Magazines and TV ads have always emphasized that what's most important for a woman is how she looks, and that there's an "ideal" appearance we should all aspire to — tall, skinny, toned, big-breasted, with perfect skin, perfect hair, perfect everything. After constantly seeing the pencil-thin bodies that are expected from models, it can make real women feel that it's expected for them to be thin and flawless as well. What's ironic is that most of the images we see are unattainable, since airbrushing and photoshopping have become the norm. Even Cindy Crawford has been quoted saying, "I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford."
To document how genders are represented in advertising, Jean Kilbourne created a compelling series called Killing Us Softly. Check out the trailer for her latest documentary below.
After watching that clip, tell me, when you see women in ads, does it affect your self-confidence or body image?