Killing Us Softly 3 Essay

1295 words - 6 pages

Jean Kilbourne is a feminist author, speaker, and filmmaker who is internationally known for her work on the image of women in advertisements and her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. I am interested in analyzing her speech in “Killing Us Softly 3” because it pertains to my major (Women Studies). Women Studies analyzes the inequalities in every gender/sex and fights for equality (ie, equal pay, no discrimination based on ones gender, legal rights, etc). In this speech Jean explains how the media exploits women and uses their sexuality and bodies to sell products versus how the media uses men and their bodies in advertisements. She goes on to explain how these ...view middle of the document...

The fact that she came right out and grasped the attention of the audience by stating facts followed by some jokes is another reason why I feel she is credible because she was aware that she was speaking to an audience of teenagers and didn’t want to seem overbearing with serious facts.
Jean broke down how most Americans won’t admit that advertisements influence their views on the opposite sex, how they treat others and what they expect from the opposite sex. “Advertisement is the foundation to the mass media” stated Jean. I chose this quote because there is serious truth behind it. Our culture wouldn’t be what it is today if we didn’t have advertisements telling us how we should feel in different situations. Jean then went on to explain how advertisements sell more than just the product in the print ad or commercial but how they also sell the idea of values, images, concepts of love and sexuality, romance, success and most important normalcy. After making this comment Jean made the audience think about what she just said and asked them some of their thoughts and some of the feed back that she got was that people never sat down and thought about the influence ads had on their lives. Her pointing out what advertisements do to our minds to an audience who doesn’t take the time to dissect everything they come in contact with is another reason why I believe this speech was very powerful. She was very personable, not aggressive or loud. You could tell by the way she spoke that she was very educated and knowledgeable because she didn’t yell or cuss.
What I enjoyed about Jean’s speech is that she backed up every statement she made with facts whether they were statistics or videos. She made jokes throughout the entire speech making a mockery of some of the commercials making the audience see a side of the commercial from an analytical point of view. She showed one advertisement where a man was hugging a woman from behind and the picture was cut off above their chest but it was assumed that neither one had on shirts. The man is looking down at the woman’s chest and under the picture was a sentence saying “Does your husband wish you had larger breasts?”. Jean made a joke saying
that you should change your body instead of changing your husband in a sarcastic tone but it made the audience laugh. She also explained every point she was trying to prove down to every single detail and had you thinking about commercials and ads differently. While giving her speech...

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