I work at EB Games in the Sandusky Mall, and the store is required to run a program on the television that advertises upcoming games, music videos on their soundtracks, and other information about video games. There are two main hosts in the video, one being male and one being female. I think that the video sends out both positive and negative images about women.
The woman in the video is a thin, attractive woman. She talks about video games with her co-host, and actually has some video game knowledge. While I think that her slim figure is used to attract males in the video gaming world, I think that it is positive that the program portrays her as having a lot of knowledge, sometimes more than her co-host. The overall purpose of the video is to peak the interest of customers so that they spend more money in the store.
For the most part, I think the ad is positive. The negative aspect is that the company felt that they had to hire what society considers attractive. I also think the advertisements are positive in that they portray a woman as being very knowledgeable in the video game world. I know that many women do have knowledge when it comes to games. I’ve worked in the store for a year and a half; I have to know something! Still, most men who play games feel that women are non-existent when it comes to games. I couldn’t even begin to tell the number of times I’ve heard, “You don’t even play video games, do you?” or, “Wow, you actually play games?” While EB Games and GameStop are using the host’s attractiveness to peak male attention, I also think that they are sending the message that women can play video games and even know a little bit about them.
I would not consider the advertisement to be offensive. As I stated previously, it does give the positive image that women can be just as knowledgeable as men in an area where they are often thought to know very little. The woman doesn’t dress overly “sexy” as it is a program for all ages, so I don’t think it crosses the line of being sexist. I would consider the ad to lean more toward being feminist since it shows that women can know a lot about games.
I think advertising, movies, and television programs are the primary source of many women’s ideas of body image. At a young age, girls see images of slender women who are portrayed as being extremely sexy. This is reinforced over and over again, both throughout childhood and adulthood. This can sometimes lead to mental problems, including eating disorders. In some cases, girls who feel that they fit the images will pick on others who do not.
I think that both the advertising industries as well as society as a whole have an obligation to change the way ads portray women. The advertising industry uses images of young, sexy women because that is what society wants and expects. I think that there are more ads with older women, but most of these ads are for beautifying products, such as age-defying lotions. People need to demand more diverse, positive images of women before anything will change.
What can people do to aid these changes? Write to advertising companies. Share your opinions on the negative images of women with friends. Gain a complete understanding of your feelings and why you feel the way you do about the advertisements so that when you do make an argument against advertising agencies, people will be able to understand why you feel the way that you do. Too many people try to make an argument without fully backing up what they are saying. In order for people to listen and understand, we must first understand. People simply need to make their voices heard, both to each other and to advertising agencies.