Killing Us Softly 4 In Killing Us Softly 4, Jean Kilbourne valiantly pronounces that things are far worse now than they were several years ago. Jean Kilbourne adopts a fresh stance on the manner in which advertising deals in destructive and distorted ideals of femininity. Killing Us Softly 4 lines up an array of new television and print advertisements that explicitly show the baffling pattern of injurious gender stereotypes. This paper will provide a reaction to Jean Kilbourne’s research presented in Killing Us Softly 4. Kilbourne’s latest installment of the series Killing Us Softly reveals the epitome of the stereotypical portrayal of women through advertisement.
Without a doubt, the film is a definite channel of showing a conversation regarding the different forms of gendered representation, which the media propagates. Kilbourne is quite clear on the frequency of such representations and how deeply the representations affect people’s perceptions towards one another. Killing Us Softly 4 showcases the manners through which the advertising world reinforces negative behavior towards women, discussing how such behavior affects females of all ages (Killing Us Softly 4). The film collectively interprets advertisements that people observe every day and shows that these advertisements create a rather toxic culture amongst people in the modern world. Notably, most advertisements sell concepts like normalcy, love and sex, while at the same time telling women how they should look, feel and act. However, Kilbourne asserts before shooting advertisements, image directors retouch women’s images at least 20 to 30 times prior to publishing the images. Ironically, it is these retouched images that the advertising world feeds women in the society, making such women’s innate aspirations emulate the images in advertisements.
The standards of beauty change with changes in the perceptions of the advertising world. More often than not, these images show the ideal standard of beauty as thin and light skinned. This is perhaps why women nowadays try to ensure they weigh as few pounds as possible and become as light skinned as possible. The cosmetics industry is also blooming because of this ideal image fed by the advertising world. Women objectification reduces them as advertising portrays women as mere objects.
Killing Us Softly 4 further provides a succinct exploration of the increased objectification of masculinity in the media. Kilbourne shows that the new trend of male objectification is just as damaging as the objectification of femininity (Killing Us Softly 4). Today’s advertising world increasingly objectifies men. However, although advertisements also exploit men’s images, such exploitation is not on a deep level. In addition, the exploitation of men’s images in advertisements does not bear as many implications as is the case in the exploitation of femininity. This is largely because men do not live within a scrutinized world. Stereotypes allow men to maintain their individuality while also fulfilling the ideals set by the advertising world. Certain advertisements reinforce the model of masculinity, which essentially supports contempt for all things feminine. This disdain towards women further devalues feminine qualities and suppresses women’s capacities to live authentically and freely as they choose. This feeds cultural stereotypes that show women as weak, innocent and passive beings and men as the dominant sex.
Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women. Dir. Jean Kilbourne. Media Education Foundation, 2010. Film.