January 19, 2021
The advertising we see in magazines and on our devices and screens is about much more than just getting us to reach into our wallets.
Advertising reflects who we are – or who we want to be – as individuals, and as a community. It comes laden with implications as to what our society expects us to be, how we should look, how we should behave, what is valued, what is considered “normal”, what is seen as “beautiful”.
And given that we each see, on average, 5000 ads per day, these implications have incredible power, particularly when it comes to diversity and equality.
Advertising that perpetuates gendered stereotypes, depicting women as sexual objects, weak or undervalued; or men as macho or aggressive, contributes to a culture of gender inequality, and by extension, a culture that tolerates violence against women.
On the other hand, advertisers and businesses can counteract gender inequality and discrimination by taking a magnifying glass to their advertising campaigns and actively championing equality and diversity in their imagery and messaging.
And as a consumer, you can advocate for them to do better in this regard!
When you need to make buying decisions, use it as an opportunity to “vote with your wallet” for businesses that show women and men as equal and diverse in their advertising, that depict people of all life stages, backgrounds, body shapes, ethnicities and roles and that portray images of an inclusive, gender equal community.
Likewise, use your voice to actively challenge sexist or discriminatory advertising whenever and wherever you see it.
Will you take action on gender equity in advertising in 2021? If you want to increase your knowledge and learn about some great work already being undertaken in this space, follow @shequal_aus and @un_stereotypealliance on Instagram.
And tell us, who, in your community or advertising “field of vision” is doing good work in this area already?