Research-Women in Advertising

This is a very touch and go topic among people, especially in a modern day were feminism is a popular topic in many governments. As the years have progressed, women have become more and more of a play object in movies. They are used as rag dolls, rather than items of independence.

When looking at posters circe World War 2, ‘sexual’ aspects were a lot different than those today. Women were modest, with limited flesh on show. The appeal was in their heavy make up and pouting faces.


(Mail Online, 2013).

This poster, warning soldiers of the dangers of ‘loose women’ is one of my favourite. The expression and character given off by the woman clearly gives off her intentions, without being crude.  

These advertisements have came to grip with the changing overall features wanted in a woman. During the 40s women were preferred to be more curvy, this gave a more fertile vibe, and with pale skin, spending time outside gave a tan which was frowned upon. Nowadays, women are fed image and advertisement featuring tan, slim women, therefore effecting the type of body image projected in the media. (, 2016).

The ideal body thought out time. (YouTube, 2016).

Buzzfeed featured this amazing video on women body types throughout time- look at the Golden Holywood type. Fuller figure, hour glass body type, fuller breasts. A lot of these things we are going to have to consider in our own posters. (YouTube, 2016).

In fact, throughout the 40s-50s, products such as weight on were common in advertising. Women with boyish, thinner figures were encouraged to bulk up.

Weight gain advertisements from the 40s/50s. (Mail Online, 2011).

Although I didn’t want to mimic modern day advertisements, with women being put on as shows (like the Calvin Klein 2010 advert below), I still wanted to show the sexy but control women can give off.

A study by Dr. Ian Cook of UCLA showed that NI (non-rational influence images, ones that make us feel good) by passed the part of the brain that deals with logical thought processes, making us more than likely to buy or join something. In the study, individuals were shown a range of different images, and the NI images gave the lowest brain activity in the prefrontal cortex.

The lower levels of brain activity from ads employing NI images could lead to less behavioural inhibition, which could translate to less restraint when it comes to buying products depicted.

This can be applied to our own advertising. However I thought it would be interesting to mix it up a little. When researching the graphic novel artwork that was used in Star Wars, as incorporated in Jakub’s poster, I found out that there was a rare one off Star Wars: Pin Up Special. With this knowledge I thought it would be interesting to use the posing and nature of that used in Pin-Up prints.

My group agreed this would be an original spin to our work. So, my next line of research is Pin-Up- strictly research of course.


Mail Online, (2013). ‘She may look clean, but…’ 1940s anti-STD posters warn soldiers of the ‘booby trap’ of disease-ridden prostitutes. [online] Available at:–1940s-anti-STD-posters-warn-soldiers-booby-trap-disease-ridden-prostitutes.html [Accessed 13 Feb. 2016]., (2016). History – WOMEN IN ADVERTISEMENTS AND BODY IMAGE. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Feb. 2016].

YouTube, (2016). Women’s Ideal Body Types Throughout History. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Feb. 2016].

Mail Online, (2011). ‘Add 5lb of solid flesh in a week!’ The vintage ads promoting weight GAIN. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Feb. 2016].



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