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Design Process Doc umentat io n Guided by

Prof. Deepankar Bhattacharyya

Tushar Ghei UG-3rd semester Communication Design MIT-ID, 2011


“The most common way in which people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” - Alice Walker


(1961)

(2011)


Wait. Something is not right here. Why target Media?

Problem Background The ‘Portrayal Betrayal’ of women by the media has resulted in stereotypical notions which have been internalized and embedded in the minds of the people today. This is not only unfair to women but also goes against the very concept of equality.

Digital (electronic) and print media has the largest reach in the world today in terms of number of people subjected or influenced (or both in most cases). It is also driven by a number of stereotypes. Mainstream ideas and notions have been well designed and structured for the society to follow. According to Anthropologists at The University of Michigan, society is influenced by media more than the other way around.


Lets take a look at this, shall we? Advertising Is the foundation of Mass media


Lets take a look at this, shall we? Advertising is the foundation of Mass media Primary Purpose Sell/promote stuff

What it also sells

Values + Images of life + Concept of love/sexuality + What is normal/abnormal


Tells us who we are. (As a society at that point in time)


Tells us who we should be. (As a society at that point in time)


So what does our modern media tell us about women?


Beauty above all Vulnerable/fragile/ Dependent

Always passive Submissive

Always At service

Young and polished


‘The Portrait of an ideal woman.’ So this woman we see and hear about everywhere. She is young, light skinned and beautiful, almost certainly skinny. She is passive, submissive, vulnerable, fragile and always dependent on her male bud. Not to forget, she is always at your service.

Hmmm...sounds reasonable doesn’t it?


‘The Portrait of an ideal woman.’ So this woman we see and hear about everywhere. She is young, light skinned and beautiful, almost certainly skinny. She is passive, submissive, vulnerable, fragile and always dependent on her male bud. Not to forget she is always at your service.

Hmmm...sounds reasonable doesn’t it?

Any deviation from these, and women find themselves mocked and ridiculed by the media. The irony being that,

95% of the world’s women are excluded from this ‘portrait’.

5%

of the world’s women Only have a body type like that and yet these are the only women we see on television, billboards, magazines etc.


So what if women are not naturally perfect enough?


So what if women are not naturally perfect enough?

That's where photoshop comes in...


...a lot.


So our media lies. What if it was true and honest? What would everyday advertisements look like?


So our media lies. What if it was true and honest? What would everyday advertisements look like?


Is it same for men?


The Man In advertising.


Classy The Man In advertising.


Classy

Dominant

The Man In advertising.


Classy

Dominant In charge The Man In advertising.


Classy

Dominant

Violent

In charge The Man In advertising.


Classy

Dominant

Violent

In charge Independent

The Man In advertising.


Classy

Dominant

Violent

In charge Independent

The Man In advertising.

Superior!


The good, the bad and the ugly.


The good news.

It works!

Advertising is very successful in achieving its goal, that is to sell or promote. This false portrayal of women not just works, but in many situations has proved to increase purchasing power in the market. Today a skinny model in a sensual voice can sell anything from cookies and burgers to high end cars and luxury apartments.

YES. SEX SELLS AND ALWAYS WILL.

I will demonstrate the above in the slides that follow.


The good news.

It works!

Advertising is very successful in achieving its goal, that is to sell or promote.

Re ad me (I’ ve mb am rt i e su se r th re m yo en is u do t? )

Now what if they used a man for this very advertisement?


The good news.

Sold.

I would put my money on the left bottom of the screen.

Fail.


The bad news.

All this false portrayal has

Consequences


The bad news. Children grow up watching these images and believe that that’s what women hood is all about. Objectification of women teaches kids that they are primarily valued for their looks, reinforcing the need to pursue physical perfection.

Even today, only traditional and stereotypical roles are offered to women. Roles of sex symbols, house wives, vulnerable and fragile characters, emotionally weak and dependent.

Objectifying (dehumanizing) women indirectly results in violence, abuse and mistreatment by the opposite sex.

Men judge ‘real’ women harshly.

All this false portrayal has

Consequences Advertisements not only make men feel different about women but also about what gets labelled as ‘feminine’

Cosmetic surgeries weight loss programs Anorexia Diets Depression Low self esteem Low confidence Low ambition

‘We must change the way we look’ attitude comes in. Dissatisfaction amongst women about the way they look resulting in numerous secondary problems.

Advertisements have no focus on intimacy and relationships, women are objectified and sexualized. Sex is trivialized.


The bad news.

Worst of all, Women are encouraged to see this as their own free choice.


The ugly.

Here come the facts and ďŹ gures!


The ugly.

Only 16% of women are protagonists in mainstream cinema. - ‘Missrepresentation’ 2011

Here come the facts and figures!


The ugly.

Only 16% of women are protagonists in mainstream cinema. - ‘Missrepresentation’ 2011

Here come the facts and figures!

1120 Women's (undergraduates) exposure to ‘ideal women’ advertisements increased body dissatisfaction, negative mood, increase in the level of depression and low self esteem. - Bessenof, 2006


“Women hold 3% of the clout positions in entertainment, publishing and advertising. That’s 97%of whatever we know about our society , about ourselves and the world around us comes from a male’s perspective.”

The ugly.

Only 16% of women are protagonists in mainstream cinema. - ‘Missrepresentation’ 2011

Here come the facts and figures!

1120 Women's (undergraduates) exposure to ‘ideal women’ advertisements increased body dissatisfaction, negative mood, increase in the level of depression and low self esteem. - Bessenof, 2006

- Carol Jenkins (Founding president of Women’s media centre)


“Women hold 3% of the clout positions in entertainment, publishing and advertising. That’s 97%of whatever we know about our society , about ourselves and the world around us comes from a male’s perspective.”

The ugly.

Only 16% of women are protagonists in mainstream cinema.

- Carol Jenkins (Founding president of Women’s media centre)

- ‘Missrepresentation’ 2011

Here come the facts and figures! models are thinner than 98% of the women in the world. 1120 Women's (undergraduates) exposure to ‘ideal women’ advertisements increased body dissatisfaction, negative mood, increase in the level of depression and low self esteem. - Bessenof, 2006

Of the 1018 major T.V. characters analysed, only 14% women were overweight. That’s less than half the percentage in the real world population. - Greenberg, 2003


The ugly.

The modelling industry standards suggest women should have waists no larger than 25" and hips no larger than 35 1/2 inches, they also recommend measurements of 34-24-34.

66% of teenage girls would consider plastic surgery and 20% would do it right now!

Over half (54%) of all women around the world say they ďŹ rst became aware of the need to be physically attractive between 6 and 17 years of age.

Polls suggest that 63% of young women aspire to be glamour models, actresses or both.

66% of young people learn about sex and relationships through the media.

There are more. One in three people believe a woman is responsible for violence committed against her if she is wearing 'revealing clothing'.

The average woman is 5'4", 140 to 145 lbs, and wears a size 11-14 dress. The average model is 5'11" and 117 lbs and ďŹ t in size 2.

Store mannequins are 6' tall and are approximately 34-23-24.

25 years ago a model would typically would weigh 8% less than the public, now it is typical for a model to weigh 23% less than an average woman.


1 out of every 3.8 commercials sends a message about attractiveness.

The ugly.

Viewers are more than twice as likely to encounter a scene in which a male character predominates over a female.

50% of teenage girls think they should be dieting. 59% of 12 and 13 year old girls report low self esteem regarding their diets and their bodies.

Women 45 and older are only 15% of prime-time TV characters.

80% of women are dissatisďŹ ed with their appearance.

1 out of 11 ads has a message about beauty.

45% of healthy weight women will describe themselves as overweight (only 23% of men do).

...and more.

The top 10 selling games for Sega, Sony and Nintendo systems had exaggerated body forms for males and females, with female characters having excessively large breasts and small waists, women also were either ďŹ ghting or took part in violence in 50% of the games.

The average person sees between 400-600 ads per day, the average teen sees over 5,000 of these messages per year.

81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat Eating disorders are the 3rd most common illness in female teens, 91% of college age females have dieted. Liposuction increased 389% over last decade.

By college age, 4.5-18% of women have a history of bulimia, 1 in 100 have anorexia, another 1 in 100 have binge eating, 15% have disordered eating of some type.

The average woman sees 400 to 600 advertisements per day, 4 and by the time she is 17 years old, she has received over 250,000 commercial messages through the media.

Between 1996 and 1998, teenage cosmetic surgeries nearly doubled from 13,699 to 24,623, A study by Children Now examined the top ten selling games for each of the three most according to the American popular games console systems. The games sales for Sony PlayStation, Sega Dreamcast Society of Plastic and Reconand Nintendo 64 were ranked by PC Data, a computer industry sales tracking company. structive Surgeons. Overall, 54% of the games surveyed contained female characters whereas 92% contained male characters.

By the end of elementary school the average child will have witnessed approximately 30,000 violent acts on TV.

Women's magazines have 10.5 times more ads and articles about weight loss then do men's magazines.


The ugly.

A woman makes $0.77 for every $1 a man makes.


So who beneďŹ ts from this portrayal?


The multi- national Corporations

So who beneďŹ ts from this portrayal?


The multi- national Corporations

So who beneďŹ ts from this portrayal?

Gyms and health clubs.

Cosmetic surgeon.

From to the negative eects.

Doctors and Psychiatrists. Pharmacists and cosmetics manufacturers.


So, the problem. Advertisements bombard the public with information on products and services at home or outside. It is diďŹƒcult to miss persuasive advertisements as they are produced in such fashion to attract maximum attention. In these advertisements women may be the target consumers or not, but nevertheless female forms are used. Where women are users of the product or service it is highly justiďŹ ed to use women but in reality they are used in selling diverse products from male shaving systems to automobiles to burgers and cookies. The aim is no longer to inform us of a new product and its use, it is more to create a wish to possess a product. Advertising has a link with the customs and the codes, which govern our society. Women have been repeatedly objectiďŹ ed and sexualized for increasing the purchasing power in the market for decades now. Even though working women have been accepted in society but still the advertisements are yet to portray such women correctly.

Advertisements have become more about the messenger than the message.


SpeciďŹ c problem statement:

The objectiďŹ cation of women in media and advertising.


The Approach


The Approach No, targeting the media is like charging at a brick wall with a pillow for a weapon. Not very eective. As discussed previously, the media is very successful in its aim i.e. to sell and promote. It’s their job and they do it brilliantly.

Not!


The Approach No, targeting the media is like charging at a brick wall with a pillow for a weapon. Not very effective. As discussed previously, the media is very successful in its aim i.e. to sell and promote. It’s their job and they do it brilliantly.

What I can do. Target people’s mind-sets. The common people, the victims. To try and change their attitude towards media and advertising in general. That advertising is nothing but a tool for promotion. That women used to promote, are not ‘real women.’

Not!


Concept #1

Target:

The first idea was aimed at the objectification of women in the form of sex objects. A common scenario one witnesses everywhere which has now been internalised and embedded in the common mind.

Concept:

I wanted an idea to be simple yet indirect. something that would stick in the mind. Using trivial words to add some sarcasm.

To view final concept refer to ‘conceptualization folder’ file saved as ‘concept#1’


Concept #2

Target:

This idea was aimed directly at the school/college going girls who fall victim to the profit maximization games the advertisers play. A portrayal of women which forces millions of girls to be dissatisfied about their bodies.

Concept (a):

‘Certain women only look good on paper’ Certain women only look good on screen, on billboards and advertisements, not in reality. These women have been given a face, body, an identity for their respective ad projects. This is not who they are. To view final concept refer to ‘conceptualization folder’ file saved as ‘concept#2’


Concept (b):

The second idea for the same target was again direct and self explainatory. I wanted to create a visual that showed the complete process that a woman has to go through before having her face put on a billboard. i.e. from the model castings to make-up and studio photography to editing. May be sparking off a though process in theminds of the common man.

Ever wondered why only some women get their faces on billboards? This illustration shows the process that a women goes through before getting her face on a billboard. A process that most do not consider before falling victim to the campaigns.

THE STORY OF A LIE. ‘Perfect Women Manufacturing Plant’ Stage #1 The Casting:

So there’s an idea for an advertisement. The Model agencies are contacted and a casting is arranged.

Stage #2

The Rejection:

This is where hundreds of women’s precious dreams of becoming proud and famous are crushed and torn apart by the producers.

Stage #3

The Selected one:

One lucky (or unlucky) women gets to go through to the next stage where she will be further refined.

Stage #4

The Make-up:

This woman now gets a kilo of foundation and other cosmetic treatment. Her make-up artist will spend up to 4-5hrs pushing further away from reality.

Stage #5 The Studio:

A young man with a long goatee will set up a tripod and a bunch of lights in a small room .Huge fans will be present. The model will now pose and a billion pictures will be taken.

Stage #6

The Perfection:

So the producers have selected one of the billion pictures taken (refer to stage#5) and decided it was not ‘perfect enough’. Enter - PHOTOSHOP

Stage #7

The Billboard:

So this is it. The women in the billboard has ‘successfully’ used the advertised product because of which she is now flawless.True. This is the stage at which you and I will now see the Women. Convinced are we?

No wonder our idea of beauty is so distorted.

What’s real, is you and I

log on to www.whatsrelisyouandi.com


Concept #3

Target:

For this concept, the target was billboards. The women on billboards to be more specific. Advertisers use famous women (actresses, models or both) to grab quick attention. A cheap trick that works wonders.

Concept: Using ‘sex sells’ to counter ‘sex sells’

I wanted to recreate an everyday billboard where a women was objectified to grab quick attention, using the same technique promoters do.

To view final concept refer to ‘conceptualization folder’ file saved as ‘concept#2’


Concept #4

Target:

For my last concept i wanted to target the general public, the ‘You and I’ of public. The most direct way I could think of? Facts.

Concept :

Now facts are bornig! yet that’s what I wanted to show by creating a visual which would grab attention and hopefully register in the minds of the people. (A fact that may raise a couple of eye-brows).

To view final concept refer to ‘conceptualization folder’ file saved as ‘concept#4’


! But there is a problem Non of the concepts, if subjected to in isolation have a direct impact. There was a need to introduce a cloud project of which all the concepts would be a part of.


The You and I project.


The You and I project. Possible taglines? ‘All that’s real, is you and I’ ‘What’s real, is you and I’ ‘Real, is you and I’


Why have a project at all?


Why have a project at all? To increase knowledge and awareness of the impact of media images upon women, girls and society as a whole.

To provide support for initiating societal change

To place the issue of representations of women in the media on the public agenda.

To provide a forum or an outlet for discussion regarding these issues and their impact on individual lives.

To change attitudes regarding the way women are valued in our to society

To promote responsible advertising.

To increase the amount of media coverage on the problem and also to create positive solutions.


What now?


What now? We wait. A project like this would take a while to subconsiously sink in. The ďŹ rst step to something I believe would later be driven by people themselves, you and I.


Acknowledgements I 'am overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude towards Prof. Deepankar Bhattacharyya and Prof. Gautam B. who guided me all throughout the process of this project.

I would like to use this opportunity to thank my seniors , their ‘over- critical’ analysis was at times necessary.

I ‘am grateful to everyone who has helped directly or indirectly for the compilation of this project.


Bibliography

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

The Body Image Project at http://www.justthink.org/ Umiker-Sebeok, (1981) WAC stats, facts about women Womyns concerns http://www.womensissues.about.com/ http://www.anred.com/ - Anred- Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders http://www.eating-disorder.org/ http://www.about-face.org/ http://www.trendsight.com/ http://www.childrenow.org/ http://www.mediaandwomen.org/ http://www.portcitymodels.com/ http://www.modelingadvice.com/ http://umwbullet.com/2009/04/22/media-portrayal-of-women-is-harmful/ Media Portrayal of Women is Harmful http://www.smith.edu/ourhealthourfutures/media.html Media and Body Image http://www.education.com/reference/article/how-magazines-affect-body-image/ How do magazines affect body image? http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/383509/portrayal_of_the_female_body_image.html?cat=9 http://thefastertimes.com/childrenandresearch/2009/12/04/d. http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/book/excerpt.asp?id=2 Body Image The Media Lies http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/107269.php Concern Over Strong Media Influence On Women's Body Image http://bellawoman.50megs.com/custom.html Woman's Body Image in the Media http://www.mindonthemedia.org/ - Turn beauty inside out campaign http://loveourchildrenusa.org/parent_teachgirlselfesteem.php - Love our children - Teaching daughters self esteem http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/issues/stereotyping/women_and_girls/women_beauty.cfm http://family.samhsa.gov/be/gnb_image.aspx - girls and body image in relation to media http://www.mediafamily.org/facts/facts_mediaeffect.shtml - Media's Effect On Girls: Body Image And Gender Identity http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-09-25-thin-models_x.htm http://www.genderads.com/ - This is a great site with lots of ad images categorized by themes and roles women are given in advertising. http://www.eng.fju.edu.tw/Literary_Criticism/feminism/women/women.htm http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/issues/stereotyping/women_and_girls/women_beauty.cfm media awareness network -beauty and body image in the media


Thank you.


'Portrayal-Betrayal'