in all being a teenager comes with a huge amount of insecurities. As a teenage young lady (or girl or woman) I can agree with the latter sentence in the quote. There are so many ads that deal with weight issues, that it is almost impossible to try to avoid them; and even if you do, your friends are probably talking about it themselves. The peer pressure that not only ads convey but also your friends makes you actually believe that you're fat or ugly. This has been an issue that many girls have to deal with including myself.

A survey in Massachusetts found that the single largest group of high school students considering or attempting suicide are girls who feel they are overweight. Imagine-girls made to feel so terrible about themselves that they would rather be dead than fat" (RD 150).

It is extremely depressing to know that these young teens are feeling this self conscious about themselves. This is not the kind of thing teens should be worrying about; they should be concentrating on school work and their education. To feel as if the only options they have are to be fat or dead is not the way they should be thinking. I think it is important for people to become more aware about this so they could possibly put a stop to the things that are causing these young girls to feel so bad about themselves.

"Girls try to make sense of the contradictory expectations of themselves in a culture dominated by advertising. Advertising is one of the most potent messengers in a culture that can be toxic for girl's self-esteem."

I found this quote important because I agree that advertising can effect the self-esteem of a woman. Many woman look at commercials and often see a perfect girl advertising a product. A women often feels sad because they do not look like the girl on the screen. Many of the women on the screen are often airbrushed to make them look beautiful, airbrushing all of their imperfections. But women at home still believe that is how they should look. Many women hit depression, develop eating disorders and binge drinking all because of what they see on tv.

“These images of women seem to affect men most strikingly by influencing how they judge the real women in their lives.”

The portraits of ideal women painted by the imaginations of men are heavily influenced by advertisements. Not only do women have to deal with the images presented by advertisements, but they now also have to deal with the critical opinions of men. There are also images of men with ideal physical features, but those features are overshadowed by the key notion that men should be big. As long as men are big, they are considered masculine. The same minor features that affect women do not affect men the same way.

"Advertisers are aware of their power and do not hesitate to take advantage of the insecurities and anxieties of young people, usually in the guise of offering solutions."

I believe this quote is important because it mentions how advertisements are targeted to persuade young people into buying the products being displayed as solutions to their insecurities. Advertisers are trying to find any way to persuade these young consumers into buying their products, in ways that shouldn't be done.

"Imagine girls made to feel so terrible about themselves that they would rather be dead than fat"
This quote stuck out to me because life is awesome. Its great to be alive. I cant imagine someone who feels so terrible about their weight that they would rather not be alive than be fat. I do feel that advertisement perpetuate the belief that being thin is the only way to look. When I was in high school i loved looking at Seventeen magazine. I did hate seeing that every girl in the magazine was perfect but I knew that thats not how everyone looked. Knowing that those were the only girls they were willing to put on their magazine did make me a little upset. I just thought to myself whats wrong with other girls. I can see how many girl could get upset but a girl rather being dead than fat just makes me feel horrible.

"Girls of all ages get the message that they must be flawlessy beautiful and above these days, they must be thin.(p.148)
I chose this quote because it shocks me too see the kind of message advertisement are putting out to girls.Every advertisement we see for girls has a thin beautiful woman flaunting her good looks, not every girl/ women was born that way. This is why we have many girls with eating disorders.They are trying to look they same way as the person in the advertisement. Every girl has there own unique look that makes them who they are. They should not be getting the message to change their look.

“Advertisers are aware of their power and do not hesitate to take advantage of the insecurities and anxieties of young people, usually in the guise of offering solutions.” (252)
This is how advertising is done nowadays. Like in the film Killing Us Softly by Jean Kilbourne it is evident that today’s advertising, at least for women, attacks women’s insecurities. Advertisements promise to change our lives and make us more attractive or hide our imperfections without him knowing. They offer us solutions to our so called problems.

"Thus many girls spend enormous amounts of time and energy attempting to achieve something that is not only trivial but also completely unattainable." It's pretty pathetic how advertisements take advantage and attack women insecurities and make them feel less about themselves because they don't look like the models in the ads. Women spend their money and time to look a certain way and to hold themselves up on these pedestals that society puts them on but its never enough. Everyone is different, physically and mentally and no one should try and change to look like something else. It's really sad how girls as young as seven years old could feel insecure about themselves.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nick Tingle published on May 3, 2011 8:30 AM.

Blog Entry 8: 2 Paragraphs on Advertising to Children was the previous entry in this blog.

Blog Entry 10: Write 2 Paragraphs towards paper 2 is the next entry in this blog.

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