I came across the Pantene labels advert, if you have not seen it check it out …
As I was watching it made me think in broader terms in society, of gender inequality presented in different situations and where gender is positioned differently from the other. In the Pantene advert, there is a direct comparison of males and females that depicts a negative female stereotype. BUT whose eyes are we the viewer taking the perspective from, (is it a males gaze?) because yes there are labels being used and I do think in some situations there is an inequality towards women….
For instance the representation of women in music videos and video games increasingly objectify and sexualise women as mindless puppets for male gratification.
However, this got me thinking- we often hear how the media influences women/girls in particular by the photo shopped images, thin models, celebrity lifestyle, beautiful faces etc… which can have a negative impact on women/girls with their self esteem, body image, confidence as they are aiming for that desired appeal of the belief that beautiful means you can have everything .
This stereotype appears to only affect women/girls…but it does NOT stop there
Boys/men also feel a pressure and have their own desired image which they associate with.
In society the most beautiful attractive and appealing men are shown with 6 packs and sculptured bodies with physical strength, tall, have money, charm, and are a hit with the ladies and so on…
This is also seen in games, films, men’s health magazines etc…
The idealism for men is marketed differently than women but is ultimately the same thing. To be accepted in society it is all about appearance.
Men also feel expectations to work towards and share a similar belief as women, that beauty means you can gain everything attitude. The idea of being beautiful and muscular means getting any girl, marching in and grabbing a great job and finding a new confidence.
This constant comparison with the perceived ‘beauty’ and the goals of getting there to achieve and accomplish this, that and so on..can become an obsession.
I also want to raise the subject on Men and Eating Disorders which again is stereotyped as a ‘girls only’ condition when in reality Eating Disorders are complex mental health issues that can affect anyone despite their age, gender, background, etc
Here is some information on Exercise Disorders From the website MEN GET EATING DISORDERS TOO:
Basically, the reverse of anorexia. Instead of looking in a mirror and seeing themselves as fat, men see a puny shape – even if they appear well built to others. This distorted image means that they are obsessed with becoming muscular and are never happy, whatever size they achieve
This is usually a problem encountered with people who have anorexia and bulimia. What makes exercise ‘compulsive’ is when someone will spend many hours a day exercising several days a week, if not every day. They cannot feel good about themselves and the day may be viewed as ruined if they do not reach their goal which increases as they become driven to achieve more each time.
P.s: when I am talking about women and males in this post I am not stereotyping and saying this is what ALL males/females think and feel, I am saying that it is some, and that both men and females can feel the stereotypes and labels.
=Labels affect both male and females
Lets end it