The Slovenia Times

Who is Setting Standards for Me?



It's the media mainly, claims an advertising company Proreklam-Europlakat, who organised an awareness raising campaign to remind us that manipulation with self-image is the one that drives expanding consumption. "We wanted to remind everyone, who noticed the billboards, that women can be successful and attractive, whether they have the ideal figure or not," representative of the company Robert Hernec said. "The two women on billboards across Slovenia are never going to be models. But they love themselves and are satisfied with their image, they love good food, they enjoy comfort and most of all, they love life," organisers wrote on an Internet site, But the standards of the overly visual culture we live in try to convince us otherwise. "A body is a central tool of self presentation and whole image of a man or a woman is defined with his or her body," Tanja Nastovski wrote in her graduation thesis. Therefore a woman can only be accepted if she is thin. She can be successful only if she is beautiful. And she can be loved if she has ideal figure. Why only women? Why is there no man with beer belly on the billboards? "Because women are more subjected to the manipulation in advertising, movies and mass media in general than man," said Mr. Hernec. And men throughout history have based theirs self-presentation on power rather than looks. But on the other hand, men have successfully shaped rules for women. "Advertising still portraits women in a sexist, stereotypical and negative way. Advertisers produce standards on what women should look like, so they can solve their problems of inferiority and feelings of despair with products they sell," wrote Ms. Nastovski. And concluded her thesis: "History of artistic paintings taught us that women were passive objects waiting for male observers. Sadly, the same holds true for advertising today. If only we had learnt anything."


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