What was specifically noted was that men are much different than women when trying to appeal to their wanting to buy a specific brand. For example, they found that when they show sexy, good looking guys to men, the guys would most likely become annoyed and say, "I don't want to be that guy." This meant that it was the end of the relationship with trying to convince the guy that they could look like this guy.
Women, on the other hand, were the opposite. When women were shown a sexy woman, she would buy the product in attempts to look like that woman. Also interesting was the fact that women would actually compare themselves to the gorgeous woman and criticize themselves because they weren't as pretty, sexy, or as desirable. Women may lament that advertisers objectify them, but guys often times take the actual next step which is walking away from the product. They seem more offended by seeing overly developed muscular men than women do when they look at gorgeous women.
In a recent movie titled, "Magic Mike," if you ask men what they thought about the movie they openly replied, "I didn't go," or that was for my wife. If advertisers are going to market to men, they need to understand that many guys don't like looking at gorgeous guys, and they will break their relationship with the advertisers if that is how their gender is depicted. This is interesting when we focus on body image. The majority of men do not feel as bad about their bodies as the majority of women feel about theirs. Women will constantly talk about their fat arms, legs, tummy, and yet their husband who has a tummy growing over his belt doesn't usually suffer the same self criticism. Nor is he subjected to the same open rejection from the opposite gender as a woman who has extra weight on her. Maybe guys have the key? Maybe the guys understand that their own feelings about their appearance are what dictate a positive body image? Maybe women need to walk away more from advertisers when they see an impossible female model advertising a product that is snake oil?
No matter what gender you are, it all begins with what you decide is making you feel better (or worse) about yourself. I did my own survey by asking 50 guys to give me feedback in regards to what they believe women do that promotes poor body image. This is the list. It isn't scientific, but it was random. I also think the points are valid for both men and women.
1. Confidence is not determined by ones looks, but by their own conviction of who they are and what they stand for. If a woman goes for anything, and is afraid of being alone, she will usually appear desperate.
2. Women have role models that are celebrities. Guys think this makes women feel bad about themselves. They think women should admire successful women instead of pretty faces or bodies.
3. Guys think women have negative tapes in their heads that keep beating them down. More than half of the guys thought women had poor parenting, especially from the men in their lives.
4. Guys believe women believe air brushing is real. It is not. The guys did admit to looking at the airbrushed models, but preferred their girlfriends/wives looks.
5. Women give too much power to what others think of them. They give guys too much power, and other women, to determine if they are pretty. Most of the guys believe women dress and act to please others instead of themselves.
In truth, both men and women suffer from poor body image. In our society women's value is more highly correlated with women's looks. This could change if women became more confident about who they were, rather than what they looked like. We change advertisers; it isn't the other way around. If we become complacent and continue our narrow pattern of allowing advertisers to tell us who is and isn't pretty, we are all doomed. Celebrities should not be the people we admire. We should be admiring the peace makers, the leaders in science, literature, math as well as those who are making our families stronger and healthier. All of this contributes to our own sense of body image, who we are, and how we fit in.
– Mary Jo Rapini
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