by Jaskaran Sangha

The media has a powerful role over women and their body image, which use this power to define the way of conveying messages and having the audience draw in. They believe that everything they say is true.

The media has its own way of twisting and portraying food as being very “bad” or “good” for you. As an example, food has a strong connection to body since it is the main factor in determining ones body weight. How media use food in advertisements? In the media, we predominately see food being used as a sex object, or as a means to achieve the “fabulous skinny body” everybody dreams of. Everyday, we see these ads on the magazines and TVs. As a result, many food advertisements include women to reach their targeted group of men. In those ads, usually sexy and provocative women are shown with specific food items that the companies are trying to sell. This shows us how media stereotypes; women are seen as an attractive objects by men, women do not eat as much as men do, and women are seductive. That is why they are able to sell food much easier because of the fact that the women barely have any clothes on!

To selling their products many dieting companies use the before and after picture or testimony of women, which impact women negatively. They are aiming to shape the women’s perspective to relate this comparison to situation and buy the diet product in order to look like their after image. Diet products vary from pills, drinks, meals to meal points. All of the companies state that they are the best and they give results right away. Because of these ads many women receive mixed emotions about food and their body image. On one side, they use food as a sex object and to be seductive; on the other side, they promote dieting to get the beautiful body. That is why today many women do not have good eating habits, whose health is affected due to the negative messages that the media conveys.

My personal view is that woman’s bodies are used negatively in order to sell an item and we are so prone to these types of ads. We do not see how wrong they truly are! Now, considering the other side of the gender spectrum, we can see that there are rarely any ads or commercials with nude men selling food. We can see how we are use to seeing women in ads such that include household products, laundry detergents, vacuums, perfumes, clothing. As of 2012, can we say that women and men are not equal? Don’t men do same household works as woman such as cleaning and laundry? Now, we should ask ourselves why woman are the center of the media. I think, we should consider what we are seeing and realize that women are not objects. We are equal human being. We should be portrayed equally in the media since it is the biggest influence in the public particularly over the younger audience.

Jaskaran Sangha is participating in Violence, Media Representations and Families a media literacy program joint initiative between Kwantlen Polytechnic University Sociology Department, First Voices and Battered Women’s Support Services