Comparing society's awareness of women: Media-portrayed idealized images and physical attractiveness [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 90 (1):61 - 79 (2009)
An advertiser develops visual associations of signs and symbols to create a product image that motivates consumers. Today is characterized by a solid consumer culture based on visual identity consumption that articulates and interacts with each consumer's daily actions, words, and visual perceptions. The frequent use of female role portrayals and physical attractiveness in advertising contributes to an increase in society's awareness of women. Some scholars have developed an ethical discussion out of the phenomenon of female role portrayals not matching the public expectations because the portrayals are too narrowly defined and women are unfavorably depicted. But another group has studied the product-type match-up hypothesis, which emphasizes effectively employing attractive female endorsers that closely match the product type. The shift in female social status in Taiwan contributes to the importation of foreign ideas such as feminine values, rituals, and esthetics. Women in Taiwan have been introduced to a new feminism, a modified perception of appropriate personal appearance and behavior. This current research utilizes content analysis and in-depth interviews to explore contemporary female role portrayals in advertising. In addition, this article examines the relationship between the formation of contemporary physical attractiveness and visual consumption in advertising. The results reveal that most endorsers were celebrities, with fit bodies and pleasant expressions, portrayed as product users who offer personal experiences to deliver product knowledge. Conservation classical beauty was the most common depiction, while sexual expression was the least common. Finally, this article recommends that different types of beauty, posture, and appeal should be carefully selected to match domestic and foreign magazines' readers
Keywords visual consumption  physical attractiveness  beauty  idealized image
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