Monday, February 27, 2012

Jean Kilbourne... Killing Us Softly 5?

     I thought that the Jean Kilbourne Lecture was interesting and enjoyable, however, her presentation was almost identical to the lecture she gives in her film Killing Us Softly 4 which I saw before attending the lecture. One topic that she addressed a little differently in this presentation was the comparison of the objectification and sexualization of men and women in advertisements. She stated that women are always altered before appearing in magazines or advertisements, usually by way of Photoshop or even a body-double. Even the actresses that people feel are very attractive must still be altered which creates this idea that nobody can fit these beauty guidelines in advertisements, yet these standards are still what women should strive for. On the other side, men are Photoshopped to be bigger and bulkier. Some say this is an attempt to display the power of a man while women are altered to be thinner and take up less space which consequently enforces the gender stereotypes that already exist in our society.
     Another important point that Dr. Kilbourne makes is that in numerous ads, women are displayed as transforming into objects like cars or beer bottles. By doing so we are taking personalities away from these people and labeling them as just bodies. This process is referred to as dehumanization and inevitably leads to violence against those being dehumanized because we no longer see them as people but merely objects.
     Overall I thought that Dr. Kilbourne made some intriguing and thought-provoking claims that should be further discussed among groups and communities. If you missed it I would strongly encourage you to watch Killing Us Softly 4, it's on Youtube.

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