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The Influence of Advertising on the Perception of Beauty

By Rae Carolyn B. Nantes

ENGLISH 2 (College Writing in English) W-2R Loisey Anne Aquino March 13, 2012


Thesis Statement: Although persuasive communication is used, mass media specifically advertising has a little effect on the perception of beauty of human because of different factors such as selective perception, selective exposure and interpersonal influences.

I. Introduction: Advertising is the largest form of mass media. A. Advertisement can either be in the form of prints (newspaper, magazines and billboards). B. Advertising flows where money flows. II. Beauty is a currency system like the gold standard. A. Art is a way of depicting beauty. B. The presentation of beauty by mass media is used to seek attention. III. The persuasive communication of advertising is used to advocate more patrons. A. Audience is composed of different individuals or group of individuals.

B. Responses to the messages conveyed by advertising differ with kind of audience. IV. The impact of advertisement is altered by different factors. A. Persons with selective perception will only get the information that only supports their own views. B. The ability of an individual to control the information he wants to remember is what selective retention is all about. C. Interpersonal influences such as family, colleagues and schoolmates greatly affect the respond of a person on the information transmitted by advertisement. V. Conclusion: Advertisements affect the perception of beauty of human to only some extent.
A. Persuasive communication is useful in seeking audiences

attention but still not enough to change ones behaviour.

B. Selective retention, selective exposure and interpersonal

influences could hinder effective persuasion.

Advertisement comprises the largest and least subtle part of all the material that has been designed to produce predetermined responses. It is also an arrangement of words or words and pictures in prints, motion and sound added on television or an arrangement of only words and sounds on radioall designed to persuade you to buy a product or service 1975). Advertising is also defined as controlled, identifiable in formation and persuasion by means of mass communication according to Wright, Winter and Ziegler in their text Advertising. The advertising industry is very large, employing more than 400,000 people in all its phases. There are about 8,000 advertising agencies, which employs nearly 85,000 people. Agencies are the most visible (to lay persons) aspect of the advertising; the advertising agencies executive who was been both lionized and criticized in the mass media. And the mass medianewspapers, magazines, radio and televisions also employ tens of thousands of persons who sell, prepare and schedule advertising (Pember, 1939). Different advertisements have their own characteristics; some are garbage while others are money-generator. Advertisers, too, are variable. They can either belong to the group of responsible, trustworthy, and humane advertisers or to the group of selfish, money-digger, and deceitful advertisers (Aldrich, 1975). Advertisements rise up during the wave of capitalism although some other says that it started way back in the ancient times since, traders and merchants were known to sale wares on the street. Modern advertisements are usually associated with market economy. The first known advertisement ever published was in pamphlet which was printed in 1478 by William Caxton which advertises a book. (Pember, 1939) (Aldrich,

Advertising not just merely sells products, it can also be used to introduce new products, reintroduce previously known products to encourage more consumers, and it can also be used to motivate viewers or listeners to take part in cause like saving the forests to help save the earth. (Pember, 1939) Advertising increases the costs of consumers goods (Pember, 1939). The largest advertiser in the country (US) spends about $100 million annually, and many spend an average of $10 million a year (Aldrich, 1975). Since preparing and broadcasting advertisement really costs a lot of money and time. This money used were charged on the consumers, companies tend to increase the value of their products more than what is enough so that these bills will be paid and still their profit will still be remarkable (Pember, 1939). Although persuasive communication is used, mass media specifically advertising has a little effect on the perception of beauty of human because of different factors such as selective perception, selective exposure and interpersonal influences. According to Wolf, Beauty is a currency of beauty system like the gold standard. Like any economy, it is determined by politics and in the modern age in the West, it is the last, best belief system that keeps male dominance intact it is an expression of power relations in which women must naturally compete for resources that men have appropriated for themselves. Advertisers use successful women to be part of their product endorsement to show not what they have been but to show that these people use their products (Azarcon-dela Cruz, 1988). However, if you will try to examine closely the different magazine ads, you will discover that they conveyed a wrong conception about women. Endless ads for cosmetics and

beauty aids on the other hand perpetuate the fixed idea that eternal youth, good looks and impeccable grooming are indispensible to being a woman (Azarcon-dela Cruz, 1988). Because most of the advertisers are multinational corporations, the stress on colonial consumer patterns, materialistic values and prioritises and frustrating search for the good lifeare deeply rooted entrenched in the minds of middle and lower class women. Thus, the lurks the danger of consumer oriented society penetrating or replacing our own values of crunchy junk food replacing nutritious meals, of sophisticated home appliances giving women a false sense of modernity and contentment, of beauty aids stressing the shallow and superficial (Azarcon-dela Cruz, 1988). One of the main goals of advertisement is to catch the attention of its audience. According to Fiske, Attention involves the process of encoding whereby people take information that is outside of them and represent it inside their heads. In order for advertisement to be effective in capturing the attention of its audiences, it must need to communicate well with them, thus, advertising agencies uses different mechanisms to be able to catch the interests of their target consumers. Such mechanisms includes: modifying what is existing; introducing values or beliefs in a better way; and building an imaginary world of perfection (Aldrich, 1975). The process of communication follows a transmit-receive actions in which along the process, some difficulties may arise due to different factors such as receivers error of interpreting the message conveyed of faculty transmission of codes. Such errors in transmitting the message may have cause different understanding of the true meaning of the message conveyed (Lazarsfeld, 1965) Messages or knowledge are acquired when audience are regularly subjected to different media but his point of view on certain

things remained intact. These results are shown in different researches (Kunczik, 1984). On the other hand, Lowest kind of manipulative devices with the addition of artistic expressions, proper vocabulary and right information used in an advertisement or series of advertisements (campaign) creates a great impact to its audience, therefore, acquires more consumers (Aldrich, 1975). One kind of a manipulative device is the Repetition which is the main principle applied for every successful advertisement. Repeated messages targets not only the rational way of thinking its audiences but also the vulnerable feelings of being a human. Main messages, quirky lines, silly actions of the models must be repeated with the association with the product being sold (Azarcon-dela Cruz, 1988). On the contrary to the effect of transmit-receive actions, Social scientists, researchers and theorists have different explanation with the effect of mass media like advertisements to its audiences. Few communication theorists have generated as much controversy and debate as Herbert Marshall Mcluhanthe grand free-for-all theorizer about media effects the theory states quite simply, that the medium itself is the messagemedia in and of themselves and regardless of the messages they communicate, exert a compelling influence on man and society. His theory anchors societal change in the transformations of communication media (Stanley, 1976). Azarcon-dela Cruz says that if Marshall Mcluhans theory on subliminal messages is true, indeed, think of the powerful role print ads in magazines play in shaping the perception and image of women. With printed materials so easily accessible to women, it comes as no surprise that women are constantly bombarded with messages through print ads do not create all

these realities, however, by cunningly distorting some of these realities or by presenting some images and myths as realities through constant repetition, ads have made the womans already difficult task of breaking out of rigid stereotype an even more formidable problem. In addition, In the service of national development, the mass media may be agents of social change. The specific kind of social change they are expected to help accomplish is the transition to new customs and practices and, in some cases, to different social relationships. Behind such changes in behaviour must necessarily lay substantial changes in attitudes, beliefs, skills and social norms (Schramm, 1964). The effect of mass media is variable due to different factors such as interpersonal influences that greatly determines the effectively of the transmission of messages. Great impact of media can only be attained when messages are conveyed repeatedly and no contradiction will be presented that may weaken its stand. Positive responses are likely to be achieved when new stands are presented to the audiences with less or no idea of it at all, otherwise, if it contradicts his views, he will reject it. These are the main points of McQuials understanding of the effect of media in research findings. In addition, according to Schramm, mass communication can be used directly to change attitudesif no strong attitudes or behaviour patterns exists in the point in question or if the change can be shown to be merely an extension or redirection of an old strong attitude. In such major decisions, therefore, the mass media can help only indirectly. They can feed information into the channels of interpersonal influence. They can confer status and enforce norms. They can broaden the policy dialogue, they can help form taste, where there are no strong attitudes, and they can be effective. But for the most part, in the area of entrenched beliefs and behaviours, they can only help.

I agree with Stanleys statement (1976) where he claimed that The effects of mass media are difficult to explain or predict for several reasons. The media function through a complex nexus of mediating influences. There is no direct communication-response link. Other stimuli intervene, and there is a time lapse between the origination of the message and the receivers response. Truly, if a message transmitted was filtered through a lot of factors, the message itself may be altered or modified, thus, different interpretation of the message from the original one will be transmitted to the receiver. So, if that is the case, it can be said that these messages from the media does not directly affects us since there are filters that modifies it. Schramm says that quantity of exposure to media does not readily mean that it will be a factor for the conformity of the society. Social change must not only mean changes within a group of people but are changes within the entire society, in every individual included in this society. But according to some social scientists, selective exposure which is the control of over the information received. The information we usually seek are the things that is within our own principles (Pember, 1939). People usually exposed himself only to the things that interests them or the things that support their own point of view. They may also read or expose themselves to the topics that oppose their beliefs only to give more reasons why they should be against it. Furthermore, according to Leon Festingers theory of cognitive dissonance, the individual avoids discomfort and uncertainty by selecting information likely to reinforce his convictions. Similarly, he would reject information that conflicts with previously held ideas. (Pember, 1939). This statement of Kunczik (1984) summarizes the effect of mass media specifically on that of the advertisement, Today, if I were to give an outline of the most important findings of 40 years of research into the effects of the mass media, I would have to tell roughly the following: the effects of the mass media appear to be negligible.

This effect of mass media is due to some factors. One of which is what was called as selectivity. It is how different people see and remember different things form the same picture, at the same story (Pember, 1939). When a consumer starts to sort out information by filtering the things he wants to retain which interests him, and throwing out the information he thinks are useless after he had understood the messages conveyed in an advertisement (Aldrich, 1975). On the other hand, selective perception is when focusing upon the same communication of messages; different people tend to see different things (Pember, 1939). An advertisement with a Caucasian woman which was advertised in the Philippines were people admired white complexion, may have better response than when it will be aired in Western countries. According to Schramm, another factor why social change is not as simple as a piece of cake is that the relationships within the society are important or which is technically known as interpersonal relationships. People always consider the people that surround them like their colleagues, family and co-workers. A broadcast in a radio about the invasion of Martians on Earth creates a chaos in a state in America. At first, researchers concluded that the mass media really has a great impact to people but after sometime, other researchers pick a hole in this conclusion. They have found out that other residents in that area got the information about the invasion of Martians from people who got the information from the radio. This conclusion created doubts on the persuasion power of media. (Pember, 1939). Hence, the perception of the consumer on physical beauty does not really get affected by mass media, specifically by advertising since people tend to have different views about the same topic; also they are only divulging themselves to what they are fond of and avoiding things that

contradict their will. Most importantly, the opinion of the people surrounding them is much important than any other factors.


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