Recent Calvin Klein Advertisement

07May08

Future Implications

Despite recent research and strides in academia, the female stereotypical image has not changed dramatically. In this recent advertisement for Calvin Klein Jeans, Kate Bosworth, a popular actress, is shown baring her stomach.  She is coyly looking towards the camera with strands of hair brushing across her face. Kate Bosworth represents the typical American female stereotype; blond hair, blue eyes, thin frame and Caucasian ethnicity. Calvin Klein has acquired more diverse models; however, this campaign features the limiting image of a female. She is extremely thin which fuels the negative perceptions of body image among average sized women.  

As an active consumer, this ad tells me that I need reevaluate my body image.  Although I am fully aware and educated on the topic of image advertising, this image still leads me to compare myself to Kate Bosworth.  The social comparison theory presented by Festinger (1954) raises the ideology of self worth and body image. When I am judging myself in accordance with the Calvin Klein model, I am participating in a social comparison process.  I am not the only woman who perceives mediated images in this manner. 

  According to a study conducted by the DOVE campaign for Real Beauty, only 2% of women around the world described themselves as beautiful. This shocking statistic traces back to Festinger’s  notion of social comparison and the stereotypical representations of beauty in mediated sources. However, in the DOVE research study, 81% of females in the U.S. strongly agree that “the media and advertising set an unrealistic standard of beauty that most women can’t ever achieve.”  With the acknowledgement of this disheartening fact, images displayed in the DOVE Campaign for Real Beauty help young women to challenge narrow views of body image.

References

(www.dove.us./cfrb.)

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