Outdated gender stereotypes: officially bad for your health.

In new research released today, The Man Box report found that young Australian men who believe in outdated masculine stereotypes were at higher risk of using violence, online bullying and sexual harassment, engaging in risky drinking and reporting poorer levels of mental health. Such evidence supports the need for changes to depictions of men and women in media, which only reinforce problematic gender roles and norms. Read and weep (for society): https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/media-and-resources/media-releases/trapped-in-the-man-box

#throwback(to1955)Thursday

“Boys and girls are different…” begins the voice over from this 2010 Huggies nappies commercial, before launching into a montage of traditional gender stereotypes in order to sell their nappies. Oh boy. To examine this ad properly, I’m going to have to get all academic on Huggies’ ass. Full disclosure: I’m studying psychology at the moment, so I’m going to use SCIENCE to tear this ad to shreds. Sound cool with you, reader? Great. Gender stereotypes, including those such as girls preferring to play with dolls, and boys preferring to play with trucks, have been found to be as much…

What we see teaches us how to be.

It’s easy to dismiss advertising. The brief bits of filler between the stuff we’d rather consume can seem insignificant, particularly in terms of its power to influence attitudes about gender roles and norms. However, numerous psychological studies on observational learning – also known as social learning – tell us that the media we seemingly passively consume is also teaching us ideas about how to behave, think and be. We humans learn by watching models: parents, teachers and others who are influential to us. We can merely watch someone else, even via a screen, and take cues on our behaviour from…

Cheers for challenging the “beer is for boys” stereotype

Heineken’s latest spot “Cheers to all”, smartly accomplishes several important things all at once. Firstly, it expands their audience, by telling women to drink their beer as a kind of “up yours” to the stereotype that women don’t drink beer. Vindictive beer always tastes the sweetest. Secondly, it leverages the purchasing power of advertising that challenges gender stereotypes; a 2019 study from the the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) #SeeHer initiative found that positive depiction of women in ads led to increased purchase intent and drove a sales lift. Heineken has strategically incorporated this insight into this spot. Lastly, while…

Juicy breasts. *Chicken* breasts.

Update: After condemnation from multiple parties (and initiated by Campaign Bechdel), KFC have responded – but not pulled the ad https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/21/kfc-apologises-for-sexist-ad-that-shows-young-boys-staring-at-womans-breasts?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other ———————— KFC’s latest retail spot for the Zinger burger is about as subtle as the average UltraTune commercial, and just as sexist. A young woman on her way to a music festival checks herself out in the reflection of a nearby car window, tugging her top down to emphasise her boobs and jiggling them into position, when the window electronically slides down to reveal two horny young boys and a disapproving mum inside. The girl shrugs off the ogling…

Uber Bechdel

The new Uber Eats spot, Kath and Kim, is both a very well scripted piece of comedy, and a refreshing example of positive, uncliched female portrayal in advertising. The 45” spot doesn’t reduce either female character to sex object (potentially a first for featured celeb Kim Kardashian), and both women are able to instead showcase their sense of humour, challenging the still-prevailing stereotype that women aren’t funny. It’s rare to see advertising where two women are given the space and time to just riff off each other in an extended scene like this, especially without a male love interest being…

Does avoiding sexism in advertising stifle creativity?

We analysed winning films from this year’s London International Awards to find out. #4minuteread Whenever sexism and the issue of harmful gender stereotypes in advertising comes up for debate, there’s always someone in the back who pipes up to rage that political correctness is stifling advertising creativity. That ou­r hyper-sensitive left-tard society of snowflakes are…

Sexpo’s sleazy bait and switch.

I give this ad about two more days before it’s taken off air by the AANA. In this spot, TV chef Huey introduces his home audience to cuisine called Mexpo; until a producer butts in with a correction: this is an ad for Sexpo. Cut to three busty blondes wearing nothing but aprons, and Huey’s lecherously arched eyebrow reaction shot. A clear violation of Campaign Bechdel’s three rules, the three female talent in this commercial are written with about as much character nuance as talking sex dolls. This came on during Survivor tonight, at 8pm – amazing that it was…