Women of today
Media influence on women society
The 21st century is considered the period of history when women in overwhelming majority of countries have achieved the same set of freedoms and opportunities as men. Now women all over the world learn how to combine pursuing their career and bringing up children. As their lives became brighter, they also become more complicated. It makes sense to consider psychological and social aspects of the challenges of the 21st century. The psychological aspect is associated with the aggressive impact of advertising and the social one is the discrimination in the workplaces and weak access to the labor market women are facing in the most countries of the world. To understand the impact of these challenges on the lives of women it is necessary to analyze these challenges.
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Advertising and various media images have a strong impact on women attitude to themselves. First, these means of conveying information create unrealistic expectations of females. Models always look like goddesses. They always have make-up on their faces; their bodies are always in a perfect physical shape. Their husbands and boyfriends are always objects of envy. Thus, most ordinary women start to compare and contrast their appearance with that of models. It turns out that the difference is enormous. To change the situation, ladies begin to purchase costly cosmetics hoping that it would help them approach the ideal of beauty. In fact, it does not happen.
Furthermore, direct-to-consumer commercials have resulted in unrealistic expectations about the effectiveness of cosmetics, drugs and so forth and their side effects. Although numerous voice-overs report of the downside to the products being advertised, the visual media images demonstrate happy and healthy people. It is reported that side effects of the products advertised may cause even death to the consumers. Health and beauty products often do not live up to their promises, so millions of consumer dollars are spent in vain.
American mass culture
Broadly speaking, advertising is an integral part of American mass culture. It follows ladies from the moment of their birth to the moment of their physical death. Maybe, it is no way to escape its impact because these media images appear on the Web, in movies etc. As to its aggressive impact, advertising influences how women feel about themselves. As it was stated above, gorgeous images of top models make ordinary women realize their imperfection, flow of advertising makes women think negatively of themselves.
Thus, the most widespread pattern of negative thinking is that women abandon themselves to the idea that they should be more beautiful and thinner, hold down their full-time jobs and concentrate on being full-time mothers. Advertising also damages the private life of women since they want their husbands or boyfriends to look like male models – athletic, tall, handsome, and thoughtful fathers. As these expectations are unrealistic, women may pay for such delusions a very high price – their happiness. In a word, brands make their livelihood parasitizing on the insecurity of girls and women. If women understand the negative information that comes from advertising, they will have a chance to make their life better and cope with this challenge.
Woman discrimination in the workplace
As to the second challenge of the 21st century women are facing, it is the discrimination in their jobs and weak access to the labor market. It is unreal to believe but most women in the world have no access to the labor market because of the power of location traditions, lack of education, excessive childbearing etc. Women living in the countries of Asia and Africa compose the most numerous group of those who cannot work and must dedicate all their free time to their husband and children. Not only their poor education and early marriage is the reason. The honor of the family is the main reason why these women do not work. For example, the story of the first Afghani female pilot Niloofar Rahmani made the life of her family unbearable since her relatives found her success in the profession of a pilot as a dishonor for her family. It should be pointed out that such situation is possible only in under-developed countries.
Women in the most developed countries of the world face the second serious aspect of this problem. Older women are forced out of their jobs even if they are high-class specialists. If we consider the results of scientific surveys, we will discover that young women report that the employer in 50% of cases prefers to hire men instead of women. The main reason for such state of affairs is that men require fewer sick leaves to care for his children. On the contrary, women require more sick leaves to care for their children. Therefore, women have fewer chances to obtain an administrative position in a company. It would be great if women get more chances to obtain the position of the chief executive or prime minister or any other position to change the situation for the better.
To summarize all the above, females have achieved significant progress in building the world of equal opportunities. Today they are subjected to the impact of advertising. To overcome this challenge, it is necessary to improve their self-esteem and understand the mechanism of its aggressive impact. The second challenge women must overcome is to eliminate the discrimination in the working places through the united efforts.