arvan's picture

Killing Us Softly 3 Advertising's Image of Women

Jean Kilbourne continues her groundbreaking analysis of advertising’s depiction of women in this most recent update of her pioneering Killing Us Softly series. 

In fascinating detail, Kilbourne decodes an array of print and television advertisements to reveal a pattern of disturbing and destructive gender stereotypes.  Her analysis challenges us to consider the relationship between advertising and broader issues of culture, identity, sexism, and gender violence.  Kilbourne uses over 160 ads and commercials to critique advertising's image of women. 

A study guide and handouts for this video are available online.


Does the beauty ideal still tyrannize women?

Does advertising still objectify women’s bodies?

Are the twin themes of liberation and weight control still linked?

Is sexuality still presented as women’s main concern?

Are young girls still sexualized?

Are grown women infantilized?

Are images of male violence against women still used to sell products? 


arvan's picture

Film Explores How TV & Film Sell Women As Meat

Women Bodies (Il Corpo della Donne)

Directed by Lorella Zanardo, Marco Malfi Chindemi, Cesare Cantù

This project took off as a matter of urgency.  It all started with the observation that women–real women–are an endangered species on television, one that is being replaced by a grotesque, vulgar and humiliating representation.

We sensed the enormity of this loss: the erasure of women’s identity is happening right before our eyes, but without a proper reaction, not even from women themselves.

This led us to select television images that share a common manipulative exploitation of the woman’s body, to let people know what is happening–not only people who never watch television, but especially those who watch it but “don’t see.”

Our aim is to ask ourselves questions, and to pose questions about the reason behind this erasure, a real “pogrom” of which all of us are silent spectators.  Our project grants special attention to the erasure of adult faces on television, to the use of plastic surgery to erase any sign of the passage of time, and to the social consequences of this erasure.

Syndicate content
Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system