Killing Us Softly is an amazing documentary by Jean Kilbourne that shows us the unfortunate reality of women in today’s society. After watching, I can say that I have been looking at many advertisements in a completely different way. It opened my eyes to what women are actually representing and just how bad it has gotten. Constantly being judged and measured up to fake standards, women are literally disappearing. Kilbourne made a sad yet true statement that women around the world are aiming for the size zero, but at the same time their goal is leading to physically disappearing all together.

This mindset to have the perfect body is getting worse because this obsession is starting at younger ages then ever before. The most disturbing of it all is the sexualization of little girls. Young girls are seeing all of these images around them and receiving the message that sex is the only thing that Imagematters. They are realizing early on that they will be judged and this is not how anyone, especially children should be feeling. Even reality shows like Toddlers in Tiaras unfortunately provides entertainment for some people. You know there is a problem when there is a show based upon making little girls pretty and having their mothers attempt to doll them up regardless of how drastic the measures being taken are.

 Women in society fought so hard in the past to receive rights as individuals and now it seems okay that women be referred to as objects? These simple ads that represent women in our culture are not only affecting how we feel, but also the standards that are set for us. Women wonder why some men can be so shallow, but all of that criticism is shaped from society. Everything around us is saying we are not skinny or beautiful enough. In terms of these standards that we are measured up against, we will never be good enough. Advertisements and society forgets to tell all the women out there that there is no such thing as perfection. This goal that women set for themselves to measure up to what they see, does not exist.

 What was most shocking was the proof that everything we see is faker then I had imagined. All of these women on magazines or on television are the people everyone aims to look like, even when they do not even look like that themselves. It is a shame that women judge themselves everyday in the mirror all because of Photoshop and touchups on a computer. Furthermore, some ads even combine a few women into the image of one so she has all of the perfect features, although “she” is not a real person.

“The more you subtract, the more you add?” What kind of message are women getting?  Clearly the type of message that is setting our gender back and making horrible double standards hard to get rid of. They Imageare only getting worse, and the worst part is that it is consuming our culture. These concepts that are being sold to us, tell us who we are and what we should be. Women have more rights today, but how far have we really come?

Sex will sell for a long time and these advertisements will likely remain appealing to our culture, but awareness needs to circulate that these social norms are not okay. Women should not continue to live under this microscope analyzing every flaw on themselves, nor should women be dehumanized and seen as objects. If society will not change, individuals have to realize they should not change for it. Women need to look at what is really in front of them and more importantly what is within them. They need to look beyond the false ads and nonexistent perfections; and look at their importance as individuals. Society can tell you what “perfection” is, but ultimately you shape your own.

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