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What is your definition of a “Super Woman”? In the last two decades, women have been built to conform to what society wants them to be. Starting from the workplace with cute dresses and subtle makeup, to the house with cooking, cleaning and making sure dinner is ready and on the table. In the “Bed, Bath and Beyond” advertisement, the picture depicts how a woman in today’s society is expected to be; being able to multi task in unique situations to being in more than one place at a time. This advertisement invites viewers to perceive women as objects with a sole purpose to please others.
My definition of a super woman however; is someone who can carry herself on her own two feet by any means necessary. Although multi-tasking can be a symbol of power and independence, I feel that aside from this ad, there are many other ways that women can be portrayed. That there is more to a woman than just cooking and cleaning.
Over the past century or so, women conformity not only is changing expectations, but giving women a sense of independence. Although it may be easy for women to conform and be the ideal version of a perfect housewife, that no longer is the case. “Conformity is the act of matching attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors to group norms. Norms are implicit, unsaid rules, shared by a group of individuals, that guide their interactions with others. … For example, people tend to follow social norms when eating or watching television, even when alone” (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/conformity). Or in other words, behaving in accordance to society’s demands.
I think that one of the main things this ad is showing is that women are good multitaskers. In addition, this ad shows a woman happily doing more than one thing at a time. It shows her throwing things away, making dinner, ironing, washing her hands, etc. While on the other hand, the ad shows a woman that is clearly not tired, and capable of doing more than one thing at once. I think that it is showing the idea that a woman is supposed to be this “super human” being and not get tired. It shows her having a good attitude and being happy with the tasks given to her. Therefore, the ad implies that multitasking isn’t a bad thing, but it is an ability that women are expected to have.
The ad not only shows a woman doing many things, but it is the message behind the picture that is important. The message behind the ad is that women are okay with conforming to what society wants them to be; that of a housewife. That it is okay to do everything the man does not want to do. Don’t get women wrong, we appreciate the men working and providing for us, but have they ever thought about the woman’s point of view? That maybe they don’t want to be just some trophy wife/housewife? That maybe they would like to get out of the house and enjoy the fresh air while they can before Donald Trump kills us all emotionally?
Although it may be appealing to some women to be able to accomplish many tasks at once, some women may feel that there is a lot more to life than cooking and cleaning. There are many other ways to show that women can be multi-talented. I think that this ad, like many others, shows a false reality where women are expected to be a certain way and do certain things. Some may feel that this ad objectifies women in a sense that their entire existence focuses on them doing household chores. While on the other hand, some may feel that this ad empowers women and gives them a sense of purpose.
Since the beginning of time, women have always been the “stay at home” wife. There has not been a significant amount of change in the subsequent decades, but there has a been a shift in the traditional roles that women have played. The role of a man has traditionally been to provide for the family and serve as the head. According to an article I recently read, social expectations are changing, where more mothers are working and household responsibilities are being divided amongst the parents.
Although there has been little to no change in women’s role in society, there has been some differences from the past to today. Women can not be kept behind the counter or the curtains doing indigenous duties. From pilots to football, women are showing men that there is more to them than just sweeping and making a bed. Women are breaking out of those known habits of being at home, to going out and setting their own goals. Society has placed into our heads this big importance on how we act not only at home but in the public. “Have dinner ready. Prepare yourself. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. Clear away the clutter…run a dust cloth over the tables.” reads the essay, listing the many chores of a woman. The woman’s life revolved around the house and home and even when she went out to meet her friends. When women started complaining of boredom, society invented the sewing and quilt making clubs. They would do anything to please their men because their life depended on them so much. To disagree with her husband would have been the gravest of all errors. The men have almost total control over their wives” (A Woman’s Role in the 1950s Roobix Coob). This quote explains women conformity at its finest. Society has created a world where women will always have something to do. But to do it at home.
Whether it be submissively or immodestly, women have always grown up to home manager. According to (1987) Maslach, Santee, and Wade, the male role is to be masculine, independent, and assertive, or self-confident, making it harder for a man to conform. But at the same time, they stated that part of the feminine role includes being sympathetic to others, making it easier for them to conform and maintain the peace. These contrasting personality traits found in men and women set a solid foundation for their conforming or nonconforming behaviors. “… It is just the way traditional women think because it is what society dictates” (Women Conform More than Men Victoria Wayne).
This ad invites viewers to only see what is on the surface. And what is on the surface is only skin deep. It invites viewers to perceive women as objects with the purpose to solely please others. Although women conformity is not meant to place women under the close eye of society, it still does. In the ad it shows a very happy women, doing what she probably loves, but is it the women herself that loves what she is doing or is it what society loves her doing? The correct answer is both. Although women love cooking and cleaning, they love doing other things. Working, sports, entertaining. Take a look at Serena Williams. Do you think she got to where she is today conforming to what society wants her to be? No, she broke the gender barrier and did what she loves.
Although the ad wants women to be like the woman in the picture, it does not necessarily mean to become the lady in the picture. Maybe just to have the confidence that she has and enjoy what you are doing, That it is not necessarily needed to change to meet the requirements of those around, or to get the approval of others just to fit in. Not fitting in is the best thing you can do, and this ad is not an example of it. This ad is a perfect example of following the status quo. Maybe it is time to go against the status quo and be the woman wanted to be, not the fake woman that the world created in order to meet mens requirements of the perfect female role.
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