Postfeminism Media Culture : Women Representation in Printed Advertisement Shifts Into Sexual Desirable Object

Postfeminism Media Culture : Women Representation

in Printed Advertisement Shifts Into Sexual Desirable Object

Tori Nuariza Sutanto


Concerning to the relation of women and the advertisement, It is unavoidably connected with the issue of sexism in media. Dyer stated that Advertisement represents women as a traditional stereotype in which feminine, sexual object, male gaze, and subordinate. Women’s appeal often exploit in several levels relates with their beuaty, body, and femininity. In particular, Gill (2007) stated one of the most striking aspects of postfeminist media culture is its obsessional preoccupation with the body. The body is presented simoultenously as women source’s power.


Today, the shifting in the from sexual object to sexual desirable object occured because of the cultural industry. Using body as a commodity is the indicators of how today cultural industry particularly printed adverstisement as a system of sign and symbols that position, constrain, objectify, and sell woman in the consumerist and capitalist society. For instance, Rebecca Hains (2013) critics of a disney princess Merrida who changed to be slimmer and bustier in order to fulfill the sexual desirable object.


The usage of body signs and body representation as commodity in capitalist system of society economically and culturally connected. Economically, advertisements work in the concept of marketing strategy, but culturally, advertisements work within system of ideology. The iconic Disney Princess merely strengthen the idea of sexualization of culture since Barbie has ever been become an icon of blonde woman whose sexually pleasure men. The redesign of new Merrida which is more sexier, bustier, skinnier and mature like what Rebecca Hain stated sent a message of inferiority. The shifting of women in the printed media adverstisement happened, previously where once sexualised representations of women in the media presented them as passive, mute objects of an assumed male gaze, shifted into today sexualization works differrently in many domains, Thus women are not objectified but are presented as active, desiring sexual objects who choose themselves in a seemingly objectified manner because it suits their liberated interests to do so (Goldman, 1992).



Gill, Rosalind (2007). Postfeminist media culture: elements of a sensibility. European journal of cultural studies, 10 (2). pp. 147-166. Sage Publications

Goldman, R. (1992). Reading ads socially. London ; New York, Routledge

Hains, Rebecca. (2013). Disney faces backlash over new “sexy” Merida; pulls new image from web site as aresult.  accesed on July 16, 2013 00.35 A.M

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