Ad I’ve noticed – #1
October 21, 2012
Before I start waging my war on the ads we’re seeing, I’d like to do a bit of research – with you. I’m going to quickly discuss ads I’m seeing now – airing across the country, into family homes – and then (hopefully) gain some insight from you – see if there’s a reoccurring pattern in what our media outlets are unveiling to us and what messages they’re circulating.
I’d like to use you as a gauge. I – like everyone else – am not immune to seeing things a little less-of-centre at times and willingly admit this. It is all about perspective, after all, and I am deeply curious to learn whether we’re on the same page about this issue, that is deeply concerning to me.
Before I start, I want to explain that I don’t have cable TV, just free-to-air. I don’t turn on the telly until the evening, but really (especially in this ‘down season’) – I don’t watch much. This isn’t to say that the TV is switched off. It’s generally left on, in case we stumble upon something engaging to watch.
This means that as I’m cooking or writing, I do, on occasion, notice the ads. Obviously, when we think about ads, we automatically think of product selling, but there are also the ads for the TV shows themselves…and it’s the content in these ads that are also of great concern.
Well…isn’t it possible? If the answer is, “Yes” then what do we need to do?
I think the ads we’re being exposed to (children and teens especially) – together with a WHOLE smorgasbord of other factors and contributors – are changing the neural pathways of our brains. Conditioning us. More urgently, conditioning the way our youth perceive reality.
Ad #1. TV show – Glee.
Now, I’m not a fan of this show – ever since it started to drip in the hyper-sexualised behaviour of the girls; on top of knowing that their main fan base are young girls. I wrote a post about another ad for Glee a while back (with the clip attached). They are not promoting healthy messages, which is a shame considering the reach they have.
The new season is apparently about to start and we are, of course, getting bombarded by the promotional tsunami that seems to come with the start of new television show seasons.
I wasn’t able to find the clip of the ad that’s being aired in Australia, so I’ll just describe the simple, yet dangerous, messages I think the ad is delivering to young girls and women.
One: Kate Hudson plays a new character in the series as a dance instructor at what appears to be a high end place in New York (NY Ballet?), that the main girl Rachel now attends. Kate’s character appears fearless, bellowing how the majority of them are going to fail etc. etc.
She walks up to one of the new students and says:
“Hi. What’s your name? Muffin Top?” (when some fat sits over the top of your pants)
“No, my name is-”
“No. You’re name is Muffin Top. From now on it’s rice crackers and ipecac (a drink that makes you vomit). Cut off a butt-cheek. You have to lose a few pounds.”
And the girl is slim. Plus it really bothers me that it’s a fellow woman being so callous.
Message: If you look at that girl and they’re saying she’s fat (which she’s not) – what am I?
Subliminal message received. Neural pathways are now shifting, due to negative self thoughts about weight and self esteem. Check.
Many will argue that that’s the way it is in these sorts of high pressure dancing institutions and the show is representing realism. Oh, now they’re calling the realism card? That’s a tiny morsel of ‘realism’ compared the heightened misrepresentation that oozes from other issues within shows such as this.
Two: In the grand old tradition of building a female star (whether it be an actress or a singer) as an innocent, wide-eyed virginal type of girl – there comes the time when she must toss all that aside, along with its innocent followers and admirers, and become ‘nasty’.
Rachel now has to be taken ‘seriously’ and must shed her chaste appearance and prove she’s someone to be reckoned with. So we hear Rachel singing, not once but twice during the ad, the following line of the song she will perform on the show (once with a visual showing a tough and sexy Rachel):
“I’m not that innocent”
A line from a Britney Spears song. How apt – a fellow innocent-turned-nasty girl…along with Christina Aquilera, Miley Cyrus…and the list goes on.
Message: Noone will take me seriously unless I sexualise myself to gain attention.
Subliminal message received. Neural pathways are now shifting, due to negative thoughts about not looking sexy and hot enough to gain attention and recognition – the only way to get it. Check.
Why do they do this to one famous, female young star after another? To add to the fan base.
In the documentary, Missrepresentation, we were informed that the main people who watch TV are women…so it doesn’t matter what you show them, as it seems they lap up everything that’s presented to them – especially the younger ones.
However, the ones who watch the least TV, are males between the ages of 18-mid/late twenties? Something like that. So shows are predominantly motivated to getting their full attention – and how else can you get a young, hormone ridden boy/teen/male to watch your show?
Sexualise the girls.
So the bottom line is that they don’t care who watches, just as long as they are.
Anything for a buck, right?
Question #104: Do these examples set off alarm bells, no matter how small, as to what’s being subliminally taught?
Here is a lovely image of the actress who plays Rachel (Michele Lea), contributing her efforts to collecting that new fan base for the network and share holders, by posing for GQ magazine.
We have a long way to go, ladies. Can’t have a picture like this without the woman’s consent.
And consent they do.