Stereotyping has always been an effective way of propagating and validating belief or myth. Women have been stereotyped in every age and time.  These stereotypes results in the typecasting and branding the women, from which they are never able to escape. The media has always used these techniques to strengthen their market base, and add to the belief.

Looking through the advertisements of the 50’s and 60’s, on the internet, I came across a set of interesting images.  On the first look we may find these ads as funny and humorous, but on a deeper level they play up to the strengthening of the stereotypes.


These classic examples of retro advertisement and art show how women were used and depicted by the media. Women were primarily used to sell house hold goods, like detergents, washing machines, refrigerators and food stuffs.  All these ads have coy, demure, well kept, prim and proper women as their models.  They all dress conservatively, with minimal makeup and have a apron tied on the front. These models function from the domain of the kitchen/living room- or the house. The garden will be the only place outside that they’ll be allowed in.  These advertisements reflect the society they were contrived in, the women having the place in the house, with the children and the man taking care of the outside. Also the men present in these advertisements are tall dark, and always in the commanding position. Their body language very suggestive of protecting the women and the house. This clearly implies the whole idea that the woman is the angel in the house, she needs protection, looking after and guidance.

One thing that strikes me more about these advertisements is that how happy these women look after doing loads of laundry, cleaning a stack  of dishes, and cooking multi- course dinners!!! They look very happy and content. And all through this hard work the makeup and the neat hairdo are all in place.


A second set of images also caught my fancy. They come from the same time period, but are drastically different in the way they depict women.  This second category that emerges is the exotic, outdoor, free, and independent women.  They come across as strong-minded, they do their stuff alone.  They have the great outdoors as their domain. Where preferably it will be the beach or some other adventurous place, this would traditionally be away from the home stead. They model for cosmetics, swimsuits, alcohol, ale, underwear, lingerie etc.  By making these women look extremely alluring and sexy, they make all women wish to be like these sexy, skimpily clad models. The skimpy clothes, garish, loud make-up all make them stand out from the other women.


These stereotypes generally showcase the way man and the society has looked upon women in the past times. They tend to force future generations to view the women in the same way.  But it’s useful to study these graphics, and learn that how media uses stereotypes  to further their gain and , take back women a whole generation.


ektaa malik


~ by ektaamalik on October 30, 2009.

2 Responses to “typeset….”

  1. nice images ektaa – try looking at newspaper and magazine photos in relation to stereotyping…

  2. Yeah! This was insightful.

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