America today is a free-market society. Money is freedom, control, security, and the ultimate commodity. This society is based around gaining money, and perhaps even more importantly, spending it. The media spreads ideas, ideas that suggest that the most important things in life are appearances. Makes us rely too much on the fashion, and relevance of the person is lost. Why would the media do such a thing? Money. These advertisements block the minds of youth and confine them to be the person perfectly shaped loosing their identities.
Corporate advertising is selling the American public images through TV and magazines and billboards, images that create extremely destructive mindsets in the viewers. One of the best examples of how advertisers palpably abuse power on their audience can be seen in the fashion industry. Fashion is a deeply image oriented industry. Clothes people wear can determine race, class, gender, socio-economic status, all of these, or the way their bodies are shaped.
Social stereotypes are developed, based solely on clothing. A good example of how fashion hypnotizes could be found in the advertisements in any universal “teen” magazine. The teenage market is a highly targeted market from clothing to cosmetics. In a recent survey conducted on 100 random high school students, 50 male and 50 female, students on average spent $98 dollars on clothes per month. These teen magazines specifically target at young females.
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Most magazines however, have not one overweight person from front to back but are all over plastered by perpetually skinny women with computer and airbrush-perfected skin. More of the article space in magazines is dedicated to the new fashions for whatever season it happens to be. In these “articles” a set of usually three racially mixed, extremely, thin, and often buxom, young girls pose in the “hottest” new clothing, identified by brand name, and retail chain which carries them. “We are thin (attractive)”, the pictures proclaim, “This is what you should be; if you are not like us, you are worthless.”
It has been speculated in the medical profession that 1/3 of America’s population is more obese than is healthy for their height. If this is so, then how many women the constant barrage of “Being thin is the end-all be-all of is beating down attractiveness”? Once the advertisers have clearly established their idea of being in perfect shape and clothes they explain the other benefits of these traits. Finally, after the magazines have given a riveting reason to buy products and to adhere to virtually unattainable images of beauty, they put in re-enforcers: articles designed to keep teenaged girls on the “straight and narrow”. These articles are horror stories of girls who have in some way broken a cardinal law of beauty or attractiveness.
There is a rapid increase in materialisms in America. 80% of dumb teenagers would rather buy two pairs of designer jeans rather than 3 pairs of generic jeans at the same price. First a person must realize for themselves, that there is more to them than a pair of Calvin Klein jeans. That they are worth something, that they are important, without Tommy Hillfiger and Nike. That they can be just as attractive if they are overweight and wearing shorts from K-mart, as they can being thin and wearing clothes from American Eagle, Limited, and Express.
The advertising companies breed a sense of worthlessness in consumers; a sense that there is something missing, something, which will make your life better than it, is now. They can offer you something that will assure you a better life, more popularity, or that can take you closer to the image of beauty that they set forth. At least until next month’s line comes out, then you are painfully behind the image of beauty again. And all the while the cash registers ring, and ring, and ring.
From my point of view fashion industry has mesmerize teenagers, men and women, through media. They are slaves to what media is conveying them, may it be good or bad for them.