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Advertisements can shape beliefs, norms, and behaviors of individuals in a society, so ways females are portrayed in advertisements are important because of their potential consequences. For example, research has shown when female viewers watch portrayals of women’s achievements in advertisements they often become more inspired to succeed in their future careers rather than sticking with stereotypical roles for women, such as homemaking.
Previous research studies have examined female portrayals in print ads and television commercials, mostly focusing on stereotypical portrayals of females, including show them in domestic settings, non-career oriented, not physically active, non-authoritative, inferior to males, sexual objects, decoration, and associated with domestic products. However, female roles in society have changed over time, and correspondingly portrayals of females in advertisements have changed as well. Furthermore, in recent times there have been increasing numbers of females portrayed in powerful positions in ads.
Females are shown as experts, athletes, sexually subjective, and in control of their decisions. Although numerous research investigations have studied stereotypical portrayals of females in ads, there has been little research studying recent trends in female portrayals in advertisements. It is important to understand these trends and their impact on society. This dissertation aims to add to the study of ads which portray females in powerful positions. Power is a multidimensional concept previously studied in various disciplines, but there still exists a need to understand feminine power and its dimensions as portrayed in the media.